Enoch, a poem by Rosa Emma Salaman (1846)

“Enoch” by Rosa Emma Salaman was first published in the Occident 4:9, Kislev 5607/December 1846. . . .

Thirteen Intentions of Faith Taught at the Beit HaMidrash of Elat Chayyim, by Reb Zalman Schachter-Shalomi

This list of thirteen supplications for emunah (faith) in particular beliefs was included by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, z”l, in his Siddur Tehillat Hashem Yidaber Pi (2009). . . .

דיזי שיני נייאי תפילה | Dize sheyne naye tfile: This Beautiful New Prayer, by Gele bat Moshe v’Freyde (1710)

This is a faithful transcription of the prayer of Gele (Gella), daughter of the printer Moshe, as found at the end of Tfile LeMoshe (2nd ed., Halle, Germany, 1710), a prayerbook Gele typeset when she was only 11-years-old. This prayerbook is rare owing to the destruction of the press following the incarceration of Gele’s father for publishing a prayerbook containing the prayer “Aleinu,” which had been forbidden by royal decree. The translation provided here was made by Dr. Kathryn Hellerstein as found in A Question of Tradition: Women Poets in Yiddish, 1586-1987 (2014, Stanford University Press), p. 63-4. The layout of Gele’s prayer follows that of Ezra Korman from his anthology of Jewish women’s poetry, Yiddishe Dikhterins, also the source of the page image provided. If you know the location of a copy or digital scan of this siddur, please contact us. . . .

על הכל יתגדל ויתקדש | A Kaddish During the Removal of the Torah from the Ark in the Nusaḥ ha-ARI z”l (translation by R’ Oren Steinitz)

This Kaddish was first published online at Jewish Renewal Chassidus by Gabbai Seth Fishman. Rabbi Oren Steinitz translated the kaddish on the 3rd yahrzeit after Reb Zalman’s passing. . . .

תְּפִילַת הוֹלְכִים לְאוּנִיבֶרְסִיטָה | Prayer for Those Leaving Home for University, by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer

A prayer for the safety and success of those leaving home to go off to college and university. When children go off to college, parents can feel worried about the future of their children. Empty-nest syndrome can set in and spiritual guidance is often needed. This prayer uses the idioms of Biblical and siddur language to create a text for parents who worry about their children’s future as they head off on their own. It could be said 49 days after Tekufat Tammuz in the diaspora (August 28 or 29 after a leap year – approximately the time when college terms begin in the US) or on the first Saturday after Shmini Atzeret ba’aretz (approximately when college terms begin in Israel) . . .

פיוט למילה | Piyyut for a Milah (circumcision) by Rabbi Dr. Aryeh Cohen

This is a piyyut (liturgical poem) which is intended to be recited at a brit. It is connected to my liturgy for a “chag hachnassah labrit” (available here). The explanation for the chag is also the basis for the piyyut. Translation into English by Shoshanna Gershenson, Maeera Schreiber and Aryeh Cohen. . . .

A Blessing for Peace, Health, Joy, Prosperity, and Kindness by Reb Zalman

A blessing by Reb Zalman for Peace, Health, Joy, Prosperity, and Kindness which he wrote in spray paint on a municipal water tank behind his house in Colorado. . . .

Loss of what could be; but is – a prayer-poem in eulogy after a suicide, by Andrew Meit

This eulogy by Andrew Meit was read at Temple Beit Ami in Rockville, Maryland at the funeral of Benjamin Meit. Andrew writes, “Ben would have turned 19 next week. He died from complications from depression and mental illness.” Donations in Ben’s memory may be made here. If you or anyone you know is in need of help, please call 911, or 1-800 273 8255, the national suicide prevention hotline. . . .

ודוי | Vidui meditation, by Danny Cohen

Vidui means acknowledgment. It is not about self-flagellation or blame, but about honesty, coming into contact with our lives, our patterns and experiences, and ultimately about teshuva and learning. In contacting the pain and suffering which our modes of being have given rise to, our regret can help us to willfully divest ourselves of them and awaken the yearning for those modes of being which are life-affirming, supportive of wholeness, connection, integrity, and flourishing. With each one we tap on our heart, touching the pain and closed-heartedness we have caused, and simultaneously knocking on the door that it may open again. . . .

