בסיעתא דשמיא

אשרי יושבי ביתך | Ashrei Yoshvei Beitekha :: Sitting in your home is happiness, translated by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi

Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, z”l, included his translation of Ashrei in his Siddur Tehillat Hashem Yidaber Pi (2009). . . .

ברכות השחר | Blessings at your Dawn of Wakefulness, translated by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi

Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, z”l, included his translation of the Birkhot haShaḥar in his Siddur Tehillat Hashem Yidaber Pi (2009). . . .

קריאת שמע | The Recitation of the Shema, translated by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi

Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, z”l, included his translation of the Shema in his Siddur Tehillat Hashem Yidaber Pi (2009). . . .

תהלים ו׳ | Psalms 6, translated by Rabbi Zalman Schachter Shalomi

Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, z”l, included his translation of the prayer Psalms 6 in his Siddur Tehillat Hashem Yidaber Pi (2009). . . .

עלינו | Aleinu, attributed to Abba Arikha (early 3rd cent.), translated by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi

Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, z”l, included his translation of an abridged form of the prayer Aleinu in his Siddur Tehillat Hashem Yidaber Pi (2009). . . .

תהלים כ״ה | Psalms 25, translated by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi z”l

Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, z”l, included his translation of Psalms 25 in his Siddur Tehillat Hashem Yidaber Pi (2009) for days on which Taḥanun is practiced after the morning Amidah. . . .

תהלים ט״ו | Psalms 15, translated by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi

Psalms 15 is read on special days of festive joy in place of Taḥanun. Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, z”l, included his translation of Psalms 15 in his Siddur Tehillat Hashem Yidaber Pi (2009). To the best of my ability, I have set his translation side-by-side with the verses comprising the Psalm. –Aharon N. Varady . . .

נחמו נחמו עמי | Naḥamu, Naḥamu Ami (Comfort, comfort, my people), a piyyut for Tisha b’Aḅ

This beautiful piyyut of unknown authorship is recited in most Sephardic, Mizrahi and Yemenite traditions on Tisha B’ab at Minḥah. In its stanzas, rich and replete with biblical references (as is particularly common in Sephardic Piyyut), God speaks to Jerusalem and promises to comfort her, and comfort and redeem her people. . . .

An Untitled Prayer for Shaḥarit on days without Taḥanun after Psalms 15, by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi (2009)

In his Siddur Tehilat Hashem Yedaber Pi (2009), this untitled teḥinah appears just below Rabbi Zalman Schachter Shalomi’s translation of Psalms 15 (recited on joyful and celebrative days when Taḥanun is not recited) and just above the Psalms of the Day section. We are not certain whether this teḥinah is an original prayer by Reb Zalman, a translation of an existing teḥinah found for Taḥanun, or a composite of teḥinot found in the Taḥanun service. . . .

תהלים | System for the Reading of Psalms on Festivals and Commemorative Days in the Rabbinic Jewish Calendar, by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer

This system attempts to remedy that, selecting psalms that reflects the meaning of the holiday in some way. It includes every single commonly celebrated holiday, including sub-ethnic celebrations like Mimouna or Sigd as well as more recent national holidays like Yom haAtzmaut. It also includes a system for dividing Psalm 119, a massive 176-verse acrostic hymn to Torah, throughout the weeks of the Omer season as a preparation for Sinai. . . .

תהלים ק״ד | Psalms 104, a hymn of creation translated by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi (2009)

Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, z”l, included his translation of “Barkhi Nafshi” (Psalms 104) for Rosh Ḥodesh in his Siddur Tehillat Hashem Yidaber Pi (2009). To the best of my ability, I have set his translation side-by-side with the verses comprising the Psalm. –Aharon N. Varady . . .

A blessing for you if you need one, from Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg

On May 15th, 2018, Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg tweeted this blessing. . . .

בן סירא מב:כא-מג:לא | ben Sira 42:21-43:31, a hymn of creation translated by Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan

Ecclesiasticus (ben Sira) 42:21-43:31 is presented as “God the Lord of Nature” in The Sabbath Prayer Book of Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan (The Reconstructionist Foundation 1945), p. 376-372 in the Supplements subsection, “God in Nature.” The text of Ben Sira used here differs in places found in other manuscripts. . . .

