בסיעתא דשמיא

תפילה לעצי היער על ט״וּ בִּשְׁבָט | Prayer for the Trees of the Forest on Tu biShvat, by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer

Hebrew English אֱלֹהֵינוּ וֵאלֹהֵי אֲבוֹתֵינוּ (וְאִמוֹתֵינוּ), חַדֵּשׁ אֶת הַיְּעָרוֹת בְּאֶרֶץ יִשְׂרָאֵל וּבְכָל הָעוֹלָם. וּשְׁמֹר אֶת הַעֵצִים בַּהֶם, מְחַדְּשֵׁי הָאֲוִיר, וְשׁוֹמְרֵי הַחַיִּים. וְהָאֵר אֶת לֵב הָאִישׁ אֲשֶׁר חוֹתֵךְ אוֹתָם בָּאָרֶץ הַזֹּאת וּבְכָל אָרְצוֹת בָּעוֹלָם, כַּכָּתּוּב: ”לֹא־תַשְׁחִ֤ית אֶת־עֵצָהּ֙ לִנְדֹּ֤חַ עָלָיו֙ גַּרְזֶ֔ן“ (דברים כ:יט), וְגַם בְּדִּבְרֵי שְׁלֹמֹה הַמֶּלֶךְ כָּתּוּב: ”עֵץ־חַיִּ֣ים הִ֭יא לַמַּֽחֲזִיקִ֣ים בָּ֑הּ וְֽתֹמְכֶ֥יהָ מְאֻשָּֽׁר“ (משלי ג:יח). . . .

ברכות על קריאת התורה | Blessing over the Torah Reading, at Mishkan Shalom, Philadelphia

Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, Reb Arthur Waskow, and others helped to formulate this grammatically feminine Hebrew blessing for an oleh in their blessing over the Torah reading, in the early years of Congregation Mishkan Shalom in Philadelphia (1988-1983). . . .

Blessing over Separation, by Shelby Handler

The Blessing over Separations was first read by Shelby Handler on Rosh Ḥodesh Kislev at the 2017 ADVA Reunion, a reunion of the community of Adamah Farm fellows and Teva Learning Center educators at Isabella Freedman Retreat Center. . . .

מי שברך למיני פשעי שנאה | Mi Sheberakh for Hate Crimes and Bigotry, by Isaac Gantwerk-Mayer

From resurgent neo-fascist movements to religious extremist attacks, hate crimes are on the rise all over the world right now. At times like this many people live in fear – fear of being attacked or maligned, physical, mental or emotional. Hatred is not new to the Jewish people, but traditionally it was considered “just the way it is.” As Americans, we should believe better. The midrash (Devarim Rabbah 5:10) says that hateful speech kills three – the speaker, the listener, and the subject. This Mi Sheberakh was written as a prayer for all those of every people and nation that are affected by hatred and bigotry. . . .

מי שברך לאסונות טבע | Mi Sheberakh for Natural Disasters, by Isaac Gantwerk-Mayer

A Mi Sheberakh prayer for those affected by natural disasters. This prayer uses many standard liturgical phrases in a new context to stress that God, while full of great power, is not a God of destruction but one of peace and life. Quoting the famous vision of Elijah at Ḥorev, this prayer is for those who seek comfort and tranquility from their God. . . .

ברכת יוצר יצירים | A Blessing for Creating, by Rabbi Adina Allen (Jewish Studio Project)

“A Blessing for Creating” comes by way of David A.M. Wilensky (with approval by the blessing’s author, Rabbi Adina Allen) who shared a photo on Facebook of a posterboard on which the blessing was written. The poster was made for the first ever Kabbalat Shabbat organized by the Jewish Studio Project, whose mission is “to activate creativity in individuals and communities to reclaim Jewish values, make meaning in our lives and restore hope to the world.” Vocalization added by Aharon Varady. . . .

תפילה לישראל ופלסטין | Prayer for Israel and Palestine by If Not Now Chicago (5778)

On 29 September 2017 IfNotNow Chicago writes, “Tonight begins Yom Kippur. We are asking our community, when you say the prayer for Israel this Kol Nidre, will you say it for all the people that live in Israel and Palestine? Will you stand for freedom and dignity for all Palestinians and Israelis? Our members have re-imagined the Prayer for the State of Israel. We hope you use this New Prayer for Israel and Palestine, and share it with your own community.” . . .

מי ששכנה… היא תשכן עמנו | Mē She’shakhna… Hē Tishkon Imanu – a Seliḥot Plea for Biblical Women by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer

There is a famous Seliḥot prayer where each of its lines has this structure: “May He who answered ___________, may he answer us.” The blank refers to assorted Biblical figures who faced great challenges, ranging from Avraham the Patriarch to Ezra the Scribe. The traditional list is also VERY male-focused, with the standard text only listing Esther from all the great Biblical women. This is a shame, and many have tried to remedy this. I have found myself under the opinion that all these remedies have a fault – they attempt to combine the original text with the new text. This means either the original text is shortened, or the full text is far too long. As well, the structure is very male-oriented as well, appealing to God’s male side and only using grammatically male language. . . .

