תפילה להתחדש | A Prayer for Renewal, by Hillel Zeitlin

Source (Hebrew) Translation (English)

אֲבִי־כׇל־בָּאֵי עוֹלָם.
אַתָּה בוֹרֵא אֶת־עוֹלָמְךָ בְּכׇל־מְעוּף־עָֽיִן.
אִם כְּהֶֽרֶף־עַֽיִן תָּסִיר אֶת־חֶֽסֶד יְצִירָתֶֽךָ.
וְהָיָה הַכֹּל אַֽיִן וָאָֽפֶס׃
Father of all that are born.
You create your world anew every moment.
Would you but for a moment withhold your creative love,
The whole universe would come to an end.

אֲבָל אַתָּה מֵרִיק עַל־יְצִירֶֽיךָ צִנּוֹרֵי בְרָכָה בְּכָל־רֶֽגַע וַרֶֽגַע.
But you pour out your blessings on your creatures every instant.

וְעוֹד פַּֽעַם יוֹפִיעוּ כּוֹכְבֵי־שַֽׁחַר וְשָׁרוּ שִׁירַת־אַהֲבָה לְפָנֶֽיךָ.
וְעוֹד פַּֽעַם יֵצֵא שֶֽׁמֶשׁ בִּגְבוּרָתוֹ וְשָׁר שִׁירַת־עֹז לְפָנֶֽיךָ.
So the morning stars renew their song of love to you;
The sun in its might keeps singing its song of strength to you.

וְעוֹד פַּֽעַם יָשִֽׁירוּ מַלְאָכִים שִׁירַת־קֹדֶשׁ לְפָנֶֽיךָ.
וְעוֹד פַּֽעַם תָּשַֽׁרְנָה נְשָׁמוֹת שִׁירַת־צִמָּאוֹן לְפָנֶֽיךָ.
The angels chant over and over their song of holiness to you;
The souls of mortals repeat the song of their thirst for you.

וְעוֹד פַּֽעַם יָשִֽׁירוּ עֲשָׂבִים שִׁירַת־גַּעְגּוּעִים לְפָנֶֽיךָ.
וְעוֹד פַּֽעַם תָּשַֽׁרְנָה צִפֲּרִים שִׁירַת־גִּיל לְפָנֶֽיךָ.
The blades of grass take up the tune of their yearning for you;
The birds keep chirping and twittering their carols of joy to you.

וְעוֹד פַּֽעַם יִתְעַטְּפוּ אִילָנוֹת כְּשְׁלִיחֵי צִבּוּר לְפָנֶֽיךָ.
וְעוֹד פַּֽעַם יִלְחַשׁ מַעְיָן אֶת־תְּפִלָּתוֹ לְפָנֶֽיךָ.
The trees wrap themselves in their talit of leaves and offer their worship to you;
The fountains in whispered cadences murmur their prayer to you.

וְעוֹד פַּֽעַם יַעֲטֹף עָנִי וְשָׁפַךְ אֶת־שִׂיחוֹ לְפָנֶֽיךָ.
וְעוֹד פַּֽעַם נִשְׁמָתוֹ־תְפִלָּתוֹ בּוֹקַֽעַת רְקִיעֶֽיךָ בַּעֲלוֹתָהּ לְפָנֶֽיךָ.
And the voice of one, poor and crushed, pours forth his plaint to you,
And lo, the soul of his prayer cleaves a path through the heavens to you;

וְעוֹד פַּֽעַם פּוֹר יִתְפּוֹרֵר גֵּווֹ מֵאֵימַת כְּבוֹדֶךָ.
וְעוֹד פַּֽעַם עֵינוֹ נְשׁוּאָה אֵלֶֽיךָ׃
And, though bent his back ’neath the weight of awe at your majesty,
His eye is uplifted to you.

רַק קַו אֶחָד מֵאוֹרְךָ וְהָיִֽיתִי חֲדוּר אוֹרָה.
רַק דָּבָר אֶחָד מִדְּבָרֶֽיךָ וְקַמְתִּי לִתְחִיָּה.
Turn on me but one ray of your light and, lo, I am steeped in light;
Let but one word issue from you and I rise resurrected;

רַק תְּנוּעָה אַחַת מֵחַיֵּי נִצְחֶֽךָ וְהָיִֽיתִי רְווּי טַל־יַלְדּוּת.
But one throb of your life eternal and I am drenched in the dew of youth.

הֲלֹא אַתָּה בוֹרֵא הַכֹּל מֵחָדָשׁ.
בְּרָא־נָא אָבִי אוֹתִי יַלְדְּךָ מֵחָדָשׁ.
Do you not continually renew your creation, O my Father?
Take me your child and make me over.

נְשֹׁם בִּי מִנִּשְׁמַת אַפֶּֽיךָ וְחָיִֽיתִי חַיִּים חֲדָשִׁים.
חַיֵּי יַלְדּוּת חֲדָשָׁה׃
Breathe your spirit into me that I may live, that I may start life afresh
With childhood’s unbounded promise.

This prayer by Hillel Zeitlin was published as “That We Be Reborn” with an English translation by Eugene Kohn in the Sabbath Prayer Book (Jewish Reconstructionist Foundation 1945) of Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan. The prayer is undated and likely was published earlier and elsewhere. (I have provided the title for the prayer as it appears here at the Open Siddur Project, “תפילה להתחדש | A Prayer for Renewal/to be renewed.”) If you have more information on the original publication of this prayer, please contact us or leave a comment.

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