מגילת אנטיוכס עם טעמי מקרא | Megillat Antiokhus, with ta’amei miqra (for cantillation) by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer

Perhaps Megillat Antiokhus could be read a la Esther on Purim (the holiday with the most similarities), going to Eicha trope in the upsetting parts. A few notes: on the final mention of Bagris the Wicked I included a karnei-farah in the manner of the karnei-farah in Esther. I also included a merkha kefulah in the concluding section, which (according to David Weisberg’s “The Rare Accents of the Twenty-Eight Books”) represents aggadic midrash material. It also serves as a connection to the Chanukah haftarah, which is famously the only one that has a merkha kefulah. –Isaac Mayer . . .

מגילת איכה בתרגום אנגלית עם טעמים | The Scroll of Lamentations: Chantable English translation with trope, by Len Fellman

A “transtropilation” of an English translation of Lamentations (Eikhah) by Len Fellman. . . .

For Tisha b’Av : Our Cherished Litany of Loss, by Rabbi Menachem Creditor

“For Tisha be’Av: Our Cherished Litany of Loss” by Rabbi Menachem Creditor was first published on his website, here. . . .

Courage to Withstand the Ridicule of the Worldly, a prayer by Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan (1945)

“Courage to Withstand the Ridicule of the Worldly,” by Rabbi Mordecai Menaḥem Kaplan can be found on p. 433-4 of his The Sabbath Prayer Book (New York: The Jewish Reconstructionist Foundation, 1945). I have adapted the original text of this prayer, replacing “thy” with ‘your’ and “Lord” with ‘YHVH’. –Aharon N. Varady . . .

Us and Them, by Barbara Gish Scult

“Us and Them,” by Barbara Gish Scult was shared by Mel Scult via the Open Siddur Project discussion list on Facebook. . . .

תהלים ק״ד | Psalms 104, a hymn of creation translated by Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan (1945)

Psalms 104, translated by Mordecai Kaplan and presented as “God as Creator and Renewer of Nature” can be found on p. 360-5 of his The Sabbath Prayer Book (New York: The Jewish Reconstructionist Foundation, 1945), the first prayer in a subsection of supplementary prayers called “GOD IN NATURE.” . . .

That Religion Be Not a Cloak for Hypocrisy, by Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan (1945)

“That Religion Be Not a Cloak for Hypocrisy,” by Rabbi Mordecai Menaḥem Kaplan can be found on p. 435-5 of his The Sabbath Prayer Book (New York: The Jewish Reconstructionist Foundation, 1945). . . .

The Pious Man, a prayer-poem by Mordecai Kaplan adapted from the essay “An Analysis of Piety” by Abraham Joshua Heschel (1942)

“The Pious Man” is a prayer-poem from Mordecai Kaplan’s diary entry, September 19, 1942, on the virtue of piety as expressed in an essay published earlier that year by Abraham Joshua Heschel. Piety was a Roman virtue, but in this essay, A.J. Heschel appears to be describing an idealization of Ḥasidut. . . .

איכה פרק ו׳ | Lamentations “chapter 6” in cantilized English, a supplement to public readings of Eikhah by HIAS (2018)

As we prepare to observe Tisha B’Av and commemorate the destruction of Jerusalem that led to the exile of the Jewish people for centuries to come, we are acutely aware that we find ourselves in the midst of the worst refugee crisis in recorded history, with more than 68 million people displaced worldwide. Given these extraordinary numbers, the continued attacks on asylum and the refugee resettlement program in the United States over the last eighteen months are even more inhumane. Of course, we know that the proverbial 10th of Av will come, and we will rise up from our mourning with renewed resolve to support refugees and asylum seekers. First, though, we take time to dwell fully in the mourning demanded by the 9th of Av. We fervently lament the many cruel actions this administration has taken to limit the ability of refugees and asylum seekers to seek safety in our country, and we mourn for lives destroyed and lives lost. . . .