ספר תפילות לשבת | Sabbath Prayer Book by Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan (1945)

Arranged and translated by Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan, the Sabbath Prayer Book is the first Reconstructionist prayerbook we know of to have entered the Public Domain. (The prayerbook entered the Public Domain due to lack of copyright renewal by the copyright owner listed in the copyright notice, the Jewish Reconstructionist Foundation, as evidenced in the Stanford Copyright Renewal database.) . . .

המחזור לראש השנה ויום כּיפּור | Ha-Maḥzor for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur by Rabbi Ben-Zion Bokser (1959)

Arranged and translated by Rabbi Ben-Zion Bokser, Ha-Maḥzor (1959) and Ha-Siddur (1957), are the most recent modern prayerbooks to have entered the Public Domain. (Both Ha-Siddur and Ha-Maḥzor entered the Public Domain due to lack of copyright renewal by the copyright owner listed in the copyright notice, the Hebrew Publishing Company.) Making digital images of . . .

ברכות התורה | Blessing for Torah Study, interpretive translation by Reb Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, z”l

This English translation of the blessing for Torah study by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi z”l, was first published in his Siddur Tehillat Hashem Yidaber Pi (2009). Versification according to the Nusaḥ ha-ARI z”l by Aharon Varady. . . .

תפילה לעולם החי | Prayer for the Living Earth by Rabbi Katy Z. Allen

I offer here a prayer for the Earth, which you may wish to use in your personal prayer practice or as part of a community to which you belong. It could be included as one of the prayers after reading the Torah. . . .

ברכות ותפילות לרגל עדות העטרה של החמה | Blessings and a Prayer for Witnessing a Solar Eclipse by Rabbi David Seidenberg (neohasid.org, 2017)

Blessings and prayers for the eclipse, at: neohasid.org/eclipse including texts and links to other Internet resources. May we all find blessing in the wonder. . . .

Thirteen Intentions of Faith Taught at the Beit HaMidrash of Elat Chayyim by Reb Zalman Schachter-Shalomi

This list of thirteen supplications for emunah (faith) in particular beliefs was included by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, z”l, in his Siddur Tehillat Hashem Yidaber Pi (2009). . . .

תהלים ל׳ בלשון אנגלית | Psalms 30 by David (interpretive translation by Reb Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, z”l)

Source (Hebrew) Translation (English) מִזְמ֡וֹר שִׁיר־חֲנֻכַּ֖ת הַבַּ֣יִת לְדָוִֽד׃ A Psalm for A Housewarming, Composed by David ב אֲרוֹמִמְךָ֣ יְ֭הוָה כִּ֣י דִלִּיתָ֑נִי וְלֹא־שִׂמַּ֖חְתָּ אֹיְבַ֣י לִֽי׃ ג יְהוָ֥ה אֱלֹהָ֑י שִׁוַּ֥עְתִּי אֵ֝לֶ֗יךָ וַתִּרְפָּאֵֽנִי׃ ד יְֽהוָ֗ה הֶֽעֱלִ֣יתָ מִן־שְׁא֣וֹל נַפְשִׁ֑י חִ֝יִּיתַ֗נִי מיורדי־[מִיָּֽרְדִי־] בֽוֹר׃ 2 I acclaim You, my God. You set me free So that my foes Could not gloat at my troubles. . . .

תְּפִילַת הוֹלְכִים לְאוּנִיבֶרְסִיטָה | Prayer for Those Going to University

A prayer for the safety and success of those leaving home to go off to college and university. When children go off to college, parents can feel worried about the future of their children. Empty-nest syndrome can set in and spiritual guidance is often needed. This prayer uses the idioms of Biblical and siddur language to create a text for parents who worry about their children’s future as they head off on their own. It could be said 49 days after Tekufat Tammuz in the diaspora (August 28 or 29 after a leap year – approximately the time when college terms begin in the US) or on the first Saturday after Shmini Atzeret ba’aretz (approximately when college terms begin in Israel) . . .

יום זה לכל דורות | Yom Zeh l’Khol Dorot – A Piyyut for Pesaḥ Sheni

A piyyut for an under-recognized holiday, Pesaḥ Sheni, the festival of second chances (as described in Numbers 9:6-13 and Mishnah Pesaḥim 9:1-3. I attempted to write this in the manner of a traditional piyyut. The meter is equivalent to the Shabbat zamir “Ot Hi l’Olmei Ad.” The Hebrew spells out Yod – Tzadi – Ḥet – Kuf, because that’s my name. The translation is original, along with the notes. . . .

