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[Prayer] in Illness, by Rabbi Avraham Samuel Soltes (ca. 1950s)

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O Thou still, small voice
whose love
is the heart of the universe,
my whispering soul
seeks the rhythm of Thy heartbeat,
that
in its reverberating concords
it may find strength and serenity.

When I behold Thy heavens,
O Lord,
the glories of Thy creation,
what am I
that Thou shouldst hear my whispers,
who am I
that my murmuring
should touch Thy spirit?
Yet, I know
that
the light which fires the stars,
the heat which warms the sun
is the light of my beloved’s eyes,
the warmth of his spirit’s embrace.

For Thou hast made man in Thine image
And crowned him with Thy glory:
–the glory of mind
that perceives the wonders of the universe;
–the glory of heart
that hears Thy music in the wind
and sees Thy smile in the rosebud;
–the glory of spirit
that speaks from soul to soul
binding one to another
with the sustaining rapture of love.

In all these ways
have I felt
the crowning glory of Thy
presence, Lord,
the loving touch of Thy hand,
the tender voice of Thy concern.
I know, then,
that Thou art with me, now,
as I entrust myself
to the skill of those
upon whom Thou hast bestowed
Thy healing wisdom.
Be Thou with them
in their art,
and guide their heads and hands
that I may be restored in health
and strength
to continue Thy work–
refracting
into dim and harried lives
the rays of Thy warming light.

Sustain the spirits
of those who love me
that they may have faith
in Thy divine judgment,
for it is their boundless love
that strengthens my faith in Thee.

O God,
who hast given us rain for our bodies
and added rainbows for our souls,
wheat for our sustenance
and flowers for our spirit,
and to the necessary embrace of breeding
hast bestowed the fiery ecstasy of love,
be gracious also unto us
at this hour,
beyond our deserving.

Into Thy hand
I commit my spirit;
For Thy salvation, I hope,
O Lord.
Amen.

Rabbi Abraham Soltes’s “[Prayer] in Illness” 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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