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) . . .

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). . . .

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. . . .

Song of the Spirit, a poem by Rosa Emma Salaman (1848)

The poem, “Song of the Spirit” by Rosa Emma Salaman, was first published in the Occident 6:7, Tishrei 5609, October 1848. . . .

Elijah, a poem by Rosa Emma Salaman (1849)

The poem, “Elijah” by Rosa Emma Salaman, was first published in the Occident 6:7, Kislev 5610, December 1849, p. 455-457. . . .

The Body Speaking to the Soul Which Just Left It, a poem by Rosa Emma Salaman (1842)

The poem, “The Body Speaking to the Soul Which Just Left It.” by Rosa Emma Salaman, was written in March 1842 and first published in the Occident and American Jewish Advocate 2:4, Tamuz 5604, July 1844, p. 200-202. . . .

תהלים י״ב בלשון לאדינו | Psalms 12 by David in Ladino (Estampado por Ǧ. Griffit, ca. 1852/3)

To the best of my ability, this is a faithful transcription of Psalms 12 from תהילים או לוס סאלמוס ; טריסלאד’אד’וס דיל לשון הקדש אין לה לינגואה ספרדית (Tehillim, or the Psalms, translated from the Holy language [Hebrew] into the Sephardic language, Estampado por Ǧ. Griffit 1852/3) from a digital copy made available by the collection of Sephardic Studies at the University of Washington. Please join me in making a complete transcription of this Ladino translation of Psalms. –Aharon N. Varady . . .

אשר יצר | Asher Yatsar, interpretive translation by Reb Zalman Schachter-Shalomi z”l

This English translation of the prayer “Asher Yatsar” by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi z”l, was first published in his Siddur Tehillat Hashem Yidaber Pi (2009). Versification by Aharon Varady according to the nusaḥ ha-ARI z”l. . . .

מתי לא לבקש סליחה | When not to seek forgiveness, by Josh Rosenberg

A thought about the need to seek forgiveness from those you’ve wronged during this week before Yom Kippur: . . .

אָנָּא בְּכֹחַ | Ana b’Khoaḥ, with a singing translation in English by Reb Zalman z”l

The most well-known 42 letter divine name acrostic piyyut. . . .

ברכת יוצר יצירים | A Blessing for Creating, by Rabbi Adina Allen (Jewish Studio Project)

“A Blessing for Creating” comes by way of David A.M. Wilensky (with approval by the blessing’s author, Rabbi Adina Allen) who shared a photo on Facebook of a posterboard on which the blessing was written. The poster was made for the first ever Kabbalat Shabbat organized by the Jewish Studio Project, whose mission is “to activate creativity in individuals and communities to reclaim Jewish values, make meaning in our lives and restore hope to the world.” Vocalization added by Aharon Varady. . . .

Blessing over Separation, by Shelby Handler

The Blessing over Separations was first read by Shelby Handler on Rosh Ḥodesh Kislev at the 2017 ADVA Reunion, a reunion of the community of Adamah Farm fellows and Teva Learning Center educators at Isabella Freedman Retreat Center. . . .

הַכְנִיסִינִי תַּחַת כְּנָפֵךְ | Take Me Under Your Wing, by Ḥayyim Naḥman Bialik (1905)

The prayer-poem, “Take Me Under Your Wing” (1905) by Ḥayyim Naḥman Bialik. . . .

כַּוָּנָה לִפְנֵי עֲבוֹדָה בְּאַדְמַת הַקֹּדֶשׁ | Kavvanah before working with the holy soil, by Rabbi Shalom Ḥayyim Sharabi (ca. 1911)

A kavvanah for focusing one’s intention before working with the soil of Erets Yisrael. . . .

תפילה לפני שחיטה | Prayer before Kosher Slaughter, by Eliyah ben Shlomo Avraham haKohen (Sefer Shevet Musar, 1712)

This is a kavvanah for kosher slaughterers to say prior to the blessing over sheḥitah, first published in the early 18th century, and composed within the school of the ARI z”l. . . .

תפילת הדרך באניית הכוכבים | Prayer for Going on a Starship Voyage, by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer

A prayer, inspired by Tefilat haDerekh and other traditional liturgical texts, for a Jew who, at some future point, would be about to go forth on a starship. Doesn’t include a chatimah so as not to be a brakhah levatalah, in the case that starships are (chas v’shalom) never invented. . . .