פיוט למילה | Piyyut for a Milah (circumcision) by Rabbi Dr. Aryeh Cohen

This is a piyyut (liturgical poem) which is intended to be recited at a brit. It is connected to my liturgy for a “chag hachnassah labrit” (available here). The explanation for the chag is also the basis for the piyyut. Translation into English by Shoshanna Gershenson, Maeera Schreiber and Aryeh Cohen. . . .

הסדור | Ha-Siddur by Rabbi Ben-Zion Bokser (1957)

Arranged and translated by Rabbi Ben-Zion Bokser, Ha-Maḥzor (1959) and Ha-Siddur (1957), are the most recent modern prayerbooks to have entered the Public Domain. (Both Ha-Siddur and Ha-Maḥzor entered the Public Domain due to lack of copyright renewal by the copyright owner listed in the copyright notice, the Hebrew Publishing Company.) Making digital images of . . .

סדר תפילות ישראל | Seder Tefilot Yisrael: Sabbath and Festival Prayer Book (Joint Commission of the Rabbinical Assembly and United Synagogue of America, 1946)

Siddur Tefilot Yisrael (Sabbath & Festival Prayer Book), based upon a manuscript of Rabbi Morris Silverman, was widely used in Conservative synagogues until the late 1980s and remains a favorite prayerbook for many who grew up using it. First published by the Rabbinical Assembly and United Synagogue of America under their copyright, this siddur is . . .

המדריך | Ha-Madrikh: The Rabbi’s Guide by R’ Hyman E. Goldin (1939, rev. 1956)

This manual has been devised for the express purpose of giving the Rabbi, or anyone officiating at a Jewish ceremonial or ritual, a concise and practical aid that will facilitate the task of officiating , and will obviate the necessity of resorting to the voluminous literature pertaining thereto. . . .

שיר השירים | The Song of Songs, English translation by Paltiel Birnbaum (Hebrew Publishing Company, 1949)

Paltiel (Philip) Birnbaum’s translation of The Song of Songs (Shir haShirim) in Ha-Siddur Ha-Shalem (The [Complete] Daily Prayer Book), Hebrew Publishing Company, 1949. . . .

סידור זכרון יהודה לייב | Siddur Zichron Yehudah Leib, a Friday Night Siddur dedicated in honor of Leonard Nimoy, z”l (2017)

The goal of this project was to produce a complete prayerbooklet for the Friday night Kabbalat Shabbat and Ma’ariv service that was as compact as possible yet user-friendly. This booklet is designed to be printed on 9 double-sided sheets of paper, folded and saddle stapled. It was commissioned for a minyan held annually at the Arisia science fiction convention in Boston, MA, and dedicated in honor of Leonard Nimoy, z”l (1931–2015). Since Arisia takes place in mid-January, we omitted all special insertions for holidays and other times of year. A companion booklet which includes insertions for year-round use is in the works. . . .

הסדור השלם | Ha-Siddur Ha-Shalem, The Daily Prayerbook by Paltiel Birnbaum (Hebrew Publishing Company, 1949)

Ha-Siddur Ha-Shalem (The [Complete] Daily Prayer Book), translated and arranged by Paltiel Birnbaum, was widely used in Orthodox and Conservative synagogues until the late 1980s and remains a favorite prayerbook for many who grew up using it. First published by the Hebrew Publishing Company in 1949 under their copyright, this siddur is in the Public . . .

A Prayer on Voting by T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights

On Tuesday, we go to the polls in a momentous election that for many of us has generated a combination of anxiety, excitement, fear, and confusion. We offer you this prayer, which you can recite this Shabbat, before you vote, or while you are waiting for returns. . . .

ודוי | Vidui by Rabbi Avi Weiss

Melissa Scholten-Gutierrez writes, “Rav Avi spoke to us a few times as he was working through [composing] this [vidui] and I am truly moved by it. Let us not only remember and confess our wrong doings, but also what we did right this year.” . . .

ימים נוראים | My Ten Days of Repentance Writing Exercise

David Wolkin writes, “I’ve been pushing this writing exercise for a while now, but I taught a class with it in my home on Sunday and it proved to be powerful and connecting for all of us in the room. If you’re reflecting/repenting this season, you might benefit from this.” . . .

מי שענה… הוא יעננו | Mi She’anah… Hu Ya’anenu – A Seliḥah for Yom Kippur (egal adaptation by Lisa Exler and R’ Julia Andelman, 2004)

An egalitarian adaptation of the seliḥa for Yom Kippur. . . .