תפילת היוצר | A Worker’s Prayer, by Rabbi Stephen Belsky

A worker’s prayer by Rabbi Stephen Belsky, dedicated to Noam Ezra ben haRav Moshe z”l. . . .

א תְּחִנָה פאר א שׂטיףּ מוטער | A Tkhine for a Stepmother (from Shas Tkhine Ḥadasha, 1922)

This is a faithful transcription of the א תְּחִנָה פאר א שטיף מוטער (“A Tkhine for a Stepmother”) which first appeared in ש״ס תחנה חדשה (Shas Tkhine Ḥadasha), a collection of tkhines published by Ben-Zion Alfes in Vilna, 1922. . . .

תְּחִנָּה מִגְדַּל הַשֵּׁן | Tkhine for a Baby’s First Tooth

This is a faithful transcription of the תְּחִנָּה מִגְדַּל הַשֵּׁן (“Tkhine for a Baby’s First Tooth”) which first appeared in ש״ס תחנה חדשה (Shas Tkhine Ḥaḥadasha), a collection of tkhines published by Ben-Zion Alfes in Vilna, 1922. . . .

תחנה פאר אמוטער װאס פירט אקינד אין חדר | Tkhine for a Mother Leading their Child to Religious School (1910)

“Tkine for a Mother Who Leads Her Child to Kheyder” by an unknown author is a faithful transcription of the tkhine published in Rokhl m’vakoh al boneho (Raḥel Weeps for her Children), Vilna, 1910. I have transcribed it without any changes from The Merit of Our Mothers בזכות אמהות A Bilingual Anthology of Jewish Women’s Prayers, compiled by Rabbi Tracy Guren Klirs, Cincinnati: Hebrew Union College Press, 1992. shgiyot mi yavin, ministarot nakeni. Please offer a translation of this tkhine in the comments. . . .

א תחנה פאר א מוטער װאס פירט איהר קינד דעם ערשׁטען מאל אין חדר | Tkhine for a Mother Who Leads their Child for the First Time to Religious School (1910)

“Tkine for a Mother Who Leads Her Child to Kheyder” by an unknown author is a faithful transcription of the tkhine published in Rokhl m’vakoh al boneho (Raḥel Weeps for her Children), Vilna, 1910. I have transcribed it without any changes from The Merit of Our Mothers בזכות אמהות A Bilingual Anthology of Jewish Women’s Prayers, compiled by Rabbi Tracy Guren Klirs, Cincinnati: Hebrew Union College Press, 1992. shgiyot mi yavin, ministarot nakeni. Please offer a translation of this tkhine in the comments. . . .

תחנה אמהות | Tkhine of the Matriarchs for Yizkor on Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and Yamim Tovim by Seril Rappaport (ca. 18th century)

“Tkhine of the Matriarchs for Yizkor on Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and Yamim Tovim” by Rebbetsin Seril Rappaport is a faithful transcription of her tkhine included in “תחנה אמהות מן ראש חודש אלול” (Tkhine of the Matriarchs for the New Moon of Elul) published in Vilna, 1874, as re-published in The Merit of Our Mothers בזכות אמהות A Bilingual Anthology of Jewish Women’s Prayers, compiled by Rabbi Tracy Guren Klirs, Cincinnati: Hebrew Union College Press, 1992. shgiyot mi yavin, ministarot nakeni. . . .

דיא װײבּער װאס האבּין אײן שׁװערין מזל צו קינדר זאלין דיא תחנה זאגין | Women who Have Bad Luck with Children Should Recite this Tkhine (1910)

“Women who Have Bad Luck with Children Should Recite this Tkhine” by an unknown author is a faithful transcription of the tkhine published in Rokhl m’vakoh al boneho (Rokhel Weeps for her Children), Vilna, 1910. I have transcribed it without any changes from The Merit of Our Mothers בזכות אמהות A Bilingual Anthology of Jewish Women’s Prayers, compiled by Rabbi Tracy Guren Klirs, Cincinnati: Hebrew Union College Press, 1992. shgiyot mi yavin, ministarot nakeni. If you can translate Yiddish, please help to translate it and share your translation with an Open Content license through this project. . . .

