An Intention for the New Year (5779), by Rabbi Menachem Creditor

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Dear God, we made it.

We are here.
Yes, we know where our souls belong,
where our strength can be renewed,
if we can use the gifts You’ve given us
and open our hearts once again.

Precious Holy One,
we are here.
Yes, we are.
But, O God, are we weary.

This world of ours –
this world of Yours, really –
seems ever-determined upon its own defeat.
Needless anger and persistent belligerence fill our vulnerable air.
The world around us can be so very, very loud.
So we seek solace and quiet within this sanctuary in time. Quiet.
A bit of peace, even.

God,
during these days of heightened wonder
when we express our ache for the blessing of a New Year,
touch our own wounded hearts
and cast away the crumbs of egotism.
In other words, Beloved God,
we pause, reflect acknowledge, and return again to our best selves.

Yes, Source of Life,
this moment is one of return.
We return to the world,
to ancient promises
of life and safety,
of justice and mercy.
Yes, God,
we are here, weary,
hearts in trembling hands.

We wish to be with You, Holy One,
to feel Your Grace once again,
to taste the Hope that is Your very Breath,
to cry freely,
to feel deeply loved,
to break free of the obstacles that have been placed in our ways,
some by our own hands.
We are so very powerful
we can sometimes ourselves be the stumbling blocks
we so desperately seek to overcome.
Today we observe ourselves,
acknowledge our power
to clear the paths ahead,
to find peace, inner and beyond.

In this moment,
we close our eyes to see the world as it could be,
as it was meant to be,
as You dreamt it to be.

God,
as we sway and feel,
bless us to rediscover
one way we can bring our broken open-eyed-world
one step close to the beauty we sense when we close our eyes.

God,
bless us as we gratefully welcome this new year.
May it be filled with immense light and love.

Amen.

“An Intention for the New Year (5779)” was first published by Rabbi Menachem Creditor online at his blog and shared with the Open Siddur Project through our Facebook discussion group.

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