תפילת עובד | A Worker’s Prayer, by Rabbi Stephen Belsky

dedicated to Noam Ezra ben haRav Moshe z”l

יְהִי רָצוֹן מִלִּפְֿנֵי אָבִֽֿינוּ שֶׁבַּשָּׁמַֽיִם,‏ בּוֹרְאֵֽנוּ, יוֹצְרֵֽנוּ, יוֹצֵר בְּרֵאשִׁיתֿ, הָאֻמָּן הָעֶלְיוֹן,‏ כְּאָמְרָם ”אֵין צוּר כֵּאלֹהֵֽינוּ“ – ‏ ”אֵין צַיָּר כֵּאלֹהֵֽינוּ“,‏ שֶׁיְּחָנֵּ֫נוּ בְכָֿל הַחָכְֿמוֹתֿ —‏ חָכְֿמוֹתֿ הַלֵּבֿ, וְחָכְֿמוֹתֿ הַנֶּֽפֶֿשׁ,‏ וְחָכְֿמוֹתֿ הַיָּדַֿיִם;‏ וְיַנְחֵֽנוּ בִדְֿרָכָֿיו לַעֲשׂוֹתֿ אֶתֿ מְלַאכְֿתֵּנוּ בְּיֹֽשֶׁר, וּבְֿחֶֽסֶדֿ, וּבֶֿאֱמוּנָה;‏ וִיבָֿרֵךְֿ אֶתֿ מַעֲשֵֽׂינוּ וְאֶתֿ מַעֲשֵׂי מַעֲשֵֽׂינוּ,‏ לְקַדֵּשׁ אֶת שְׁמוֹ . . .

A Jewish Prayer for Peace between England and her Colonies on a public day of fasting and prayer, May 17, 1776

Fred MacDowell: “Then, as now, war was looked upon by many as a great evil, especially between brothers, and many American Colonists only wanted the oppressive measures of King George III to be lifted, bloodshed ended, and peace restored. The nascent American Congress called for a day of “Humiliation, Fasting and Prayer” along these lines for May 17, 1776. It was for this occasion that this prayer was recited in Congregation Shearith Israel in New York. As you can see, a complete service was arranged for this occasion, meant to invoke the solemnity and seriousness of the occasion; after morning prayer, Taḥanun was to be sung to the tune of a Yom Kippur pizmon; a dozen Psalms recited, and then the Ḥazan would recite this prayer written for the occasion, and of course all were to be fasting. The prayer hopes for a change of heart for King George III and his advisors, that they would rescind their wrath and harsh decrees against “North America,” that the bloodshed should end, and peace and reconciliation should obtain between the Americans and Great Britain once more, in fulfillment of the Messianic verse that Nation shall not lift up sword against nation. Of course this was not meant to be, and six weeks later the American Congress declared independence from Great Britain, and there was no walking back from the hostilities which had already occurred.” . . .

תפילת גשם בזכות האמהות | Prayer for Rain in the Merit of the Matriarchs by Rabbi Jill Hammer

The time of Sukkot is a time of fullness and generosity, but also a time to pray for the coming season. Shemini Atzeret, the festival when we pray for rain, is an expression of our need for water, which in the Jewish tradition symbolizes life, renewal, and deliverance. Tefillat Geshem, a graceful fixture of the Ashkenazic liturgy, invokes the patriarchs as exemplars of holiness and model recipients of God’s love. This prayer uses water as a metaphor for devotion and faith, asking that God grant us life-sustaining rain. While its authorship is unknown, it is sometimes attributed to Elazar Kallir, the great liturgist who lived sometime during the first millenium. Each year, we are reminded of our people’s connection to the patriarchs and to the rhythms of water, spiritual and physical sources of life, through this medieval piyyut. While we know that rain is a natural process, formal thanksgiving for water as a source of life, energy, and beauty reminds us that our Creator is the source of our physical world and its many wonders. . . .

A Blessing for the Bugs on Rosh Ḥodesh Elul and Rosh Hashana LaBehemot by Trisha Arlin

I have come to see That we are not the only creatures who are B’tzelem Elohim, We are all in God’s image. So today, on Rosh Ḥodesh Elul, On the New Year of the Domesticated Beasts, Let’s give thanks to the bugs Like the four questioning children Wise and snarky and simple and oblivious, Like the four worlds of the kabbala The earth, the sky, the heart and the spirit We give thanks and acknowledge The bugs we have domesticated The bugs who serve us in their wild state The bugs that hurt us or gross us out And the bugs who live only for themselves, without any reference to us. . . .

הושׁענות | Hoshanot by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, translation by Gabbai Seth Fishman

A supplemental Hoshanot liturgy for Sukkot confessing a selection of humanity’s crimes against creation. . . .