א תחנה פאר א כלה קודם החופה | A Tkhine for a Bride [to say] before the Khupe [wedding canopy ceremony]

“A Tkhine for a Kaleh before the Khupe” by an unknown author is a faithful transcription of the version published in Rokhl m’vakoh al boneho (Rokhel Weeps for her Children), Vilna, 1910. I have transcribed it without any changes from The Merit of Our Mothers בזכות אמהות A Bilingual Anthology of Jewish Women’s Prayers, compiled by Rabbi Tracy Guren Klirs, Cincinnati: Hebrew Union College Press, 1992. shgiyot mi yavin, ministarot nakeni. . . .

תחנה שערי דמעות | Tkhine of the Gate of Tears

The “Tkhine of the Gate of Tears” by an unknown author presented here derives from the Vilna, 1848 edition. I have transcribed it without any changes from The Merit of Our Mothers בזכות אמהות A Bilingual Anthology of Jewish Women’s Prayers, compiled by Rabbi Tracy Guren Klirs, Cincinnati: Hebrew Union College Press, 1992. shgiyot mi yavin, ministarot nakeni. If you can scan an image of the page from the edition this was copied from, please share it with us. . . .

אײן אנשפראכע געגען עין הרע | An Incantation against the Ayin hoReh (1896)

This tkhine offers a formula for providing relief to a very ill person, and as such, should only be used as a supplement to recommendations provided by an expert physician or nurse. The source of the tkhine is Tkhine of a Highly Respected Woman, Budapest, 1896; and transcribed from The Merit of Our Mothers בזכות אמהות A Bilingual Anthology of Jewish Women’s Prayers, compiled by Tracy Guren Klirs, Cincinnati: Hebrew Union College Press, 1992. . . .

ברכות והודאות | Brakhot v’Hoda’ot (Blessings and Thanksgivings): A Birkon for the Bar Mitsvah of Yeshayahu Yisraeli

Brakhot v’Hoda’ot (Blessings and Thanksgivings): A Birkon by R’ Hillel Ḥayyim Yisraeli-Lavery. Kiddush, Havdalah and the Birkat Hamazon according to the custom of R’ Saadia Gaon, RaMBaM, and the Vilna Gaon. Zemirot, Piyyutim, and Shirim. Ma’ariv for Weekdays and for after Shabbat. A souvenir for the Bar Mitzvah of Yeshayahu Yisraeli, 19 Sivan 5776 (Shabbat Parshat Shelakh Lekha). Published in the Holy City of Yerushalayim. . . .

ברכת המזון | Ḥaveri Nevarekh: Blessing the Spirit of All-which-Lives after Eating and Feeling Satiated, a Birkon by Aharon Varady (v.1.01)

Unlike most plant and bacterial life, we human beings cannot process our own food from the sun, soil, water, and air. And so, as with the other kingdoms of life on Earth, we are dependent on vegetation to live, either directly by consuming plants, or indirectly by predating on other creatures that consume vegetation. Being nourished and seeking nourishment is so basic to us, that our practical desperation for survival undergirds most of our ethics relating to non-human life. But Judaism demands that our human propensity towards predation be circumscribed. Indeed, it is my understanding that the ultimate goal of Torah is to circumscribe and temper our our predatory appetites, and to limit and discipline our predatory behavior. In this way, our predatory instinct may be redeemed as a force for goodness in the world, and we might become a living example to others in how to live in peace and with kindness towards the other lifeforms we share this planet with. In 2010, while working with Nili Simhai and the other Jewish environmental educators at the Teva Learning Center, I began working on a Birkon containing a translation of the birkat hamazon that emphasized the deep ecological wisdom contained within the Rabbinic Jewish tradition. I continued working on it over the next several years adding two additional sections of source texts to illuminate the concept of ḥesronan (lit. absence or lacking) and the mitzvah of lo tashḥit (bal tashḥit). I invite you to include these works into your birkon along with other work that I’ve helped to share through the Open Siddur — especially Perek Shirah and other prayers that express delight in the created world and our role in it, l’ovdah u’lshomrah — to cultivate and preserve this living and magnificent Earth. . . .

