Posts Tagged ‘welcoming Shabbat’

 

Come, Beloved

Posted on: November 20th, 2022 by Alden No Comments

A meditation on Shabbat, inspired by Lecha Dodi, Yedid Nefesh, and the Song of Songs. Join me in an exploration of Shabbat as the basis of writing new prayers, meditations, and songs during “Soul of Shabbat,” an online writing workshop on Ritualwell. Register here. Use the code ALDEN22 (case sensitive) for a $10 discount. “Come, Beloved” appears in my CCAR Press volume, This Grateful Heart.

Come, Beloved
If you listen,
Listen.
If you listen you will hear
Shabbat descend from her distant place,
Gently clearing the air
Of the steady buzz of the mundane,
Gently inviting you to stillness,
Gently preparing the space
For the arrival of holiness.

If you listen,
Listen.
If you listen you will hear
The arrival of luminous wonder,
A radiance of glory that touches your heart,
So that love pulses through your veins.
The gates of your soul burst open,
You run through them, skipping, singing,
Maheir ahuv,
Hurry beloved…
How long since your hands touched mine,
How long since your lips brushed
These tired eyes,
How long since I rested in You.
Ki va mo-ed,
For the time has come,
The time has come to reunite.
And tears of surrender,
Shimmering with the taste of honey,
Will pour through you like grace
From G-d’s ancient well.
V’chaneini keemai olam.

If you listen,
Listen.
Listen…

© 2017 CCAR Press from This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers For a New Day

Postscript: Here are links to more Shabbat prayers: “Shabbat as a Meditation,” “Shabbat Blessing for Children Who Have Left Home,” “Blessing for a Spouse/Partner” and “Welcome, Sabbath Queen.” Here’s a prayer “For the Arrival of Shabbat” and a question to G-d “About Shabbat.”

Please check out my Meet the Author video and This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day. For reprint permissions and usage guidelines and reprint permissions, see “Share the Prayer!” For notices of new prayers, please subscribe. You can also connect on Facebook and Twitter.

Queen and King

Posted on: September 4th, 2019 by Alden No Comments

On Friday evening we yearn for the arrival of the Sabbath Queen, recalling the mystics of Safed who walked into the fields singing to greet her. The Queen is in the field, bringing love and comfort.

In Elul, the month before the High Holidays, the King is in the field. So taught Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi, founder of Chabad. The King’s place is in the palace, but in Elul the King comes to the fields to meet us. This is El Melekh Ne’eman, the Faithful Sovereign.

The Sabbath Queen is our metaphor of blessing and peace. The Faithful King is our metaphor of justice and forgiveness. Every Shabbat in Elul—beginning this Friday night—we can imagine the energy of a Faithful God, Creator of Shabbat, Sovereign of justice and mercy, coming through the fields to greet us.

Here’s a meditation for the four Shabbatot of Elul. For a fuller explanation, including pitfalls of these metaphors, see my essay on Ritualwell. The postscript is a calendar note on Rosh Chodesh Elul.

Queen and King
Come in peace,
Beloved of Israel,
Sabbath Queen,
Bringing sweet bread
And fine wine.

Come with grace,
Faithful King,
Sovereign and loyal,
Bringing hope
And mercy.

ידיד נפש Yedid Nefesh
Dearest Soul,
Meet us in the fields of our days.

אבינו מלכנו Avienu Malkeinu,
Our Father our King,
Bless us with renewal.

מקור חיים Makor Hayyim,
Source of Life,
Show us the wells of living waters.

אל מלך נאמן El Melech Ne’eman,
Loyal Sovereign,
Bring your realm of prosperity.

Let the glory of Shabbat dwell with us.
Let the hope of forgiveness enliven us.
Let the taste of rest comfort us.
Let the promise of renewal sustain us.
And we will glimpse the world to come as you bless us.
And we will become strong and humble in your Word.

The Queen is in the field.
The King is in the field.
They have come together,
To bless us,
To see us,
To sustain us
With their sacred power.

Greet them with music,
Greet them with dance,
Loving and keeping the Sabbath,
Doing the work of prayer and repentance,
With Torah and mitzvot,
With humility and passion,
And with songs of praise.

© 2019 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: A technical note on the calendar. Rosh Chodesh Elul occurs on the last day of the month of Av and the first day of the month of Elul. So, while last Shabbat Rosh Chodesh Elul, it was actually Av 30, and therefore not a Shabbat in Elul. That is why the Elul recitation of Psalm 27 didn’t begin until Sunday.

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Postscript: The King and Queen metaphors are anthropomorphic, partial expressions of the many expressions of the Indivisible One, therefore useful but limited. Special thanks to Rabbi Bob Carroll and Rivkah Moriah for their thoughtful comments. The description of R’ Schneur Zalman’s use of the King metaphor is adapted from Chabad.org. The translation of El Melekh Ne’eman as “Sovereign Loyal God” is from the Nehalal Siddur.

