תפלה | Tefilah ⁠— Invocation: A Sheaf of Prayers, composed and arranged by Rabbi Abraham Samuel Soltes (1959)

 

This work is in the Public Domain due to the lack of a copyright renewal by the copyright holder listed in the copyright notice (a condition required for works published in the United States between January 1st 1924 and January 1st 1964).

This work was scanned by Aharon Varady for the Open Siddur Project from a volume held in the collection of the HUC Klau Library, Cincinnati, Ohio. (Thank you!) This work is cross-posted to the Internet Archive, as a repository for our transcription efforts.

Scanning this work (making digital images of each page) is the first step in a more comprehensive project of transcribing each prayer and associating it with its translation. You are invited to participate in this collaborative transcription effort!


PREFACE

All men pray. But, in this age of sophistication, many strive to repress the natural impulse of the heart because of an apparently contrary belief of the mind. Yet, even the most skeptical among us experiences moments when the dammed up instinct breaks out of its walls, when crisis, or danger, or responsibility shakes loose the hidden impulse. For, limited and imperfect creatures that we are, the divine discontent within us longs to relate our personal experiences, our individual strivings, our inmost yearnings to the spirit of the universe; we seek to give meaning to our deeper instincts, to justify the profound value we sense in them for ourselves by sounding them against the reverberations of the cosmos.

Prayer is the universal and time-honored means through which man has endeavoured to express this fathomless hunger, to establish communication between his most pro- found heartbeats and the beating heart of the universe. Some unbind their emotions, easily, flowingly; others, like Lincoln, are driven to their knees “by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go…”

But, from the incantation of a savage in the forest to the invocation of a Schweitzer in the jungle, prayer, like a river, has risen to the level of those who use it and been shaped to their capacity and need.

The invocations that follow are examples of prayer shaped to the many needs of modern man in an average American community. We hope they may help others to release their inhibitions and raise this deepest of instincts from the level of an occasional selfish cry of need to a disciplined, invaluable tool for more civilized living.

 

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