Posts Tagged ‘Tree of Life’

 

Tree of Life, Pittsburgh (Hebrew)

Posted on: October 2nd, 2019 by Alden No Comments

This is a Hebrew interpretation of my acrostic, “Tree of Life, Pittsburgh,” a response to the Oct. 27, 2018, shooting. The Hebrew and English versions are part of a new Yom Kippur Martyrology from Tree of Life – Or L’Simcha Rabbi Jeffrey Myers. The Hebrew, by my friends Rav Aytan Kaden and Elyssa Moss-Rabinowitz, is energized with references to Tanach and Siddur. Read the story behind this prayer on Times of Israel. A PDF download of an annotated set of the prayers appears at the end of this post.

עֵץ חַיִּיםְ ,פִיטְסְבּוּרְג

עֵץ חַיִּים
צִוִּיתָנוּ לִבְחֹר בַּחַיִּים
חַדֵּש אֶת יָמֵינוּ
יַחֵד לְבָבֵנוּ וְהָאֵר עֵינֵינוּ בְּתוֹ¬רָתֶךָ
יִשָּׂא פָּנָיו אֵלֵינוּ בְּחֵן וּבְשָׁלוֹם
.מְקוֹר הַחַיִּים וְהַבְּרָכוֹת

פָּתַחְנוּ שִׂפְתוֹתֵינוּ בִּתְפִלָּה
י-ה, מִמַּעֲמַקִּים קָרָאנוּ אֵלֶיךָ
טוֹב לְהוֹדוֹת עִם הַנִּצּוֹלִים וַעֲבוּר הַמַּצִּילִים
סוֹמֵךְ ה’ לְכׇל הַנֹּפְלִים וְזוֹקֵף לְכָל הַכְּפוּפִים
בְּיָגוֹן וּבִכְאֵב הִתְאַחַדְנוּ
וְשַׁבְנוּ עַדֶיךָ בֶּאֱמוּנָה מִתּוֹךְ אַהֲבָתֵנוּ אֶחָד לַשְּׁנִיָּה
רְפָאֵנּוּ וְנֵרָפֵא
.גְּמֹל עָלֵינוּ כָּל טוֹב סֶלָה

עֵץ חַיִּים
צוּר יִשְׂרָאֵל וְגוֹאֲלוֹ
חוּסָהּ נָא וְחָנֵּנוּ
יִשְׁכְּנוּ בְּתוֹכֵנוּ צְדָקָה וּמִשְׁפָּט
י-ה, שְׁמֹר צֵאתֵנוּ וּבוֹאֵנוּ בְּפִיטְסְבּוּרְג וּבְרַחֲבֵי תֵּבֵל
.מֵעַתָּה וְעַד עוֹלָם

© 2019 Alden Solovy, Rav Aytan Kaden and Elyssa Moss-Rabinowitz

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Postscript: Here’s a link to the English version of this prayer. See also: “Ma’oz Tzur for Pittsburgh,” “Taharot in Pittsburgh,” “After a Deadly Anti-Semitic Attack” and “Racist Violence against Houses of Worship.”

Please check out my ELItalk video, “Falling in Love with Prayer,” and This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day. For reprint permissions and usage guidelines and reprint permissions, see “Share the Prayer!” To receive my latest prayers via email, please subscribe (on the home page). You can also connect on Facebook and Twitter.

Photo Source: Tree of Life * Or L’Simcha Congregation website

Tree of Life, Pittsburgh

Posted on: August 1st, 2019 by Alden No Comments

This acrostic spelling out “Tree of Life Pittsburgh Tree of Life” will be used on Yom Kippur in a new Martyrology created by Rabbi Jeffrey Myers, the rabbi at Tree of Life – Or L’simcha Congregation. This prayer is a response to the Oct. 27, 2018, shooting there and first appeared in a CCAR rapid response resource kit. Here’s a link  an interpretive Hebrew version of that prayer. See also: “Ma’oz Tzur for Pittsburgh” and “Taharot in Pittsburgh.”

Tree of Life, Pittsburgh
Tree of Life,
Revive our souls,
Enrich our days,
Entreating Your blessings.
O, God of Peace,
Fill our hearts with comfort,
Letting Your Torah shine,
In the fullness of our love.
Faith in You, our God,
Eternal Source of blessings.

Praying for healing
In the depths of despair,
Thanking God for the survivors,
Thanking God for the first responders,
Sorrow crushing our hearts,
Bereaved beyond belief,
United in our love,
Returning to You in faith,
God of Israel,
Healer of generations.

Tree of Life,
Redeemer of Israel,
Enliven this moment with healing,
Enliven this moment with hope.
Oh, Rock of Israel,
Forget not the Jews of Pittsburgh.
Let Your love flow
In the days ahead
For justice and peace
Everlasting.

