בסיעתא דשמיא

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The Hierophant

About The Hierophant


A hierophant is a person who invites participants in a sacred exercise into the presence of that which is deemed holy. The title, hierophant, originated in Ancient Greece and combines the words φαίνω (phainein, "to show") and ‏τα ειρα (ta hiera, "the holy"); hierophants served as interpreters of sacred mysteries and arcane principles. For the Open Siddur Project, the Hierophant welcomes new contributors and explains our mission: ensuring creatively inspired work intended for communal use is shared freely for creative reuse and redistribution. Aharon Varady, founding director of the Open Siddur Project, serves as hierophant, and administers opensiddur.org as its webmaster and editor-in-chief.

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Recent Posts

"Collection of One Hundred Plaster Surrogates, 1982-90" by Allan McCollum (CC BY-SA).להבין את התפלה | Rav Amram Gaon’s letter to Rav Yitzḥok b. Shimon of Sepharad, circa 9th century (Abe Katz, Burei HaTefila Institute)

The order of prayers and Brakhos for the entire year that you requested, that has been shown to us by Heaven, we deem appropriate to set forth and lay out in the manner in which the tradition was passed down to us, as compiled by the Rabbis during the period of the Mishna and of […]

"Manatee nursing calf" (credit: Gaylen Rathburn, USFWS, Public Domain)ברכת המזון | Thanks for the Food, the Birkat Hamazon by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi

We do this to fulfill Your command which states:
“Eat Your fill praising Adonai your God
for the earthy goodness which the Almighty
so freely gave to you.”

"Orchard at Sunset" (credit: "Public Domain Pictures", license CC0)ידיד נפש | Yedid Nefesh – You who love my soul (translation by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi)

You who love my soul
Compassion’s gentle source,
Take my disposition and shape it to Your will.
Like a darting deer I will flee to You.
Before Your glorious Presence Humbly I do bow.
Let Your sweet love
Delight me with its thrill
Because no other dainty
Will my hunger still.

Kay McNulty, Alyse Snyder, and Sis Stump operate the differential analyzer in the basement of the Moore School of Electrical Engineering, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, circa 1942-1945.אשת חיל | Eyshet Ḥayil (Proverbs 31:10-31) For an Accomplished Woman, translated by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi

אֵשֶׁת חַיִל מִי יִמְצָא וְרָחוֹק מִפְּנִינִים מִכְרָהּ

א An accomplished woman who can find;
beyond pearls is your worth.

בָּטַח בָּהּ לֵב בַּעְלָהּ וְשָׁלָל לא יֶחְסָר

ב By your integrity your husband’s heart is secure;
nothing is lacking where you are in charge.

גְּמָלַתְהוּ טוֹב וְלֹא רָע כֹּל יְמֵי חַיֶּיה

ג Good are you to […]

"Half-open door to Heaven" (credit: Klearchos Kapoutsis, license: CC-BY)פתח אליהו | Pataḥ Eliyahu – Elijah Began Saying (That We Might Pray Well) translated by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi from the Tikkunei Zohar

Elijah began saying:
Lord of the worlds
You Who are One
and not just a number
You are the highest
of the highest
most hidden
of the undisclosed
no thought scheme
grasps You
at all.

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