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

Hebrew English

אָבִינוּ שֶׁבַּשָּׁמַֽיִם, רִבּוֹן כׇּל הָעוֹלָמִים,
מוֹנֶ֣ה מִ֭סְפָּר לַכּוֹכָבִ֑ים לְ֝כֻלָּ֗ם שֵׁמ֥וֹת יִקְרָֽא,
הִנְנִי מוּכָן לַעֲלוֹת בְּאֳנִיַּת הַכּוֹכָבִים.
גָּלֽוּי וְיָדֽוּעַ לְפָנֶֽיךָ,
נוֹטֶ֣ה שָׁמַיִם֮ וְיֹסֵ֣ד אָרֶץ֒,
שֶׁאֵין אֲנַֽחְנוּ מַפְסִיקִים לִנְסֹֽעַ וְלָנֽוּעַ בְּחָלָל הָאַֽיִן
אִֽלּוּ שָׁם נָסַֽעְנוּ בִּלְעָדֶֽיךָ,
כִּי עַל בָּמוֹתֵֽיךָ מַדְרִיכֵֽנוּ אָֽתָּה,
כִּי אֵל שׁוֹמֵר אֶת נֶֽפֶשׁ־כׇּל־חָי אָֽתָּה׃
Our Ancestor in Heaven, Master of all worlds,
Who counts the number of stars, and to each calls by name,[1]Psalm 147:4 
Here I am, prepared to ascend on a starship.
It is well known before You,
Who stretches out the skies and makes firm the earth,[2]Isaiah 51:13 
That we are insufficient to travel and to move in the void of nothingness
Were we to travel there without You.
For upon Your heights leading us are You,
For a God who guards the soul of all life are You.

וּבְכֵן,
יְהִי רָצוֹן מִלְפָנֶֽיךָ,
יהוה אֱלֹהֵֽינוּ וֵאלֹהֵֽי אֲבוֹתֵֽינוּ,
שֶׁתַּעֲלֵֽינוּ בְּשָׁלוֹם וְתִּמְשְׁכֵֽינוּ בְּשָׁלוֹם
וְתַגִּיעֵֽנוּ לִמְקוֹם נְחִיתָתֵֽנוּ
בְחַיִּים וּבְשִׂמְחָה וּבְשָׁלוֹם,
And thus,
May it be Your will,
YHVH (haShem/Adonai) our God and God of our ancestors,
that You bring us up in peace and You pull us in peace
And You lead us to our landing-place
In life and in joy and in peace

וְתַצִּילֵֽנוּ מִכׇּל־צָרָה וְסַכָּנָה,
מֵחוּצָנִים רָעִים וּמִיֵּשֻׁיּוֹת רָעוֹת,
And You save us from all trouble and danger,
From evil extraterrestrials and hostile intelligences,

וְתִשְׁלַח בְּרָכָה וְהַצְלָחָה
בְּכׇל־מַעֲשֵׂה יָדֵֽינוּ,
And You send blessing and safety
Upon all the work of Your hands,

וְתִתְּנֵֽנוּ לְחֵן וּלְחֶֽסֶד וּלְרַחֲמִים
בְּעֵינֶֽיךָ וּבְעֵינֵי כׇל־רֹאֵֽינוּ,
And You allow us grace and mercy and lovingkindness
In Your eyes and in the eyes of all who see us,

וְתִשְׁמַע קוֹל תַּחֲנוּנֵֽינוּ.
כִּי אל שׁוֹמֵֽעַ תְּפִלָּה וְתַחֲנוּן אָֽתָּה.
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה שׁוֹמֵעַ תְּפִלָּה׃
And You hear the sound of our petitions,
For a God who hears prayer and petition are You.
Blessed are You, who hears prayer.

יוֹמָ֗ם הַשֶּׁ֥מֶשׁ לֹֽא־יַכֶּ֗כָּה
וְיָרֵ֥חַ בַּלָּֽיְלָה׃ (ג׳ פעמים)
By day the Sun will not strike you,
Nor the Moon by night. (3x)

יְֽהוָ֗ה יִשְׁמָרְךָ֥ מִכׇּל־רָ֑ע
יִ֝שְׁמֹ֗ר אֶת־נַפְשֶֽׁךָ׃ (ג׳ פעמים)
YHVH will guard you from all evil,
Will guard your life. (3x)

יְֽהוָ֗ה יִשְׁמׇר־צֵאתְךָ֥ וּבוֹאֶ֑ךָ
מֵֽ֝עַתָּ֗ה וְעַד־עוֹלָֽם׃ (ג׳ פעמים)
YHVH will guard your going and coming
Now and forevermore. (3x)[3]Psalm 121:6-8 