© 2018 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com.

New here? Subscribe here to get my newest prayers by email.
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Postscript: See also: “Ma’oz Tzur for Pittsburgh,” “Taharot in Pittsburgh,” “After a Deadly Anti-Semitic Attack” and “Racist Violence against Houses of Worship.”

Please check out my ELItalk video, “Falling in Love with Prayer,” and This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day. For reprint permissions and usage guidelines and reprint permissions, see “Share the Prayer!” To receive my latest prayers via email, please subscribe (on the home page). You can also connect on Facebook and Twitter.

Photo Source: Tree of Life * Or L’Simcha Congregation website

Ma’oz Tzur for Pittsburgh

Posted on: November 25th, 2018 by Alden No Comments

This prayer/poem rendition of Ma’oz Tzur anticipates the contrasting emotions of a joyous festival against the backdrop of the largest antisemitic attack in U.S. history. Ma’oz Tzur – literally “Fortress Rock” – is a Chanukah acrostic written in the 13th century. This song is traditionally sung after lighting Chanukah candles. To write this rendition, I studied five translations from siddurim, incorporating both intent and language from all five translations (see footnote).

מָעוֹז צוּר יְשׁוּעָתִי
Ma’oz Tzur Yeshu’ati
Rock of Ages,
Fortress of Redemption,
Rock of Salvation,
Refuge and Shelter,

לְךָ נָאֶה לְשַׁבֵּחַ
Lekha na’eh leshabe’ach
It is a delight,
Lovely and fine,
To sing Your praises.

תִּכּוֹן בֵּית תְּפִלָּתִי
Tikon beit tefilati
Restore my house of prayer,
This house that has seen violence and hate,
Bloodshed and death.
It is firm and established,
Now and forever.

וְשָׁם תּוֹדָה נְזַבֵּחַ
Vesham toda nezabe’ah
There we will offer thanksgiving,
In the name of our people,
An Or l’Simcha,
A light for joy,
An Eitz Chaim,
A tree of life,

לְעֵת תָּכִין מַטְבֵּחַ
Le’et takhin matbe’ach
When by Your will
All bloodshed ends,
The time when You eliminate
All slaughter.

מִצָּר הַמְנַבֵּחַ
Mi’tzor hamnabe’ach
The furious, they assail us,
Oppressors with hatred,
But Your arm avails us,

אָז אֶגְמוֹר בְּשִׁיר מִזְמוֹר
Az egmor beshir mizmor
So with joyous song,
Yet still in mourning,
With a heavy heart,
Yet singing in music,
In poetry and psalms,

חֲנֻכַּת הַמִּזְבֵּחַ
Chanukat hamizbe’ach
For the dedication of Your house,
The rededication of Your sanctuary,
An altar of Your praises,
Where our strength will not fail us.

[Sing Ma’oz Tzur]

© 2018 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com.

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Postscript: Ma’oz Tzur was written by an unknown poet whose name is spelled out as Mordechai by the first letters of the first five verses, while the first three letters of the sixth and final stanza spell out ‘chazak,’ or ‘strength’ (Encyclopedia of Jewish Prayer, M. Nulman). The siddurim I consulted in writing this piece are: Mishkan T’fillah (U.S., Reform); Koren Aviv Siddur (Orthodox); Seder HaTeffilah (UK, Reform); Siddur Lev Chadash (UK, Liberal/Progressive); and Siddur Nehalel (Orthodox). Transliteration is modified from Wikipedia.

Please check out my ELItalk video, “Falling in Love with Prayer,” and This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day. For reprint permissions and usage guidelines and reprint permissions, see “Share the Prayer!” To receive my latest prayers via email, please subscribe (on the home page). You can also connect on Facebook and Twitter.

Photo Source: Reddit

Taharot in Pittsburgh

Posted on: October 28th, 2018 by Alden No Comments

As the Jewish world mourns the murders at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, a group of private individuals are preparing themselves to perform taharot. Taharah (taharot, pl) is the ritual preparation of a body for burial. It’s a sacred task that takes a special individual. These will be particularly difficult taharot, given the brutality of the deaths. It’s my hope that in praying for those who are conducting this holy act, we find a bit of solace for ourselves.

Taharot in Pittsburgh
Rock of Comfort,
Redeemer of Israel,
Grant Your protection and care
To those who are preparing the dead for burial,
Gently washing wounded bodies
With love and water,
Praying for the souls of the innocent
To find peace on the journey
To heavenly spheres.

So much loss.
So much blood.
So many wounds.

These unnamed servants of our people
Come in quiet devotion,
With gentle prayers,
Serving the dead with the work of their hands,
So that the living can grieve
And that souls can find rest.
Grant them an extra share of steadfast strength
As they bless the lost with the gift given in reverence
For generations.