תְּפִלַּת הַדֶּרֶךְ לְרוֹכְבִים | A Traveler’s Prayer for Bicycle Riders, by Rabbis Rachel and Ofer Sabath Beit-Halachmi

May it be Your will, our God That You lead us toward peace; that You enable us to ride in safety; that You lead us with blessing. Save us from all accidents and unstable wheels, from a dangerous driver and a bounding chariot.[ref]after Nahum 3:2[/ref] 
Inspire in us unity of the material and the spiritual, Love of the ascent as well as the descent. Show us Your face, in the smallest of details and in the countenance of the other. Enable us to persevere on our journey toward love, truth and peace. Blessed are You, YHVH, the One who hears prayer. . . .

ברכות | Bringing blessing to all life on Earth, a d’var tefilah on making blessings over foods by Rabbi David Seidenberg (neohasid.org)

The Talmud (Brakhot 35a-b) teaches that eating food without saying a brakhah (a blessing) beforehand is like stealing. A lot of people know that teaching, and it’s pretty deep. But here’s an even deeper part: the Talmud doesn’t call it “stealing”, but מעילה ׁ(“me’ilah“), which means taking from sacred property that belongs to the Temple. So that means that everything in the world is sacred and this Creation is like a HOLY TEMPLE. . . .

תְּפִלַּת הַדֶּרֶךְ | The Traveler’s Prayer (with a Supplement for Airplane Travel)

If I ascend up into the heavens, you are there. If I take wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there would your hand lead me, and your right hand would hold me. And may it be your will, our father in heaven, that you guard us from storm and tempest and grief. And may you bring forth from your storehouses a propitious wind to carry our plane, and may you sustain and preserve those who fly it, that they neither weaken nor falter, and may we reach our destination alive and well, without any trouble and injury. O keep my soul, and deliver me. Let me not be abashed, for I have taken refuge in you. But we will bless Yah from this time forth and for ever, Halleluyah. . . .

תפילה לפני חלוקת תרופות | Prayer before the dispensation of medication, by Dafna Meir, z”l

This prayer was originally published April 13th, 2013 on Dafna Meir’s blog, Derekh Nashim (Women’s Ways), here, writing “את התפילה זכיתי לחבר תוך כדי למידה למבחן תרופות במחלקה הנוירוכירורגית בסורוקה, בה אני עובדת.” (The prayer I composed for a friend while studying for a test at the Neurosurgery department at Soroka Hospital, which I work.) English translation by Moshe F. via Israellycool. More about Dafna Meir, here and here. . . .

בִּרְכָּת הָבָּיִת | Birkat Habayit: Blessing for the Home

The Birkat Habayit is perhaps the most popular blessing in the Jewish world, appearing as a hanging amulet inside the entrance of many houses of Jews of all streams. I have added niqud to the blessing and I am very grateful to Gabriel Wasserman for his corrections to my vocalization. . . .

Intention for community garlic planting at the end of a harvest season, by Jess Berlin (translated by Miri Landau)

Garlic is typically the last crop planted on a farm, it is planted in the fall and harvested the following summer. So you are leaving a legacy for next years farmers (which might be you). We begin by separating the garlic bulbs from the cloves, similar to separating people from their community. Then, once the individual (garlic cloves) are planted, they form new communities in the ground. Similar to the process that we are all going through. Leaving our community here on the farm and going out into the world to create new communities. . . .

יזכור | Yizkor: Instructions for Remembering, by Rabbi Nina Mizrahi

Rabbi Mizrahi’s instructions for remembering were first published on her website, here. . . .

