בסיעתא דשמיא

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, by Rabbi Mordecai M. Kaplan in the name of Ralph Waldo Emerson (1942)

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. . . .

Prayer of the Guest Chaplain of the U.S. House of Representatives: Rabbi Richard Boruch Rabinowitz on 3 May 2017

The Opening Prayer given in the U.S. House of Representatives on 3 May 2017. . . .

Prayer of the Guest Chaplain of the U.S. House of Representatives: Rabbi Thomas A. Louchheim on 17 May 2017

The Opening Prayer given in the U.S. House of Representatives on 17 May 2017. . . .

Prayer of the Guest Chaplain of the U.S. House of Representatives: Rabbi Hershel Lutch on 21 June 2017

The Opening Prayer given in the U.S. House of Representatives on 21 June2017. . . .

Prayer of the Guest Chaplain of the U.S. House of Representatives: Rabbi Gary Klein on 27 June 2017

The Opening Prayer given in the U.S. House of Representatives on 27 June2017. . . .

Prayer of the Guest Chaplain of the U.S. House of Representatives: Rabbi Arnold E. Resnicoff on 18 August 2017

The Opening Prayer given in the U.S. House of Representatives on 18 August 2017 . . .

Prayer of the Guest Chaplain of the U.S. House of Representatives: Rabbi Arnold E. Resnicoff on 1 September 2017

The Opening Prayer given in the U.S. House of Representatives on 1 September 2017. . . .

Prayer of the Guest Chaplain of the U.S. House of Representatives: Rabbi David-Seth Kirshner on 24 October 2017

The Opening Prayer given in the U.S. House of Representatives on 24 October 2017. . . .

Prayer of the Guest Chaplain of the U.S. House of Representatives: Rabbi Mara Nathan on 19 January 2018

The Opening Prayer given in the U.S. House of Representatives on 19 January 2018. . . .

Prayer of the Guest Chaplain of the U.S. Senate: Rabbi Seth H. Frisch on 27 February 2018

The Opening Prayer given in the U.S. Senate on 27 February 2018. . . .

Prayer of the Guest Chaplain of the U.S. House of Representatives: Rabbi Shlomo Segal on 25 April 2018

The Opening Prayer given in the U.S. House of Representatives on 25 April 2018. . . .

תפילה לנספים בשטפונות | Prayer for Flood Victims (Masorti Movement in Israel)

Flash floods are dangerous in every season, but are rare in the dry season, after most rain and snow are thought to have fallen. Changes in the global climate due to global warming caused by anthropogenic activities such as the burning of fossil fuels and the conversion of land for raising animals for their meat is a significant contributor to extreme weather experienced around the world. The Masorti Movement of Israel’s prayer for flood victims was first published on their website, here. . . .

መጽሐፈ ኩፋሌ | ספר היובלים | Sefer haYovelim (the book of Jubilees, in Ge’ez) chapters 24-50

Continued from the book of Jubilees Chapters 1-23. The book of Jubilees is an early Jewish deuterocanonical text composed in Hebrew during the Second Temple period sometime before the Maccabean struggle (ca. 167 BCE). . . .

תפילת הדרך | Tefilat haDerekh, a prayer for peace (trans. Rabbi David Seidenberg, neohasid.org)

In this Tefilat haDerekh (the prayer for travel), I’ve made a synthesis of Ashkenazi and Sefardi nusaḥ. Even though the translation is pretty close to literal in most places, it comes across as an extraordinary and activist prayer for peace. So I think of this prayer not just as a prayer for the beginning a physical journey, but for any spiritual journey, and especially for any campaign or action for justice and peace that a person or group might undertake. When applied to activism, the “enmity and ambush and theft and predation” we ask to be rescued from could also be interpreted as hatred, deceit, jealousy, and aggression, i.e., the kinds of feelings that cause people to work against each other, even within an organization, instead of working together. I first used this version of the prayer at the beginning of a tour of Israel and Palestine focused on the human rights and non-violent resistance, when the group passed through the first checkpoint of the trip. . . .

תְּחִנָה לְשַׁבָּת מְבָרְכִים רֹאשׁ חוֺדֶשׁ אִיָיר | Tkhine for Shabbat Mevorkhim Rosh Ḥodesh Iyyar (1877)

To the best of my ability, this is a faithful transcription of the תְּחִנָה לְשַׁבָּת מְבָרְכִים רֹאשׁ חוֺדֶשׁ אִיָיר (“Tkhine for Shabbat Mevorkhim Rosh Ḥodesh Iyyar”) which appeared in תחנות מקרא קודש (Teḥinot Miqra Qodesh, Widow and Brothers Romm, Vilna 1877). English translation adapted slightly from Techinas: A Voice from the Heart “As Only A Woman Can Pray” by Rivka Zakutinsky (Aura Press, 1992). –A.N. Varady . . .