White is the clothing of the dead.
Sorrow is the clothing of the living.
Let the taharot in Pittsburgh become a beacon of love,
A radiance of healing,
And a source of comfort for all.

© 2018 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com.

New here? Subscribe here to get my newest prayers by email.
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Postscript: See also “A Liturgy after Terror Attacks,” “After a Deadly Anti-Semitic Attack” and “Racist Violence against Houses of Worship.”

Please check out my ELItalk video, “Falling in Love with Prayer,” and This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day. For reprint permissions and usage guidelines and reprint permissions, see “Share the Prayer!” To receive my latest prayers via email, please subscribe (on the home page). You can also connect on Facebook and Twitter.

Photo Source: Tree of Life * Or L’Simcha Congregation website

One is Everything

Posted on: December 21st, 2016 by Alden No Comments

We’re surrounded by violence. Orlando. Nice. Tel Aviv. Pittsburgh. Innocents dead at the hand of terror. In Saint-Étienne-du-Rouvray, France, an 84-year-old priest was murdered in his church, Fr. Jacques Hamel. It made instant world news and faded just as fast. There are so many other terror attacks. Larger attacks. More than one dead.

ADDENDUM, April 28, 2019: In memory of Lori Gilbert-Kaye, z”l, who was murdered at the Chabad center outside San Diego during services, I’ve added a new line: “A woman in prayer.” Also, in the opening stanza, I’ve added references to that attack and the Tree of Life massacre.

One is Everything: A Meditation on Numbers and Terror
Orlando, 16 June 2016, 49 souls
Kabul, 23 July 2016, 80 souls
Nice, 14 July 2016, 84 souls
Baghdad, 3 July 2016, 325+ souls
Pittsburgh, 27 October, 2018, 11 souls
Dallas, 7 July 2016, 5 souls
Tel Aviv, 3 July 2016, 4 souls
Rouen, 26 July 2016, 1 soul
Poway, 27 April 2019, 1 soul

One soul.
Just one soul and the world moves on.
We are shocked by the scale of terror.
The 49 and the 84 and the 325
With a plus sign next to it because, well,
It’s just tough to get an accurate count
In so much death.

One is everything.
Each one a human.
Each one a life.
One is enough to cry out to heaven.

When we count the scope of terror,
The range of death,
Remember, too,
The injured and the wounded,
The witness and the bystander,
The first responder and the families.

One is 100 witnesses.
One is 1,000 mourners.
One is 10,000 traumas.
One is a soul G-d sent to this earth.
One is everything.
A priest doing holy work.
A boy studying Torah.
A girl sleeping in her bed.
A woman in prayer.
One soul. One heartbeat.
One more, too soon.

G-d of Consolation,
Every soul is Yours,
A world, unique and holy.
Let Your peace reign quickly among us.
Let violence, hatred and terror vanish.
Let Your comfort descend from heaven,
And let the righteous rest in peace.

© 2016 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: The list of terror attacks maintained on Wikipedia is astounding. Hundreds dead each month all over the world. One and one and one. The Talmud says that saving a life is equal to saving the world; taking a life is the equivalent of destroying the world. One is everything.

This is a modified version of an essay that first appeared on RitualWell. See also a prayer “To the Terrorist,” which is part of my “Liturgy after Terror Attacks,” originally written for my “Liturgy for 9-11.”

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Photo Source: WikiMedia Commons

Let Torah

Posted on: February 25th, 2012 by tobendlight No Comments

The Torah is waiting for you. Not just to study it. Not just to know it. To live it. This is the latest in a series of prayers that invoke a prophetic voice, prayers that call on us to serve the Source of All Being, including: “Let Truth,” “Let Joy,” “Let Holiness” and “Let Love.” Each one ends with a call to action. To listen along, click on the triangle in the bar below (website only). The text follows.

Let Torah
Let Torah hold your moments
Carry your days,
Lift your years.

Let Torah fill your hands,
Nourish your breath,
Refresh your heart.

Let Torah sustain your words,
Enliven your deeds
Lead you home.

For Torah is in each life and each generation,
In the yearning for G-d and in G-d’s yearning for us,
The flow of secrets from Sinai,
Divine guidance and grace,
Calling out to you dear sisters and brothers:
‘Awake you slumberers!
Awake you who wander empty and lonely without wonder and awe.
Have you forgotten this precious gift?
Have you forsaken your past and your future?
Have you traded your birthright for empty promises?’

This, then, is G-d’s command:
Let Torah hold you,
Fill you,
Sustain you.
Let Torah guide you into radiance and mystery.
Study and learn,
Question and seek,
Hear and grow,
Lifting your life in sacred service.
Let Torah be your breath and your heartbeat.

Blessed are You, Source of Torah.

© 2012 Alden Solovy and www.tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

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