Bendigamos al Altísimo, a Sefaradi hymn for the Birkat ha-Mazon

Bendigamos is a hymn sung after meals according to the custom of Spanish and Portuguese Jews. It has also been traditionally sung by the Jews of Turkish descent. It is similar in meaning to the Birkat Hamazon that is said by all Jews. Bendigamos is said in addition to Birkat Hamazon, either immediately before or immediately after it. The text is in modern Spanish, not Ladino. The prayer was translated by David de Sola Pool. Below is the actual text as well as the translation by de Sola Pool. The melody is one of the best known and loved Spanish and Portuguese melodies, used also for the Song of the Sea (in the Shabbat morning service) and sometimes in “Hallel” (on the first day of the Hebrew month and on festivals). . . .

שבע ברכות לנפשות קשורות | Seven Blessings For Interlinking Souls, by Rabbi Dr. Raysh Weiss and Rabbi Jonah Rank

When Jonah Rank and Raysh Weiss intended to finalize the words of the “Seven Blessings” (Sheva Berakhot, שֶֽׁבַע בְּרָכוֹת) that their friends and family members would offer them on their big day, they attempted to preserve the most widespread Ashkenazic version of these seven nuptial blessings with which their Jewish marital status would be effected. However, they attempted to avoid phrases that would limit the gender or sex of the blessings’ referents. Additionally, they sought to ensure that their blessings focused on the happiness of the occasion at hand. . . .

תהלים כג | Psalms 23, translation by Shim’on Menachem, melody by Shir Yaakov

Listen to a recording of Psalm 23 chanted to an Indian-inspired melody. . . .

תהלים קכו | Shir Hama’alot :: Psalms 126, a poetic translation by Shim’on Menachem

This Psalm is straightforwardly post-exilic (for which see Sefer haWiki) but switches in its narrative perspective between before and after the return from Babylon, between gratitude and longing for return, helped by the profoundly non-linear mechanics of verbal tense and aspect in biblical Hebrew. The Psalmist chooses words associated with joy (s’ḥoq, rinah) that are tinged with other, more complicated emotions. Here’s what came out. . . .

A Prayer before Torah Study by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi

My Lord Creator of all, Master of all worlds, Supreme, compassionate and forgiving, Thank You for Your Torah, Thank You for allowing me to learn from it And to move toward serving You. Thank You for revealing some of the Mysteries of Your Way. . . .

Activist Prayer for a Trauma Center on Chicago’s South Side, by Aryeh Bernstein (2015)

A disproportionate amount of the alarming gun violence in Chicago takes place on the South Side, yet the South Side lacks even a single level one adult trauma center. Consequently, gunshot victims sometimes minutes from death must be transported miles away to Downtown or North Side hospitals. In 2010, after Damien Turner, an 18-year-old resident of the South Side Woodlawn neighborhood, died waiting for an ambulance to drive him ten miles to a downtown hospital instead of two blocks to the University of Chicago Medical Center (UCMC), a grassroots collaboration of community organizations, faith leaders, and University of Chicago student groups began organizing the Trauma Center Coalition, dedicated to reopening a Level 1 adult trauma center at UCMC, the most well-resourced hospital on the South Side. So far, the university has refused. As part of the coalition’s ongoing campaign, last week [April 23, 2015], dozens of activists gathered on the university’s historic Midway field, for a vigil of prayer and song from different faith traditions. At dusk, participants lit candles to spell out “Trauma Center Now”, right across from the home of U. Chicago President Robert Zimmer, and then camped out for the night. As a representative of coalition partner Jewish Council on Urban Affairs, I was invited to offer a Jewish prayer, which is reproduced here; I read it in both the English and Hebrew. . . .

שבחי המשפחה לבת המצווה | A Prayer in Honor of a Bat Mitzvah from her Family, by Dr. Chaim Hames-Ezra

A prayer for a ritual of blessing of a bat mitzvah by her family. . . .

תפילת בת המצווה | Prayer of the Bat Mitzvah after she finishes reading from the Torah, by Chaim Hames-Ezra

A statement by the Bat Mitsvah after her first aliyah. . . .