דער נײער קאָלאסוס | The New Collosus, by Emma Lazarus (1883), Yiddish translation by Rachel Kirsch Holtman (1938)

This is the sonnet, “The New Collosus” (1883) by Emma Lazarus set side-by-side with its Yiddish translation by Rachel Kirsch Holtman. Lazarus famously penned her sonnet in response to the waves of Russian-Jewish refugees seeking refuge in the Unites States of America as a result of murderous Russian pogroms following the assassination of Tsar Alexander II in 1881. Her identification and revisioning of the Statue of Liberty as the Mother of Exiles points to the familiar Jewish identification of the Shekhinah (the Divine Presence, in its feminine aspect) with the light of the Jewish people in their Diaspora. . . .

תפילת לשלום ירושלים | Prayer for the Peace of Jerusalem, by Rabbi Eliyahu Yosef She’ar Yashuv Cohen

The “Prayer for the Peace of Jerusalem” by the late chief rabbi of Ḥaifa, Eliyahu Yosef She’ar Yashuv Cohen zt”l (1927-2016), is often included in programs praying for peace in Jerusalem in periods of conflict. . . .

ַתְּפִילַת הַנּוֹטֵע | Prayer for Planting (Trees), by Rabbi Eliyahu Yosef She’ar Yashuv Cohen

This is the prayer for planting trees by the late chief rabbi of Haifa, Eliyahu Yosef She’ar Yashuv Cohen zt”l (1927-2016). . . .

ברכת המזון השלם עם טעמי מקרא | Full Birkat haMazon with Ta’amei haMiqra (cantillation), by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer (Nusaḥ Ashkenaz)

The full Birkat haMazon (or Grace after Meals) according to Nusach Ashkenaz with optional additions for egalitarian rites, fully marked with ta’amei miqra (also known as cantillation marks or trope). Ta’amei miqra originally marked grammar and divisions in any Hebrew sentences, and older Hebrew manuscripts such as those from the Cairo Geniza often show ta’amei miqra on all sorts of texts, not just the Biblical texts we associate them with today. This text includes the full tradition for Birkat haMazon, including texts for weekdays, Shabbatot, and festivals, as well as additions for a wedding meal, a circumcision meal, and a meal in a mourner’s house. . . .

תפילת ”על הנסים“ חדשה ליום י״ז בתמוז | Al Hanissim for 17 Tamuz, by Rav Ḥanan Schlesinger

Proposed flag of the Judenstaat (Jewish State) by Theodor Herzl. As he wrote: "White field, seven golden stars."

An Al Hanissim supplement for Sheva Asar b’Tamuz that acknowledges the fast day in light of the apparent achievements of the State of Israel, post-1948. . . .

תפילה קודם קריאת פרשת אחרי מות | Prayer to be Recited Before the Reading of Parashat Aḥarei Mōt, by Rabbi Steven Greenberg

A prayer to recognize lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer-identifying folk before reading Parshat Aḥarei Mot (Leviticus 16:1–18:30) in the synagogue. . . .

Prayer of the Guest Chaplain of the U.S. Senate: Rabbi Harold Kravitz on 9 June 2015

The Opening Prayer given in the U.S. Senate on 9 June 2015. . . .

Prayer of the Guest Chaplain of the U.S. House of Representatives: Rabbi Claudio Kogan on 10 June 2015

The Opening Prayer given in the U.S. House of Representatives on 10 June 2015. . . .

Prayer of the Guest Chaplain of the U.S. Senate: Rabbi Yosef Greenberg on 3 February 2016

The Opening Prayer given in the U.S. Senate on 3 February 2016. . . .

Prayer of the Guest Chaplain of the U.S. House of Representatives: Rabbi John Linder on 22 March 2016

The Opening Prayer given in the U.S. House of Representatives on 22 March 2016. . . .

Prayer of the Guest Chaplain of the U.S. House of Representatives: Rabbi Jay Weinstein on 17 May 2016

The Opening Prayer given in the U.S. House of Representatives on 17 May 2016. . . .