תפילה למדינת ישראל | Prayer for the State of Israel by Rabbi Dr. Aryeh Cohen (2002)

My heart, my heart goes out to you Zion Tears, jubilation, celebration, grieving Did we not dream a dream that came to be? And here it is—both song and lament. . . .

תפילה לישראל | A Prayer for Israel by Rabbi Nahum Waldman z”l for T’ruah (2004)

This prayer for Israel was written by Rabbi Naḥum Waldman (1931-2004) for T’ruah: the Rabbinic Call for Human Rights. T’ruah works to ensure that Israel remains a safe and secure home for Jews and a place that lives up to the ideal stated in the State of Israel’s 1948 Declaration of Independence that Israel “will foster the development of the country for all of its inhabitants; it will be based on freedom, justice, and peace as envisaged by the prophets of Israel; it will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex.” . . .

חג הכנסה לברית | Ḥag hakhnassah labrit – On Entering the Covenant by Rabbi Dr. Aryeh Cohen

In the weeks leading up to the birth of our first child in 1997, my partner and I spent a lot of time thinking about the brit. Whether it was a boy or a girl we knew that we would have a celebration. If it was a boy we would have a brit, yet we were not happy with the ceremony as it stood. If it was a girl we needed a ceremony which was equally powerful and yet didn’t draw blood. In response to these two concerns I wrote a liturgy for what I called a chag hachnassah labrit/celebration of entering the covenant which could be easily adapted to boys and girls, and I wrote a piyyut (a liturgical poem) for a milah/a circumcision. . . .

תפילה לראש חודש טבת ותקופת החורף על חנוכּה | Prayer for the new moon of Tevet on Ḥanukkah occurring on the winter solstice, by Rabbi David Seidenberg (neohasid.org)

Here’s a first draft of a brief liturgy for last night, for solstice plus Ḥanukkah. Note that this is a kind of eco-liturgy, but it also stands on its own without imposing an ecological overlay. Since it’s still solstice all day, you may want to use this prayer now, or at dusk tonight. . . .

Kavanot when Washing One’s Body Before Shabbes by Eyal Raviv

This is pre-Shabbos reflection that can be done in a shower or bath. Shabbat is a time when I am less focused on my selfish desires and instead my thoughts drift to my place in the larger community and world. I find myself doing some version of this before Shabbos most weeks and am welcome for the time to reflect on truly what it is to cease from lay work and consider the work that needs to be done to make the world a better place. . . .

תפילה לשלום ופיוס לישראלים ולפלסטינים ולכל העם | A Prayer for Peace and Reconciliation for Israelis, Palestinians, and all People by Rabbi Samuel Feinsmith

Master of compassion and forgiveness, Cosmic Majesty Who is peace— Teach us Your ways, Show us the path that preserves life. Take note, Lord, for we are suffering deeply. Our guts are wrenched, Our hearts are turning within us. Violence has devoured outside, and inside it feels deathly. When enemies rose up against us to kill our babes, Courageous, precious boys, full of the light of life, shining like the radiance of the sky, Our hearts became angry, our vision lost its strength, and our spirits sunk. And still we turn to you— . . .

הארבה כוסות ואת הארבה חופשות | The Four Cups of Wine and the Four Freedoms by Aurora Mendelsohn

Traditionally each cup in the Passover Seder is liked to a promise made by God in these verses, Exodus 6:6-7. The four cups can also be associated with the Four Freedoms first articulated by US President Franklin D. Roosevelt on January 6, 1941, which were an inspiration for the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and were explicitly incorporated into its preamble. . . .

“People of the (Open Source) Book” by Dan Mendelsohn Aviv (Key Publishing, 2012)

All of the individuals mentioned in this chapter—designers, bloggers and innovators—are engaged in a transformative endeavour. The digitization of seminal Jewish texts with the ability to remix, share and annotate them has changed the way in which they are perceived as texts. In the eyes of the Next Jew, these documents are no longer static artifacts to be passively consumed. They are vibrant, dynamic entities that grow with each user’s engagement. This engagement is also continual, ever-evolving and, though personal, also connects the individual to the broader Jewish learning community. In other words, every text is accompanied by a threaded discussion and more Jews are taking part, be it through creating their own religious texts or adding their voice to the emerging “Spoken Torah” of the Jewish blogosphere. Though Jewish community was historically maintained by the work of elites, be they the priests, soferim, or rabbis, the Next Jew no longer relies on scholars sequestered in yeshivas to carry the weight of the tradition. All one needs today is commitment and a stable Wi-Fi connection. . . .

Musical Liturgy and Traditions of Colonial American Jews

Early American Jewry’s liturgies and rituals were conducted in a western Sephardi tradition which had developed in the late 16th and early 17th centuries in Amsterdam. Although most of the members of the first American Jewish communities were of Spanish and Portuguese origins, their worship evolved in the style of the Dutch Sepharadim. These oral transmissions led to adaptations and variations but Sephardi ḥazzanim (cantors) succeeded in passing their repertoire down to succeeding generations. These tunes are still identified with the American Sephardi tradition. . . .