תפילת הדרך | Tefilat haDerekh, a prayer for peace (trans. Rabbi David Seidenberg, neohasid.org)

In this Tefilat haDerekh (the prayer for travel), I’ve made a synthesis of Ashkenazi and Sefardi nusaḥ. Even though the translation is pretty close to literal in most places, it comes across as an extraordinary and activist prayer for peace. So I think of this prayer not just as a prayer for the beginning a physical journey, but for any spiritual journey, and especially for any campaign or action for justice and peace that a person or group might undertake. When applied to activism, the “enmity and ambush and theft and predation” we ask to be rescued from could also be interpreted as hatred, deceit, jealousy, and aggression, i.e., the kinds of feelings that cause people to work against each other, even within an organization, instead of working together. I first used this version of the prayer at the beginning of a tour of Israel and Palestine focused on the human rights and non-violent resistance, when the group passed through the first checkpoint of the trip. . . .

ליקוטי תפילות חלק א תפילה לז | Likutei Tefilot I:37, by Reb Nosson Steinhartz of Nemirov (early 19th century)

Reb Nosson’s Likutei Tefillot I:37 contains teḥinot derived from Rebbe Naḥman’s Likutei Moharan I:§37. . . .

הודאה לפני התרגיל | Prayer of Gratitude Before Exercise, by Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz

If it is a mitsvah to guard our lives and strengthen our bodies in service of our holy mission, then there should be a brakhah (blessing) before we start a session of vigorous activity; any excuse to add blessings to our day is a wonderful opportunity for personal growth! . . .

ברכת המזון השלם עם טעמי מקרא | Full Birkat haMazon with Ta’amei haMiqra (cantillation), by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer (Nusaḥ Ashkenaz)

The full Birkat haMazon (or Grace after Meals) according to Nusach Ashkenaz with optional additions for egalitarian rites, fully marked with ta’amei miqra (also known as cantillation marks or trope). Ta’amei miqra originally marked grammar and divisions in any Hebrew sentences, and older Hebrew manuscripts such as those from the Cairo Geniza often show ta’amei miqra on all sorts of texts, not just the Biblical texts we associate them with today. This text includes the full tradition for Birkat haMazon, including texts for weekdays, Shabbatot, and festivals, as well as additions for a wedding meal, a circumcision meal, and a meal in a mourner’s house. . . .

The Pious Man, a prayer-poem by Mordecai Kaplan adapted from the essay “An Analysis of Piety” by Abraham Joshua Heschel (1942)

“The Pious Man” is a prayer-poem from Mordecai Kaplan’s diary entry, September 19, 1942, on the virtue of piety as expressed in an essay published earlier that year by Abraham Joshua Heschel. Piety was a Roman virtue, but in this essay, A.J. Heschel appears to be describing an idealization of Ḥasidut. . . .

That Religion Be Not a Cloak for Hypocrisy, by Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan (1945)

“That Religion Be Not a Cloak for Hypocrisy,” by Rabbi Mordecai Menaḥem Kaplan can be found on p. 435-5 of his The Sabbath Prayer Book (New York: The Jewish Reconstructionist Foundation, 1945). . . .

Us and Them, by Barbara Gish Scult

“Us and Them,” by Barbara Gish Scult was shared by Mel Scult via the Open Siddur Project discussion list on Facebook. . . .

Courage to Withstand the Ridicule of the Worldly, a prayer by Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan (1945)

“Courage to Withstand the Ridicule of the Worldly,” by Rabbi Mordecai Menaḥem Kaplan can be found on p. 433-4 of his The Sabbath Prayer Book (New York: The Jewish Reconstructionist Foundation, 1945). I have adapted the original text of this prayer, replacing “thy” with ‘your’ and “Lord” with ‘YHVH’. –Aharon N. Varady . . .

A blessing for you if you need one, from Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg

On May 15th, 2018, Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg tweeted this blessing. . . .

A Blessing for the Sudden Relief from Chronic Pain, by Rabbi Menachem Creditor

Rabbi Menachem Creditor first shared this prayer in the Open Siddur Project discussion group on Facebook, here. . . .

מי שבירך לתלמידים החוזרים מחופשת הקיץ | A Mi sheBerakh prayer for students returning to school after their summer break, by Rabbi Esteban Gottfried

A mi sheberakh prayer by Rabbi Esteban Gottfried for the parents of students returning to school from their summer break. . . .

תפלת אחר הקמת המצבה, מנהג ק״ק פרעסבורג יצ״ו | Prayer after the Unveiling of a Tombstone, according to the custom of the Jewish community of Pressburg

A prayer for unveiling a tombstone, according to the custom of the Jews of Pressburg. . . .

ברכות בשביל הקהל | Some blessings for those you davvened with, by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi

Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, z”l, included this list of peer blessings for after davvening in his Siddur Tehillat Hashem Yidaber Pi (2009). . . .

תהלים כז | Psalms 27, translated by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer

A translation of Psalm 27 for the season of repentance, by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer. . . .