Prayer of the Guest Chaplain of the U.S. House of Representatives: Rabbi Arnold E. Resnicoff on 18 July 2016

The Opening Prayer given in the U.S. House of Representatives on 18 July 2016. . . .

Prayer of the Guest Chaplain of the U.S. House of Representatives: Rabbi Shea Hecht on 30 November 2016

The Opening Prayer given in the U.S. House of Representatives on 30 November 2016. . . .

Newly Huddled Tender Masses: A Prayer for Children, by Rabbi Menachem Creditor

A plea to not become numb in the face of overwhelming cruelty. . . .

Prayer of the Guest Chaplain of the U.S. House of Representatives: Rabbi Mark Schiftan on 20 June 2018

The Opening Prayer given in the U.S. House of Representatives on 20 June 2018. . . .

מי שברך על קבלת שם עברי | Mi Sheberakh on Receiving a Hebrew Name as an Adult

The names of our ancestors reflect the diverse tapestry of experiences and cultures they encountered including the names of those who joined our families from neighboring people and regional societies. In giving and receiving Hebrew names, we honor the names of all our ancestors whose “names may be remembered for a blessing” (zekher livrakha). Of the ancestors mentioned in the mi sheberakh (“May the one who blessed our forefathers and foremothers…”), I wanted to make certain to include Mordekhai and Esther, names of figures distinguished in their being both native to their Diasporan roots (Marduk and Ishtar), as well as elevated by the heroic, brave action of their namesakes. If there are figures from the Tanakh that are important to you, that are a kesher (connection) between you and the identity contained within our stories, then please feel free to include them in your mi sheberakh. –Aharon Nissn ben Adrienne & David (ﬡַﬣֲﬧֹן ניסן בֶּן עײﬢﬧען וְﬢַוִﬢ) . . .

Prayer of the Guest Chaplain of the U.S. House of Representatives: Rabbi Steven I. Rein on 12 June 2018

The Opening Prayer given in the U.S. House of Representatives on 12 June 2018. . . .

העמידה לימות החל עם טעמי המקרא‎ | Weekday Amidah and Kaddish with Ta’amei haMiqra (cantillation), by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer (Nusaḥ Ashkenaz)

The full Weekday Amidah (or Eighteen Blessings), according to Nusach Ashkenaz with optional additions for egalitarian rites or for within Israel, fully marked with ta’amei miqra (also known as cantillation marks or trope). Ta’amei miqra originally marked grammar and divisions in any Hebrew sentences, and older Hebrew manuscripts such as those from the Cairo Geniza often show ta’amei miqra on all sorts of texts, not just the Biblical texts we associate them with today. This text has the Eighteen Blessings (which number nineteen) of the weekday Amidah, and is suitable to use as a text for any standard weekday service. Note: this does not include any of the pre- or post-Amidah texts, such as Ashrei, Kriyat Shema, Tachanun, or Aleinu. It also doesn’t include additions for festivals, fast days, or the Days of Repentance. Those may be coming in the future, though! . . .

הודאה לפני התרגיל | Prayer of Gratitude Before Exercise, by Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz

If it is a mitsvah to guard our lives and strengthen our bodies in service of our holy mission, then there should be a brakhah (blessing) before we start a session of vigorous activity; any excuse to add blessings to our day is a wonderful opportunity for personal growth! . . .

Prayer of the Guest Chaplain of the U.S. House of Representatives: Rabbi Aaron Krupnick on 6 June 2018

The Opening Prayer given in the U.S. House of Representatives on 6 June 2018. . . .

Needed Prophets for Our Day, a prayer-poem by Mordecai Kaplan (1942) adapted from “The Divinity School Address” by Ralph Waldo Emerson

This prayer by Rabbi Mordecai M. Kaplan, first penned in his diary for 23 August 1942, was first published in The Radical American Judaism of Mordecai M. Kaplan, by Mel Scult (1990). Although the prayer was not included in Kaplan’s Sabbath Prayer Book (New York: The Jewish Reconstructionist Foundation, 1945), it was added to the loose-leaf prayerbook he kept at the Society for the Advancement of Judaism synagogue. . . .