Each Loss Breaks a Pattern: A Shiva Prayer by Trisha Arlin

This prayer was written to introduce the service at a shiva minyan: Baruch Atah Adonai, Ruach HaOlam, Blessed One-ness, Breath of the Universe, Breathing us in, Breathing us out. Each loss breaks a pattern. We remember and we pray. We remember our loved one, _(name)_ Beloved _(relationship)_ Each loss breaks a pattern, And we remember them. We remember them Because they gave us to ourselves, We remember them Because we loved each other, And we remember Because, well, That is our job. Every loss breaks a pattern, And we pray. We pray and place ourselves in front of the fear, We place ourselves in front of the anger, We place ourselves in front of the grief, We pray and delight in our memories We pray and listen for music that reminds us there will be joy again. We pray for the long repair that happens after the patterns break. And we give thanks for the ancient traditions, Telling the story even when we can’t. Hallelu Yah, breathing in, Remembering us when we cannot. Hallelu Yah, breathing out, Praying with us when we feel alone. Amen . . .

חג הכנסה לברית | Ḥag hakhnassah labrit – On Entering the Covenant by Rabbi Dr. Aryeh Cohen

In the weeks leading up to the birth of our first child in 1997, my partner and I spent a lot of time thinking about the brit. Whether it was a boy or a girl we knew that we would have a celebration. If it was a boy we would have a brit, yet we were not happy with the ceremony as it stood. If it was a girl we needed a ceremony which was equally powerful and yet didn’t draw blood. In response to these two concerns I wrote a liturgy for what I called a chag hachnassah labrit/celebration of entering the covenant which could be easily adapted to boys and girls, and I wrote a piyyut (a liturgical poem) for a milah/a circumcision. . . .

ברכת הורים לבר או בת מצווה | Parents’ blessing for a Bar or Bat Mitsvah by Rabbi Dr. Aryeh Cohen

I wrote this brachah on the occasion of my son Oryah’s bar mitzvah. The Aramaic/Hebrew and the translation are mine. My partner and I recited the blessing after my son was called up to the Torah. The brachah replaces the ברוך שפטרנו which is recited in some communities. This blessing (which is basically self-explanatory) expresses gratitude for Divine favor leading to this moment and a prayer for Heavenly guidance for my son’s continued path. Though the translation is gender neutral in relation to God, the Hebrew/Aramaic is gendered masculine. This is my practice with regards to my children. I bless my daughter with feminine God language and my son with masculine God language. The blessing can be grammatically adapted for a bat mitzvah. . . .

אשר יצר | Asher Yatsar prayer for recognizing the Divine Image in all our bodies by R’ Emily Aviva Kapor

Asher Yatzar (the “bathroom blessing”, traditionally said every morning and after every time one goes to relieve oneself) has always rung hollow to me, at best, and at worst has been a prayer not celebrating beauty but highlighting pain. The original version praises bodies whose nekavim nekavim ḥalulim ḥalulim (“all manner of ducts and tubes”) are properly opened and closed—yes, in a digestive/excretory sense, but it is quite easy to read a reproductive sense into it as well. What do you do if the “ducts and tubes” in your body are not properly opened and closed, what if one is open that should be closed, or vice versa? . . .

ברכת המזון | Thanks for the Food, an interpretive translation of the Birkat Hamazon by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi

The style by which Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, z”l translated Jewish liturgy in English was neither literal nor idiomatic, but highly interpretive and interspersed with his own ḥiddushim (innovations). Showing Reb Zalman’s translation side-by-side with the Jewish liturgy helps to illuminate his understanding of the liturgy — it’s deeper meaning as well as how it might be communicated to a contemporary audience. In the version I have prepared below, I have set the interpretive translation of Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, z”l side-by-side with the liturgical Hebrew that may have inspired it. In several places, Reb Zalman’s formulation departs from the traditional Ashkenazi nusaḥ. Where there is no Hebrew, we can more easily observe where Reb Zalman has expanded upon the blessing. Still, my work was not exhaustive and I appreciate any corrections to the nusaḥ (liturgical custom) of the Hebrew that may have inspired Reb Zalman’s interpretation in English. . . .

