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[Prayer for] Rebirth, by Rabbi Avraham Samuel Soltes (ca. 1950s)

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O God of the fragrant flower
and the flickering leaf:
We call upon Thy Name,
at this renascent season,
when Thy life-giving spirit
quickens the silent earth,
and our cold, slumbering world
is born anew
in the golden glory
of jonquils and forsythia.

Help us,
the humble denizens
of this earth,
O Lord,
to find rebirth of hope and meaning
in our lives,
at this season,
to see the world with new-born eyes,
to believe deeply
that life and rapture
can begin again
for those whose faith
matches their need.

For
is not this,
O Father,
Thy first commandment
to us,
the Children of Israel:
“I am the Lord,
Thy God,
Who brought thee
out of the land of Egypt,
out of the house
of bondage?”[1]cf. Exodus 20:2.

If our fathers,
sunken in the mire of Egyptian slavery
for four hundred years
could find
in Thee,
the strength and the inspiration
to cast off the maiming manacles
that slashed their wrists and ankles
and surge forth to freedom
on that memorable spring night
thirty two hundred years ago,
then, surely,
no creature is so lowly,
no lot so hopeless,
that we cannot,
with Thy help,
find in it
new blessing,
and new cause for adoration.

Open our eyes,
O Lord,
to Thy wondrous works,
that we may discern Thee in our lives
each day,
and behold the world,
each morning,
as fresh
and burgeoning with hope
as it was to Noaḥ and his clan
after weeks of endless storm,
when the sun smiled over the
earth again
in a golden dawn.

Praised be Thou,
O Lord,
who bringest forth
the bread of life
from the dust
of the languid earth.
Amen.

Rabbi Abraham Soltes’s “[Prayer for] Rebirth” is an undated prayer published in his collection of prayers, תפלה Invocation: A Sheaf Of Prayers (Bloch 1959). The earliest prayer in that collection dates to 1950 and we are confident this prayer can be dated between that year and the date of publication.

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Notes[ + ]

1.  cf. Exodus 20:2.

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