Prayer of the Guest Chaplain of the U.S. House of Representatives: Rabbi Hannah Spiro on 29 May 2018

The Opening Prayer given in the U.S. House of Representatives on 29 May 2018. . . .

תפילת נחם לשלם בירושלם | Tefilat Naḥem for the Peace of Jerusalem on Tisha b’Av, by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer

On Tisha be’Av, Jewish communities all over the world add a paragraph called Tefilat Naḥem (the prayer of comfort) to the standard daily Amidah (either for the afternoon service or for all services) praying for a return to Jerusalem. The traditional text discusses Jerusalem being defiled, in the hands of the idol worshipers, putting our people to the sword. But post-1967, Jerusalem has been under Israeli control, and this text has, to many people, felt no longer appropriate in the face of a Jerusalem being rebuilt. Many have written their own versions of a new Tefilat Naḥem for a Jerusalem under Israeli control, but I have felt dissatisfied with a lot of these. Some treat Jerusalem as already fully redeemed, which any glance at the news tells you isn’t the case. Others treat the major step in redeeming Jerusalem as building the Temple, but this seems to me to be only one eschatological part of a larger hope for Jerusalem. Jews have often considered the peace of Jerusalem to be a microcosm of the peace of all the earth. Thus for the Shabbat and Yom Tov Hashkivenu we pray for God to “spread the shelter of peace over us, all Israel, and Jerusalem.” The name Jerusalem, ירושלים, has been analyzed as “they will see peace” יראו שלום, since the peace of Jerusalem means all will see peace. But it’s clear that the peace of Jerusalem is not final or eternal, and it remains a city on the edge of a knife. So my version of Tefilat Naḥem prays not for a return, nor for a Temple, but for the peace of Jerusalem. It can be used at the same time as the standard Tefilat Naḥem (as an extension of the Birkat Yerushalayim in the Shmoneh Esreh for Tisha b’Av) or on its own. Thus I used four asterisks (a tetrapuncta) instead of God’s name, for those who would prefer to avoid a b’rakhah levatalah. Those who would prefer to use this blessing in the Amidah itself could replace the tetrapuncta with the name itself. . . .

ליקוטי תפילות חלק א תפילה לז | Likutei Tefilot I:37, by Reb Nosson Steinhartz of Nemirov (early 19th century)

Reb Nosson’s Likutei Tefillot I:37 contains teḥinot derived from Rebbe Naḥman’s Likutei Moharan I:§37. . . .

תפילה בין השריפות | Abridged Prayer Between the Fires (between the 32nd and 42nd days of the Omer, neohasid.org)

“Between the Fires” by Rabbi David Seidenberg, originally published at neohasid.org, is derived from the prayer of Rabbi Arthur Waskow (the Shalom Center), “Between the Fires: A Prayer for lighting Candles of Commitment” which draws on traditional midrash about the danger of a Flood of Fire, and the passage from Malachi. Another version of this prayer by Rabbi David Seidenberg, “A Prayer between the Fires (between the 32nd and 42nd days of the Omer)” is available, here. . . .

כוונה להדליק נרות | Between the Fires: A Kavvanah for Lighting Candles of Commitment, by Rabbi Arthur Waskow (the Shalom Center)

“Between the Fires: A Prayer for lighting Candles of Commitment” was composed by Rabbi Arthur Waskow, drawing on traditional midrash about the danger of a Flood of Fire, and the passage from Malachi. . . .

Prayer of the Guest Chaplain of the U.S. Senate: Rabbi Barry Block on 31 January 2017

The Opening Prayer given in the U.S. Senate on 31 January 2017. . . .

Prayer of the Guest Chaplain of the U.S. House of Representatives: Rabbi Sanford Akselrad on 28 March 2017

The Opening Prayer given in the U.S. House of Representatives on 28 March 2017. . . .


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