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: Free stock photos

Shabbat is the Place

Posted on: April 7th, 2016 by Alden No Comments

Mediterranean SunsetThis meditation is inspired by life in Jerusalem. Many of my Shabbat meditations have been inspired by my home, including: “Shabbat Settles on Jerusalem” and “Shabbat Sings.” This piece appears in This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day from CCAR Press.

Shabbat is the Place
Shabbat is the place
Where time and space meet,
Without questioning
How the beginning began
Or how the ending ends.

Shabbat is the place
Where song and silence meet,
Blessing each other
With the gift of rest.

Shabbat is the place
Where dreams and angels meet,
Yearning together
For a world of peace.

Shabbat is the place
Where holiness and eternity meet,
Praying together
For the world to come.

© 2017 CCAR Press from This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day

Postscript: My other Shabbat prayers include: “Come, Beloved” and “Welcome, Sabbath Queen.” Click here for a full list of my Shabbat prayers, blessings and stories.

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: Water Jew Doing in Israel?

Shabbat Sings

Posted on: September 17th, 2015 by Alden No Comments

song-of-praise_3_10_367_227What if Shabbat could sing praises? Would we listen in awe? Would we sing a duet? This meditation is inspired by the Sabbath prayer La’el asher shavat. The line: “ויום השביעי משבח ואומר” (“The seventh day itself gives praise”). Rabbi Lawrence Hoffman calls that prayer “a midrashic treatment of Psalm 92, ‘A Song for the Sabbath Day,’ personifying Shabbat as an entity that itself praises G-d.” This prayer quotes a line from Psalm 92, “It is good to give thanks to G-d.”

Shabbat Sings
Shabbat sings to us as she approaches,
An ancient song of joy and desire,
A quiet song of hope and anticipation.
Yes, Shabbat sings as she arrives,
Her scarves dancing around her
In the gentle breeze.

Shabbat sings to us when she arrives,
A sweet song of love and reunion,
A simple song of laughter and surrender.
Yes, Shabbat sings with us,
Joyful, exuberant,
As we dance together in the glow of sunset.
It is good to give thanks to G-d.

Walk with me, Oh my queen!
Take my arm, Oh my bride!
And we will pretend
That you can linger in my arms always.
We will make believe
That we have been reunited forever.

Shabbat sings to us when she departs,
A tender song of longing,
A whispered voice of dreaming.
Yes, Shabbat sings as she leaves,
As we cling to her fragrant skirt,
As we breathe the last moments of holiness
Into our yearning hearts.

© 2015 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: My other Shabbat prayers include: “Come, Beloved” and “Shabbat Settles On Jerusalem.” Click here for a full list of my Shabbat prayers, blessings and stories. The Hoffman quote is from My People’s Prayer Book, Volume 10, Shabbat Morning, Shachariet and Musaf.

Please consider making a contribution to support this site and my writing. For usage guidelines and reprint permissions, see “Share the Prayer!” For notices of new prayers, please subscribe. You can also connect on Facebook and Twitter.

Photo Source: Rabbi Elliott’s Blog

Shabbat Settles on Jerusalem

Posted on: April 7th, 2015 by Alden No Comments

Jerusalem - City of GoldHere’s a short meditation on Shabbat in Jerusalem. I wrote this at a poetry workshop at Limmud UK. Here are links to more of my Shabbat prayers: “For the Arrival of Shabbat,” “Shabbat Blessing for Children Who Have Left Home,” “Blessing for a Spouse/Partner” and “Come Beloved.” Each of them appear in my new book This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day from CCAR Press. To listen as you read, click on the triangle in the bar below. The text follows.

 

Shabbat Settles on Jerusalem
Shabbat settles on Jerusalem
Like a dove,
Gliding on silent wings.

Shabbat settles in my heart,
A lover with open arms,
Embracing my soul with song,
Wrapping me in quiet breathing.

And I send blessings into the world.
Light.
Bread.
Prayers of peace.

© 2017 CCAR Press from This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers For a New Day

Postscript: Here are two short, short stories – also known as flash fiction – about Shabbat: “Sarah Rivkah: A Challah Baking Story” and “Mendel Baruch: S’hema on Shabbat.

Please check out my Meet the Author video and This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day. For reprint permissions and usage guidelines and reprint permissions, see “Share the Prayer!” For notices of new prayers, please subscribe. You can also connect on Facebook and Twitter.

Photo Source: Jerusalem – City of Gold, Deborah Tepper Papercut Art

Come, Beloved

Posted on: December 3rd, 2014 by Alden No Comments

Come Beloved Deborah TepperA new meditation on the love of Shabbat, inspired by the theme of Lecha Dodi, the words of Yedid Nefesh and the imagery of the Song of Songs. I wrote it at OSRUI’s Shabbat Shira Weekend after Josh Nelson invited me to read an original piece during Kabbalat Shabbat. This appears in my new book from CCAR Press, This Grateful Heart. Thanks to papercut artist Deborah Tepper for allowing me to illustrate this prayer with “The Joy of Shabbat – Lecha Dodia.”

