☞   //   Prayers & Praxes   //   🌞︎ Prayers for the weekday, Shabbat, and season   //   Prayers for Seasons, Shmitah, and Solar Cycles   //   The Shmitah Year (Earth's Shabbat)

לִשְׁמֹר הַשָּׁנָה שֶׁל שְׁמִטָּה | Candlelighting for Rosh haShanah, Shabbat, and Yom Tov during the Shmitah Year, by Rabbi Arthur Waskow

We suggest saying these blessings when you light the candles for Rosh Hashanah, for Yom Kippur, and for every Shabbat and Festival during the Shmita year. Some thoughts about why to do this and about changes in the brakhot: The reason to do this is to remain aware throughout the year of what a whole year of Shabbat Shabbaton and Shmita means — to stay both aware and active.

The “Name of God” is not an identifier, like “Hi, Esther” or “Hey, Daniel.” It expresses an understanding of the world. Substituting “Adonai” or “Lord” for “YHWH” endorses a worldview based on hierarchy. But if we try to pronounce “YHWH” with no vowels what happens is simply a Breath. It is a universal connector between and among all forms of life, animal and plant. It expresses an interwoven or ecological, rather than hierarchical, understanding of the world – the uniqueness of each being, fitting together like the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle within the Unity of all Being.

So in these prayers we honor the original intent of “YHWH” by presenting the sound as simply a Breath, or as “Yahhhh,” as in “Hallelu-Yahhhh” or as “Interbreath of Life” and using the word “ruaḥ” – breath, wind, or spirit – instead of “melekh,” king. Similarly, the Hebrew “mitsvah” — which is conventionally translated “command” coming from a lord or king, can also be understood as “connection” that is infused in the process of the jigsaw puzzle and of reality.


Source (Hebrew) Translation (English) Transliteration (Romanized Hebrew)

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה [בְּרוּכַה אַתְּ] יָהּ
אֱלֹהֵֽינוּ רוּחַ הָעוֹלָם
אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָֽׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֺת
וְצִוָּֽנוּ לִשְׁמֹר הַשָּׁנָה שֶׁל שְׁמִטָּה
שַׁבַּת שַׁבָּתוֹן׃
1.Blessed be Yahhhh,
our sacred Unity embracing us in the Interbreath of Life,
who makes us holy by connecting us with each other and all being,
and teaches us to observe the profound connection of this year of Release, Shabbat Shabbaton.[1] Cf. Leviticus 25:4-5. 
Barukh attah [Brukhah aht] Yahhhh
Elohenu Ruaḥ ha’olam,
asher ḳidshanu b’mitsvot,
vitsivanu lishmor ha’shanah shel Shmitah,
Shabbat shabbaton.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה [בְּרוּכַה אַתְּ] יָהּ
אֱלֹהֵֽינוּ רוּחַ הָעוֹלָם
כִּי לֵךְ הָאָרֶץ
כִּי גֵּרִים וְתוֹשָׁבִים אֲנַחְנוּ אִמֵּךְ׃
2. Blessed be Yahhhh,
our sacred Unity embracing us in the Interbreath of Life,
for the Earth is Yours[2] Cf. Psalms 89:12, 1 Chronicles 29:11.  
and we are but sojourners and resident-settlers with You.[3] Cf. Leviticus 25:23 and 1 Chronicles 29:15. 
Barukh attah [Brukhah aht] Yahhhh
Elohenu Ruaḥ ha’olam,
ki leykh ha’arets
ki gerim v’toshavim anaḥnu imeykh.

בְּרוּכַה אַתְּ [בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה] יָהּ
אֱלֹהֵֽינוּ רוּחַ הָעוֹלָם
אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָֽׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֺת
וְצִוָּנוּ לְהַדְלִיק נֵר שֶׁל שֶׁל יוֹם טוֹב (או: שַׁבָּת)׃
3. Blessed be Yahhhh,
our sacred Unity embracing us in the Interbreath of Life,
who makes us holy by connecting us with each other and all being,
and teaches us to kindle the festival [or: Shabbat] lights.
Brukhah aht [Barukh attah] Yahhhh
Elohenu Ruaḥ ha’olam,
asher ḳidshanu b’mitsvot,
v’tsivanu l’hadliḳ ner shel yom tov [or: Shabbat].

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה [בְּרוּכַה אַתְּ] יָהּ
אֱלֹהֵֽינוּ רוּחַ הָעוֹלָם
שֶׁהֶחֱיָֽנוּ
וְקִיְּמָנֽוּ
וְהִגִּיעָֽנוּ לַזְּמַן הַזֶּה׃
4. Blessed be Yahhhh,
our sacred Unity embracing us in the Interbreath-of-life,
who has filled us with life,
lifted us up,
and carried us to this moment.
Barukh attah [Brukhah aht] Yahhhh
Elohenu Ruaḥ ha’olam,
sheh’hekhianu
v’ḳiymanu
v’higianu lazman hazeh.[4] Rabbi Shefa Gold has created a new chant and a new midrashic translation of the “Sheh’hekhianu” prayer. See and hear it at her website

Notes

Notes
1 Cf. Leviticus 25:4-5.
2 Cf. Psalms 89:12, 1 Chronicles 29:11.
3 Cf. Leviticus 25:23 and 1 Chronicles 29:15.
4 Rabbi Shefa Gold has created a new chant and a new midrashic translation of the “Sheh’hekhianu” prayer. See and hear it at her website.

 PDF (or Print)

 
 
 

 

Comments, Corrections, and Queries