Kavvanah between Lag BaOmer and Yom Keshet (the 42nd day of the Omer), by Rabbi David Seidenberg (neohasid.org)

This is a prayer to be read between the 18th and the 27th of Iyyar (בין י״ח ו-כ״ז באייר), between the 33rd (ל״ג) and 42nd (מ״ב) days of the Omer. . . .

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

This is a prayer to be read between the 17th and the 27th of Iyyar (בין י״ז ו-כ״ז באייר), between the 32nd (ל״ב) and 42nd (מ״ב) days of the Omer. . . .

תפילת הנוטע | Prayer for a Tree Planting, by Zeev Kainan (2018)

This prayer for planting was composed by Zeev Kainan for Tu biShvat (2018) for the Masorti Movement for Conservative Judaism in Israel. . . .

תפילה לשלום המדינה | Prayer for the Peace of the State of Israel, by Rabbi David Seidenberg (neohasid.org)

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

The familiar prayer for the State of Israel, which is more literally titled “a Prayer for Peace for the State” tefilah lish’lom hamedinah, was written in 1948 by Rabbi Yitsḥak haLevi Hertzog (edited by S.Y. Agnon) in what had up until then been Palestine, in a time of war. The state was under direct attack by the Arab armies, and there was little distinction between peace, survival, and victory. As we approach Israel’s 70th birthday, it is time to make such distinctions. Israel and the Jewish people live in a much more complex reality today, where the triumph of one political party or set of goals can radically change the outlook for peace, and the possibility of justice. In our time, praying for peace for the state of Israel mist include praying for the rectification of its relationships with neighboring countries and with the Palestinian people, some of whom are Israeli citizens, and most of whom are in some way under Israel’s control. This prayer assumes that the best reality for the Jewish state is also the best reality for all of her citizens and for everyone who lives “in the land,” no matter where they are in relation to the Green Line or Areas A, B and C. . . .

סֵדֶר לְיוֹם הַשׁוֹאָה | Seder for Yom haSho’ah, by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer

The most traumatic event in recent Jewish history is the Holocaust. At this time, the survivors of the camps are aging, and in the lifespan of people alive today it is likely that the last survivor will die. We say we must never forget what happened during the Holocaust, but if we think of it as a tragedy that happened to our ancestors we will forget. But it has been 3000 years since the Exodus from Egypt, and the Haggadah keeps its history vivid and alive. We are taught that in each and every generation we are to think of ourselves as having been slaves in Egypt. May it be that just as we never forgot the wonders of the Exodus, so too we never forget the horrors of the Holocaust, and continue to strive that such horrors may never happen again until all live in freedom and peace. . . .

תפילת הדרך באניית הכוכבים | Prayer for Going on a Starship Voyage, by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer

A prayer, inspired by Tefilat haDerekh and other traditional liturgical texts, for a Jew who, at some future point, would be about to go forth on a starship. Doesn’t include a chatimah so as not to be a brakhah levatalah, in the case that starships are (chas v’shalom) never invented. . . .

תהלים | Reading of Psalms for the Weekly Portion, by Isaac Gantwerk-Mayer

This is a system that seeks to create a Haftarah-like system for the reading of Psalms, linking their meaning to the meaning of the reading or the Shabbat of that day. Like the Haftarah system, there are special psalms for the Shabbatot leading up to and following the Ninth of Av, as well as specific psalms for Rosh Chodesh and the special Shabbatot. Unlike the Haftarah system, if two portions are read together or a special Shabbat occurs on a day when another reading is done, both psalms are read (since psalms are generally shorter and easier to read than prophetic texts.) . . .

תְּפִילַּת הַנּוֹטֵעַ | Prayer for a Tree Planting on Tu biShvat, by Rav Ben-Tsiyon Meir Ḥai Uziel (before 1942)

This is the תפילת הנוטע (Prayer for Planting [trees]) by Rabbi Ben-Zion Meir Ḥai Uziel. . . .

Méditation Pour Le Jeudi | Meditation for Thursday (the Fifth Day), by R’ Arnaud Aron and Jonas Ennery (1848), translated to English by Isaac Leeser (1863)

To the best of my ability, this is a faithful transcription of a teḥinah (supplicatory prayer) composed in parallel to the Prayer for Thursday, following in the paraliturgical tradition of Yiddish tkhines, albeit written in French. . . .

ראש חדש | Au Renouvellememt Du Mois | At the New Moon, by Arnaud Aron and Jonas Ennery (1848), translated to English by Isaac Leeser (1863)

To the best of my ability, this is a faithful transcription of a teḥinah (supplicatory prayer) composed in parallel to the Prayer for the New Moon, following in the paraliturgical tradition of Yiddish tkhines, albeit written in French. . . .


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