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A Rosh haShanah Amidah, by Trisha Arlin


Contribute a translationSource (English)

I open my mouth, I open my heart.
I speak praise, hope and thanks.
I speak the Ancient Prayer:

God of my childhood faith, of my adult skepticism
God of the mystics, of the philosophers
God of our ancestors, of our children
God of this community, and of mine, only
God who knew my parents, God who knows my death
Blessed Ain Sof, what WAS before IS, and WHAT WILL BE when THIS is no more.

God of my strength and of my weakness,
God of my current understanding and my lack thereof,
Incline your metaphorical ear
And open your metaphorical eye.
Rambam says, 
If you can’t imagine God then you don’t exist.
There is no thing that is not God.
God is no thing.
Blessed be God, bringing us the Wow.

SANCTIFY GOD’S NAME, so many holy names:
HaMavdeel, the Divider of Time;
Adonai, the Uniter Of All Existence;
Ain Sof, That Which Cannot Be Known;
Ruach HaOlam, The Breath That Animates;
Shechina, the Presence of Eternity;
Elohim, God of our Past
Yah, God of our future;
HaMakom, The Place, God of our present.

May the holiness be eternal
Let me look from side to side, to see all these possibilities,
The names help me comprehend
That which cannot be comprehended.
Holy, Holy, Holy!
Blessed be Achat/Echad, the One-ness, with so many names.

PLACE YOURSELF in front of the fear. 
You will be judged, you will die.
Place yourself in the center of the universe
You earned that spot simply by existing.
Place yourself under obligation to God
However you understand or don’t understand God.
Place yourself in the path of holiness and joy and truth.
Bless Ruach HaOlam, the breath of mindfulness.

Remember what you did wrong
Remember what you did right.
Remember those who came before you.
Remember that you are responsible for those who come after you.
Remember your history.
Remember Torah.
Blessed be El, remembering us.

Because the truly evil are already condemned
The truly good are already blessed
And then, there’s the rest of us.
It is said that on Rosh Hashanah God decides your fate: life or death.
And the ten days until Yom Kippur are your opportunity to change God’s mind.
So don’t blow it.
This is a powerful day, a fantastic opportunity!
Declare yourself for holiness and joy and truth.
Bless Shechina, seeing how hard we are trying.

And as a congregation, we proclaim:
Let the holiness rise up!
On Rosh Hashanah it is written
On Yom Kippur it is sealed.

And let us declare together:
We understand nothing.
All that is physical, ends.
We die.
But not today.
Except sometimes, today.
We fret about the past and worry about the future
And forget to live with where we are now.
And then we die.
We understand nothing.

Teshuvah, Tefilah & Tzedukah 
Restore us to our place.
Teshuvah, when we return to our true selves;
Tefillah, when we stop time in holy conversation;
Tzedukah, when we transcend self;
And that’s when God decrees.
Bless the Presence, remembering when we have forgotten.

Listen to the Shofar as it announces:
Awesome and sacred is this sweet day!
The world is filled with the Divine, we are surrounded!
Hear us, know us.
Love us, enjoy us.
Remember us, rouse us.
Forgive us, inspire us, 
Bless Elohim, the Creator, the Created, Creating.

That which Was, That which Is, That which Will Be.
We imagine you. We’re listening. Do you hear us?
We are in this glorious and troubled place and we take responsibility for how it turns out.
Blessed Yah, May the World To Come be the world we live in.

Ah, the sweetness of life, savor the taste.
Life can be so good, can’t it?
And right now it is fine.
Feed it with challah and honey,
Irrigate and watch it grow.
Who cares which book we’re inscribed in?
This moment is so great.
I am so thankful for the beautiful weather, 
the glorious music, the fine words, 
the sweet meals, the warm home,
the good friends, the silly toys
the sexual pleasures, the profound thoughts,
the crazy family, the big laughs,
and the loving.
Blessed HaMakom, giving us today, which is so beautiful.

Bless us with love and mercy over us and all Israel and all the world.
Bless us with transcendence from the Light That Illuminates
Bless us with pleasure in the Awesome Connection
Adonai Echad, Bless us and keep everyone safe.  Grant us peace and wholeness that we may have decent and happy lives.

RUACH HA-OLAM, Eternal Breath,
Incomprehensible. And really, so simple.
May the words of my mouth and the thoughts of my heart be joyful truth.
May the good things I pray for happen and, if not, 
May I never forget to hope. AMEN

“A Rosh Hashanah Amidah” was first published online on Trisha Arlin’s website.




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