סדר ט״וּ בִּשְׁבָט | A Tu BiShvat Seder to Heal the Wounded Earth by Rabbi Arthur Waskow (The Shalom Center)

This Tu BiShvat haggadah focuses on healing the wounded Earth today, with passages on major policy questions facing the human race in the midst of a great climate crisis and massive extinctions of species. In each of the Four Worlds in this Haggadah (Earth, Water, Air, Fire) there are traditional, mystical, and poetical passages, and in each there are also contemporary passages on aspects of public policy (Earth: food and forest; Water: fracking; Air: climate; Fire: alternative and renewable energy sources.) These policy-oriented passages help make this a distinctive Haggadah. After these passages, this Haggadah encourages Seder participants to take time for discussion. They may also decide to omit some passages and/or add others. The desire for such a Haggadah grew from discussions of the Green Hevra, a network of Jewish environmental organizations. Thanks to Judith Belasco, Rabbi Mordechai Liebling, Sybil Sanchez, Rabbi David Seidenberg, Richard Schwartz, Rabbi David Shneyer, and Yoni Stadlin for comments on an earlier draft of this Haggadah. . . .

עלינו | Aleinu, interpretive translation by Joshua Gutoff

Ours is to praise the Master of all; to recognize the greatness of the One who fashioned our beginning. Not as a nation-state, nor as a tribe; but by giving us a particular task, a particular fate: to bow, to bend, to acknowledge the Authority over all authority, the Blessed Holy One, who stretched out the expanse and gathered the substance, filling the farthest emptiness and humbling the heights. This alone is our God, the one true ruler. . . .

סליחות | Sliḥot Prayers to the Inner Child within us by Miriam Rubin

For all the times that I’ve judged you, and you shut down.
For the times when I’ve cast eyes of displeasure on your creative and luminous works,
For the times when I secretly whisper nasty things about you, that I would never say out loud,
For the times when I’ve asphyxiated you, and you felt cut off from your sacred life force… . . .

תחינה לתחילת יומן חדש | Prayer on Beginning a New Journal, by Aharon N. Varady

May my thoughts seek truth and integrity, the humility that is commensurate with my ignorance, the compassion that arises from the depths of awareness, as depths speak to depths… . . .

ברכה לסבוב הסביבון | A Blessing for Dreidel Spinning, by Lieba B. Deutsch

Every Jewish holy day, even Shabbat and the highest ones, we call forth all the 22 Hebrew Letters to join us in celebration. For those of us who study Kabbalah from within the realm of the Alef-Bet, Ḥanukkah is unique in that we are given a magical tool with which to activate these signs and wonders. . . .

מִי שֶׁבֵּרַךְ | A Hadran Mi Sheberakh Upon Completing the Writing of a Sefer Torah, by Rabbi Menachem Creditor

Misheberach Avoteinu Avraham Yiztchak veYa’akov, ve’Imoteinu Sarah Rivkah, Rachel, veLeah – May the One who blessed our ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel, and Leah, bless this scribe who has, through the commitment of her heart, devotion of her soul, and skill of her hands, invited us to return to Torah, turn with Torah, and turn Torah over and over again. Please, God, sweeten the words of Torah in our mouths and in the mouths of all people. May we all, old and young, touch the Sacred and be preserved and strengthened. We thank You, Adonai, for the privilege of experiencing the overflowing well of Torah, and for the sweetness of those who give it life. May this Soferet, our friend and teacher, be blessed to do her work in this world experiencing abundant safety, security, and love. May she only know the grace she bestows on her People Israel, her community who needs her gift so very deeply. May we all learn and love Torah, even more than we already did. Amen. . . .

סדר אושפיזין / אושפיזתא | Seder Ushpizin and Ushpizata: Inviting the Avot and Imahot into your Sukkah by Rabbi David Seidenberg (neohasid.org)

The essential idea of the liturgy of Ushpizin is to invoke the energies of the seven lower Sefirot in the proper order, so that Shefa, blessing and sustenance, can be drawn down into the world. This is the essence of Kabbalistic liturgy, and a liturgy of the imahot would only make sense if it were to follow that pattern. That means we have the playfully serious task of finding a stable order for the imahot where no clear order exists. . . .

על חטא | For the Sin of Torture: A Communal Confession by Rabbi Ed Feld

For the sin which we have committed before You through diminishing the image of God. . . .

הנני ☞ Hineni: Here I Am, a bookmark for your Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur maḥzor by Lieba B. Ruth

Lauren Deutsch designed a High Holy Days greeting card that is a yad (pointer) for all readers to use in their siddurim during services. It also functions as a place holder when one wishes to take a rest from following along. . . .