Come, Beloved
If you listen,
Listen.
If you listen you will hear
Shabbat descend from her distant place,
Gently clearing the air
Of the steady buzz of the mundane,
Gently inviting you to stillness,
Gently preparing the space
For the arrival of holiness.

If you listen,
Listen.
If you listen you will hear
The arrival of luminous wonder,
A radiance of glory that touches your heart,
So that love pulses through your veins.
The gates of your soul burst open,
You run through them, skipping, singing,
Maheir ahuv,
Hurry beloved…
How long since your hands touched mine,
How long since your lips brushed
These tired eyes,
How long since I rested in You.
Ki va mo-ed,
For the time has come,
The time has come to reunite.
And tears of surrender,
Shimmering with the taste of honey,
Will pour through you like grace
From G-d’s ancient well.
V’chaneini keemai olam.

If you listen,
Listen.
Listen…

© 2017 CCAR Press from This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers For a New Day

Postscript: Here are links to more Shabbat prayers: “Shabbat as a Meditation,” “Shabbat Blessing for Children Who Have Left Home,” “Blessing for a Spouse/Partner” and “Weclome, Sabbath Queen.” Here’s a prayer “For the Arrival of Shabbat” and a question to G-d “About Shabbat.”

Please check out my Meet the Author video and This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day. For reprint permissions and usage guidelines and reprint permissions, see “Share the Prayer!” For notices of new prayers, please subscribe. You can also connect on Facebook and Twitter.

Photo Source: Deborah Tepper, papercut image used with permission

 

Quiet

Posted on: June 27th, 2014 by Alden No Comments

End_of_nightThis prayer is about the holiness of quiet. It captures an essential aspect of the Sabbath. Especially here in Jerusalem, as Shabbat approaches, there is first an intensity of motion and doing – preparations for Shabbat, social activities, parties, smachot – and then the city slows, calms and a tangible quiet settles over us all. In this quiet, so much more can be heard. This prayer appears in my second volume from CCAR Press, This Joyous Soul: A New Voice for Ancient Yearnings.

Quiet
In the quiet,
My breath is the wind,
My heartbeat is thunder.

In the quiet,
My spirit settles,
And my soul rests.

In the quiet,
All that I am,
Meets everyone I might be.

G-d,
Grant me moments of gentleness,
Moments of gratitude,
Moments of calm,
Moments of peace,
So that I might hear the echoes of eternity,
And the stillness within.
So that I might live a life
Of joy and laughter,
Wisdom and dignity,
Love and honor,
In service to myself,
In service to others,
In service to Your holy name.

Blessed are the gentle
Moments of grace.

© 2019 CCAR Press from This Joyous Soul: A New Voice for Ancient Yearnings

Postscript:  Here’s a prayer “For the Arrival of Shabbat” and a question to G-d “About Shabbat.” You might also enjoy this “Shabbat Blessing for Children Who Have Left Home,” a Shabbat “Blessing for a Spouse / Partner” and two short, short stories – also known as flash fiction – about Shabbat: “Sarah Rivkah: A Challah Baking Story” and “Mendel Baruch: S’hema on Shabbat.”

Please check out my CCAR Press Grateful/Joyous/Precious trilogy. The individual books are: This Joyous Soul, This Grateful Heart, and This Precious Life. Here’s a link to my ELItalk, “Falling in Love with Prayer..” 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: WikiMedia Commons

For the Arrival of Shabbat

Posted on: January 26th, 2011 by tobendlight No Comments

800px-Shabbat_CandlesA prayer to celebrate the gifts of Shabbat. The closing lines are from Shalom Aleichem. Please listen along as you read. (Click on the triangle in the bar below. The text follows.)

For the Arrival of Shabbat
Well of Life,
Bless my heart with the gifts of Shabbat,
The presence of Your love in my pulse,
Your glory in my chest
And Your wonder in my breath.

Bless my eyes with the gifts of Shabbat,
Seeing the beauty of the candle sticks,
The Kiddush cups and challot.

Bless my lips with the gifts of Shabbat,
Rejoicing in song and prayer,
Singing melodies ancient and new.

Bless my ears with the gifts of Shabbat
Hearing hymns and praises,
The nigunim of old,
And blessed words of Torah.

Bless my soul with the gifts of Shabbat,
Awe and thanksgiving,
Calm and surrender,
Beauty, righteousness and peace.

Let these gifts descend gently on all Your people Israel,
So that together,
Wherever we may be,
In one voice
From the four corners of earth we sing,
Boachem l’shalom
Malachay ha’shalom,
Malachay elyon.

© 2011 Alden Solovy and www.tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: You may enjoy these two short, short stories about Shabbat, “Sarah Rivkah: A Challah Baking Story” and “Mendel Baruch: S’hema on Shabbat.”

If you use this prayer, please click “like” on this page and subscribe. Please take a moment to post a link to your Facebook page, your blog or mention it in a tweet. Thanks. For usage guidelines and reprint permissions, see “Share the Prayer!

Photo Source: WikiMedia Commons

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