תפילה קודם למוד הקבלה | Prayer Before Studying Kabbalah, by Yitsḥak Luria (translated by Aharon Varady)

Master of the worlds and Lord of Lords, Father of Compassion and Forgiveness, we give thanks before you [haShem] Elohainu, Elohai of our ancestors, by bowing and kneeling for having brought us near to your Torah and to your sacred work, and for granting us a portion in the hidden insights of your holy Torah. . . .

הרחמן | Haraḥaman, Prayer to the merciful One for the Shmita Year, R”H seder additions, and other liturgical tweaks by Rabbi David Seidenberg (neohasid.org)

This Haraḥaman (prayer to the merciful or compassionate One) for the Shmitah or sabbatical year can be added to Birkat Hamazon (blessing after meals) during the whole Shmitah year, in order to remember and open our hearts to the sanctity of the land. Say it right before the Harachaman for Shabbat, since Shmitah is the grand shabbat, and right after the paragraph beginning with Bamarom (a/k/a, Mimarom). . . .

הרחמן הוא ישבור עול כיבוש | Prayer to the Compassionate One for the Peace of Two States for Two Peoples (for Inclusion in the Birkat Hamazon) by Ira Tick

A prayer for the peaceful resolution of Israel’s conflicts with her neighbors and a mutually agreeable end to her dominion over the Palestinians, in Hebrew and in English, appropriate for inserting in the Birkat HaMazon especially on Shabbat and Festivals, or for reciting at any time. . . .

תפילה לתורם דם | The Blood Donor’s Prayer, by Elli Fischer

A prayer to be recited upon donating blood. In Israel, there are major blood drives around the times of Rosh Hashana and Pesaḥ, so the prayer borrows themes from both of those holidays. It emphasizes both the tzedaka aspect of blood donation and the ancient symbolic resonances of blood sacrifice. . . .

שמחת בת | Simḥat Bat by Yoni and Hannah Kapnik Ashar

This is a simḥat bat baby-naming and welcoming ceremony, based on similar ceremonies by Dr. Devora Steinmetz and Rabbi David Silber, Rabbi Elie Kaunfer and Lisa Exler, Drs. David and Joanna Arch-Andorsky, and others. . . .

סדר לפסח: חרוסת | Ḥaroset, the Seder’s Innermost Secret: Earth & Eros in the Celebration of Pesaḥ, by Rabbi Arthur Waskow

There it sits on the Seder plate: ḥaroset, a delicious paste of chopped nuts, chopped fruits, spices, and wine. So the question would seem obvious: “Why is there ḥaroset on the Seder plate?” That’s the most secret Question at the Seder – so secret nobody even asks it. And it’s got the most secret answer: none. . . .

Zekher Milah, a different tack on Brit milah & Brit banot by Rabbi Arthur Waskow

For a number of reasons, some medical, some psychological, some spiritual, some communal-traditional, I support and urge male circumcision. When couples have come to me and despite my advice are adamant in refusing to do it with a boy-child, AND/OR if they ask my advice about a brit/ covenant ceremony for a girl — I urge them to follow what I’ve proposed below. . . .

ברכת המזון | By the Sweat of their Brow, a Humanist Birkon by Dr. Tzemaḥ Yoreh

Many of our best times are spent eating. Jewish liturgy, however, is very stingy on blessings before eating (focusing much of its energy on blessings after eating). The blessings before food are generic, and except for very specific foods and drinks (such as wine, bread, and matzah), all foods lump into three or four categories (fruit, vegetables, grains, and everything else). As a foodie, I’d like to celebrate each and every distinct taste through the prism of Jewish experience, and thus have tried to compose as many short poems as possible in their honor. . . .

תפילה לפני הגניזה | Prayer for the Interment of Sacred Writing in a Genizah, by Morah Yehudis Fishman

My bones whisper that your pages and your inks will return to the trees and the plants from where they once came. They say that someday they will even come back to life with words never yet heard. . . .


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