עמידה | My Weekday Amidah by Effron Esseiva

This is Effron Esseiva’s morning Amidah (standing prayer) for weekdays. Effron writes, “It’s called Shmonei Esrei (18) because it used to have eighteen brakhot (blessings). However, it has an additional brakha to bring it to nineteen. This is my interpretation of the Teissa Esrei (19) with abridged kavvanot (intentions).” . . .

סדר ט״וּ בִּשְׁבָט | A Tu Bishvat Seder Meditation on the World of Yetsira by Ben Murane

The Tu Bishvat seder is a metaphor. But usually we use metaphor in our daily lives to accomplish, persuade, inspire or explain. There is something we’re bending metaphor to accomplish. This meditation is an exercise in free-thinking. Here, just play with metaphor for the sake of expressing and exploring your emotional state, history, anticipations and apprehensions. Each of the quotations from the Torah or rabbinical writings below represents an emotion. After we say the blessing over the olives, read the quotations, pick one (or more) that resonate, and play with the metaphor to reach a deeper understanding of yourself and others. . . .

סדר ט״וּ בִּשְׁבָט | On Sweet Fruit and Deep Mysteries: Kabbalistic and Midrashic Texts to Sweeten your Tu Bishvat Seder from Rabbi David Seidenberg (neohasid.org)

From [the Holy One’s] form/to’ar the constellations are shimmering, and God’s form projects the exalted ones. And Her crown blazes [with] the mighty, and His garment flows with the precious. And all the trees will rejoice in the word, and the plants will exult in His rejoicing, and His words shall drop as perfumes, flowing forth flames of fire, giving joy to those who search them, and quiet to those who fulfill them. . . .

A Prayer For Kavanah by Amanda Rush

Hashem, as I open my Siddur, let me pray with proper kavanah. Let me pray with sincerity, paying careful attention to every word I utter. Hashem, let me concentrate with my whole being on the meaning of each and every word, sentence and prayer. Keep my mind from wandering to other subjects, and keep me from neglecting to put my heart and soul in to each and every prayer, praise and blessing. May my prayer come before You, O Hashem, at a time of grace, and may it be accepted favorably by You. Amen. . . .

על חטא | Al Ḥayt by Stew Albert and Judy Gumbo

We have sinned By yielding to confusion and falling into passivity By indulging in fear By giving in to anger By not standing up for ourselves By thinking about Jewish values only on holy days By tolerating global warming, global disease and global poverty By being cynical about repairing the world By not defending Israel By not defending Palestine For all our sins, may the force that makes forgiveness possible, forgive us, pardon us and grant us atonement . . .

A Rosh Hashana Amidah by Trisha Arlin

PLACE YOURSELF in front of the fear. You will be judged, you will die. Place yourself in the center of the universe You earned that spot simply by existing. Place yourself under obligation to God However you understand or don’t understand God. Place yourself in the path of holiness and joy and truth. Bless Ruach HaOlam, the breath of mindfulness. . . .

מִי שֶׁבֵּרַךְ | Mi Sheberakh for Victims of Slavery by Rabbi Joshua Boettiger

We are grateful to Rabbi Joshua Boettinger and Rabbis for Human Rights–North America (RHR-NA) for sharing the following petitionary prayer, A Misheberakh for Victims of Slavery. Originally published by RHR-NA on their website in 2009, the prayer attends to the desperate need to eradicate all forms of slavery that persist today, especially in advance of the holiday celebrating our Z’man Cheruteinu, the season of our freedom, every Spring, every Pesaḥ. . . .

תפילת יחיד | Tefillat yaḥid: a prayer for when praying by oneself by David Zvi Kalman

God and God of my forefathers and foremothers, as I stand here in an innermost room and pray, so too should you in an innermost room heed my questions, my praises and my requests, both from the utterances of my mouth and the utterances of my heart. Even if I am silent, you will know that my tefilla is directed towards you, who is One and whose name is One, alone in all the worlds. My heart is awake and my voice knocks. Open for me, my Lord, my Perfect One, the gates of Tefilla. . . .