וַיֵּצֵ֥א יַעֲקֹ֖ב מִבְּאֵ֣ר שָׁ֑בַע וַיֵּ֖לֶךְ חָרָֽנָה׃ וַיִּפְגַּ֨ע בַּמָּק֜וֹם וַיָּ֤לֶן שָׁם֙ כִּי־בָ֣א הַשֶּׁ֔מֶשׁ וַיִּקַּח֙ מֵאַבְנֵ֣י הַמָּק֔וֹם וַיָּ֖שֶׂם מְרַֽאֲשֹׁתָ֑יו וַיִּשְׁכַּ֖ב בַּמָּק֥וֹם הַהֽוּא׃ וַֽיַּחֲלֹ֗ם וְהִנֵּ֤ה סֻלָּם֙ מֻצָּ֣ב אַ֔רְצָה וְרֹאשׁ֖וֹ מַגִּ֣יעַ הַשָּׁמָ֑יְמָה וְהִנֵּה֙ מַלְאֲכֵ֣י אֱלֹהִ֔ים עֹלִ֥ים וְיֹרְדִ֖ים בּֽוֹ׃ וְהִנֵּ֨ה יְהוָ֜ה נִצָּ֣ב עָלָיו֮ וַיֹּאמַר֒ אֲנִ֣י יְהוָ֗ה אֱלֹהֵי֙ אַבְרָהָ֣ם אָבִ֔יךָ וֵאלֹהֵ֖י יִצְחָ֑ק הָאָ֗רֶץ אֲשֶׁ֤ר אַתָּה֙ שֹׁכֵ֣ב עָלֶ֔יהָ לְךָ֥ אֶתְּנֶ֖נָּה וּלְזַרְעֶֽךָ׃ וְהָיָ֤ה זַרְעֲךָ֙ כַּעֲפַ֣ר הָאָ֔רֶץ וּפָרַצְתָּ֛ יָ֥מָּה וָקֵ֖דְמָה וְצָפֹ֣נָה וָנֶ֑גְבָּה וְנִבְרֲכ֥וּ בְךָ֛ כָּל־מִשְׁפְּחֹ֥ת הָאֲדָמָ֖ה וּבְזַרְעֶֽךָ׃ וְהִנֵּ֨ה אָנֹכִ֜י עִמָּ֗ךְ וּשְׁמַרְתִּ֙יךָ֙ בְּכֹ֣ל אֲשֶׁר־תֵּלֵ֔ךְ וַהֲשִׁ֣בֹתִ֔יךָ אֶל־הָאֲדָמָ֖ה הַזֹּ֑את כִּ֚י לֹ֣א אֶֽעֱזָבְךָ֔ עַ֚ד אֲשֶׁ֣ר אִם־עָשִׂ֔יתִי אֵ֥ת אֲשֶׁר־דִּבַּ֖רְתִּי לָֽךְ׃ וַיִּיקַ֣ץ יַעֲקֹב֮ מִשְּׁנָתוֹ֒ וַיֹּ֕אמֶר אָכֵן֙ יֵ֣שׁ יְהוָ֔ה בַּמָּק֖וֹם הַזֶּ֑ה וְאָנֹכִ֖י לֹ֥א יָדָֽעְתִּי׃
And Jacob left Be’er Sheba and went to Ḥaranah. And he encountered a place and stayed the night there, and the sun went away, and he took one of the stones at that place and he put it under his head, and he lay down at that place. And he had a dream – behold! A ladder was set on the ground and its head went up to the heavens, and behold! messengers of Elohim were going up and down on it. And behold! YHVH, standing upon it, and He said, “I am YHVH, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac; the earth upon which you lie I give to you and to Your seed. And your seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and you shall spread to the west and east and north and south, and all the families of the land shall bless themselves by you and your seed. Behold, I am with you, and I will protect you everywhere you go and I will return you to this land; yea, I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised to you.” And Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, “Wow! There is YHVH in this place, and I, I was unaware!”[4]Genesis 28:10-16

וַיִּירָא֙ וַיֹּאמַ֔ר
מַה־נּוֹרָ֖א הַמָּק֣וֹם הַזֶּ֑ה
אֵ֣ין זֶ֗ה כִּ֚י אִם־בֵּ֣ית אֱלֹהִ֔ים
וְזֶ֖ה שַׁ֥עַר הַשָּׁמָֽיִם׃
And he was awed and said,
“How awesome is this place!
This is none other than the abode of Elohim –
this is the gate to the heavens!”[5]Genesis 28:17 

לֵ֣ית דֵּ֗ין
אֲתַר֙ הֶדְי֣וֹט אֶלָהֵ֔ין
אֲתַר֙ דְּרַעֲוָא־בֵ֣הּ מִן־קֳדָם־יְ֔יָ
וְדֵ֖ין תְּרַ֥ע קֳבֵל־שְׁמַיָּֽא׃ (ג׳ פעמים)
And he was awed and said,
“How awesome is this place!
This is none other than the abode of YHVH –
this is the gate to the heavens!” (3x)[6]Targum Genesis 28:17 

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.

Though written largely in jest/as an experiment, I was still somewhat moved when writing this, so I’ve dedicated it to the memory of the great Leonard Nimoy z”l.

Source

Download Prayer-for-going-on-a-starship-voyage-Isaac-Gantwerk-Mayer-2018.pdf (PDF, 56KB)

Notes   [ + ]

  1. Psalm 147:4
  2. Isaiah 51:13
  3. Psalm 121:6-8
  4. Genesis 28:10-16
  5. Genesis 28:17
  6. Targum Genesis 28:17

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