סדר ט״וּ בִּשְׁבָט | The Trees are Davvening, a Tu Bishvat Seder Haggadah by Barak Gale and Ami Goodman with excerpts from the P’ri Ets Hadar (1991 abridged)

Tu biShvat, the 15th of the month of Shevat, was designated by the Talmud as the New Year for the Trees. It was tax time for HaShem, a time of tithing for the poor. This tithing has its origin in the following Torah verse: “Every year, you shall set aside a tenth part of the yield, so that you may learn to revere your God forever.” The Kabbalists of 17th century Safed developed the model of tikkun olam that we embrace today — healing the world by gathering the scattered holy sparks. To encourage the Divine flow — shefa — and to effect Tikkun Olam, the Kabbalists of Safed (16th century) created a Tu biShvat seder loosely modeled after the Passover seder. In recent decades we have learned how the well being of trees is intimately connected to the well being of all creation. This relationship is clearly stated in the following Midrash: “If not for the trees, human life could not exist.” (Midrsh Sifre to Deut. 20:19) Today the stakes of environmental stewardship have become very high. Tu biShvat calls upon us to cry out against the enormity of destruction and degradation being inflicted upon God’s world. This degradation includes global warming, massive deforestation, the extinction of species, poisonous deposits of toxic chemicals and nuclear wastes, and exponential population growth. We are also deeply concerned that the poor suffer disproportionately from environmental degradation. Rabbi Abraham Heschel wrote: “[Human beings have] indeed become primarily tool-making animal[s], and the world is now a gigantic tool box for the satisfaction of [their] needs…” . . .

The Trees are Davvening: A Tu biShvat Haggadah Celebrating our Kinship with the Trees and the Earth, by Barak Gale and Ami Goodman (1991, unabridged)

THE TREES ARE DAVENING: A Tu biShvat Haggadah Celebrating Our Kinship with the Trees and the Earth Developed by: Dr. Barak Gale, Congregation Sha’ar Zahav, San Francisco Dr. Ami Goodman, Congregation Beth Sholom, San Francisco

Hebrew English אִם אֵין אֲנִי לִי, מִי לִי.‏           וּכְשֶׁאֲנִי לְעַצְמִי, מָה אֲנִי.‏       . . .

קידוש של שבת ט״ו בשבט | Shabbat Kiddush of Liberation for Shabbat Tu biShvat by Mark X. Jacobs (1993)

We call to sukkat shalom, the shelter of peace, all of our various selves To rest from the contortion of social life and the demands of others. We liberate ourselves and each other from roles and titles labels and closets positions and pretendings internalized oppressions and oppressive projections hierarchies and competition. . . .

A Prayer for the Earth, by Rabbi David Seidenberg (neohasid.org)

God of all spirit, all directions, all winds You have placed in our hands power unlike any since the world began to overturn the orders of creation. . . .

הַמַּפִּיל | A Parent’s Prayer for the Safe Sleep of their Newborn Child by Aurora Mendelsohn

This is a prayer for parents to say for safe sleep for their newborn children. It is based almost entirely on the longer form of the traditional prayers before sleep. Because of gender there are two forms, for a boy and for a girl. I wrote this as part of my daughter’s naming ceremony in January 2001. I used it again in 2006 when my second daughter was born. . . .

“Color-Coded Prayerbook Devised by Rabbi” (Springfield Republican, 1972)

Religious books like the Bible and scholarly works have traditionally been printed in the manner to which everyone is accustomed. Page after page of type with footnotes or indices taking up a good portion of each sheet has long seemed acceptable. Now, within a year [1972/3], a book is expected to come out which will change not only the basic nature of such books but also indicate sources by color code. Rabbi Jacob Freedman of 68 Calhoun St., Springfield has already produced such a book which he calls “a sample.” A larger book is planned for which “90 per cent of the research is completed,” he said. The book called a “polychrome historical prayerbook” in Hebrew will be titled “Siddur Bays Yosef” in remembrance of Rabbi Freedman’s late father, the Rev. Joseph Freedman. . . .

תפילת טל | Prayer for Dew by Rabbi Rachel Barenblat

Geshem and tal: rain and dew. We pray for each in its season, geshem all winter and tal as summer approaches…not everywhere, necessarily, but in the land of Israel where our prayers have their roots. In a desert climate, water is clearly a gift from God. It’s easy for us to forget that, here with all of this rain and snow. But our liturgy reminds us. Through the winter months, during our daily amidah we’ve prayed “mashiv ha-ruach u-morid ha-gashem” — You cause the winds to blow and the rains to fall! We only pray for rain during the rainy season, because it is frustrating both to us and to God when we pray for impossibilities. . . .

קדיש | A Kaddish by Rabbi Daniel Brenner

Make the God-name big. Big and holy. Do it in this world, This creation sprung from consciousness, And bring some order to this. Do it fast, soon, in our lives, in the days ahead, in the life of the people we call home. Everybody join with me: May the name be blessed forever and ever! . . .

Concerning Intolerance of New Practices in Jewish Prayer by Reb Zalman Schachter-Shalomi

It is the responsibility of leadership in every generation to remove stumbling blocks from paths provided for seekers of Hashem. The needs of the faith community have dramatically changed. In our generation, many of the paths to Heaven that used to work very well in the past, don’t work any more. Why is that? For several reasons: . . .


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