תפילת הזכרת הורים כשאין מניין לאמירת קדיש | “Gebet Statt Kaddisch” Memorial Prayer For When There is No Minyan (trans. Jonah Rank)

Please Lord, Sovereign of Compassion, God, Arbiter of the spirits of all flesh, Parent of Orphans and Judge of widows: God, from the source of Your holiness! May my prayer and the Torah of life that I have learned come before you on account of the soul . . .

מי שברך לתקופת יום הולדת | Mi sheBerakh on behalf of one celebrating a birthday, by Rabbi Dr. Mordecai Kaplan (1945)

“Prayer in behalf of one celebrating a birthday,” by Rabbi Mordecai Menaḥem Kaplan can be found on p. 494-497 of his The Sabbath Prayer Book (New York: The Jewish Reconstructionist Foundation, 1945) . . .

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. . . .

A prayer for the recovery of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

A prayer for the recovery of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg after a dangerous fall she endured in her office on 8 November 2018. . . .

אֵל בָּרוּךְ | El Barukh :: A piyyut containing the 42 Letter Name, recorded by Rabbi Isaiah Horowitz

A piyyut providing the 42 letter divine name as an acrostic, recorded in the work of Rabbi Isaiah Horowitz. . . .

אֱלֹהִים בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל | Elohim b’Yisrael :: A piyyut containing the 42 Letter Name, recorded in Sefer haPeliah

The earliest recorded prayer or piyyut providing an acrostic for the 42 letter divine name. . . .

תפילה להתחדש | A Prayer for Renewal, by Hillel Zeitlin

This prayer by Hillel Zeitlin was published as “That We Be Reborn” with an English translation by Eugene Kohn in the Sabbath Prayer Book (Jewish Reconstructionist Foundation 1945) of Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan. I have slightly modified Kohn’s translation by replacing thee and thou with you and your, etc. Zeitlin’s prayer is undated and likely was published earlier and elsewhere. If you have more information on the original publication of this prayer, please contact us or leave a comment. . . .

תפילת תפילת הודיה לחברה למניעת אכזריות לילדים | Prayer of Thanksgiving for the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (1954)

Prayer of Thanksgiving on the Occasion of the 70th Anniversary of the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, to Be Recited on Sabbath 22nd May 1954 / 19th Iyyar 5714 after the Prayer of the Queen and the Royal Family (London: 1954, Office of the Chief Rabbi) . . .

A Jewish Prayer for Graduation and an Interfaith Meditation on Wisdom and Learning, by Jonah Rank (2010)

A Jewish Prayer for Graduation and an Interfaith Meditation on Wisdom and Learning, by Rabbi Jonah Rank (2010) . . .

A Psalm of Gratitude, a poem by Ben Aronin

The poem, “Psalm of Gratitude” by the Jewish poet and educator, Ben Aronin. . . .

אֶהְיֶה בְּעֵדֶן | Ehyeh b’Aden :: A piyyut containing the 42 Letter Name, in Sefer Ma’avar Yaboq (1626)

A 42 Letter Divine Name acrostic piyyut to comfort someone in the process of dying. . . .

בִּרְכַּת הַמָּזוֹן בִּקְצָרָה | Birkat HaMazon Biqtsarah :: Abbreviated Blessing after the Meal

The formula for the abbreviated Birkat Hamazon, in Hebrew with English translation. . . .

אָנָּא בְּכֹחַ | Ana b’Khoaḥ, with Spanish translation by Rabbi Isaac ben Shem Tov Cavallero (1552)

An early printing of the 42 divine name letter acrostic piyyut, Ana b’Khoaḥ. . . .

A Second Passover Seder Plate with Seven Additions, by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer

Additional symbolic foods arranged on a second seder plate. . . .

ברוכה הבאה | Blessed be the newcomer!, a ceremony for the naming of a baby daughter by Joshua Gutoff (ca. 1989)

A ceremony for the naming of a baby daughter. . . .

In Kinderloser Ehe | [Prayer for a Woman] In a Childless Marriage, by Fanny Neuda (1855)

Fanny Neuda’s teḥinah for women experiencing difficulty conceiving children. . . .

תפילה על מת בהמה או חיה מחמד | Prayer on the Death of a Beloved Animal, by Aharon Varady (1994)

A prayer for a beloved animal first compiled in English by Aharon N. Varady for Nethaniel Puzael, his family’s cat, in 1994. . . .

תהלים קל״ז | Psalms 137 (Al Naharot Bavel :: By the Rivers of Babylon), translated by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer

Psalm 137 is traditionally recited before the Birkat Hamazon (the Blessing [after eating] the Meal) on a weekday. Psalms 137 (with Psalms 138:1) is read on the day of the Fast of Tisha b’Av. . . .

שבע ברכות | The Seven Blessings over a Wedding (interpretive translation by Aharon Varady)

A translation of the Seven Blessings shared just in time for Shavuot, and in honor of several of my friend’s weddings. . . .

תעודת גירות | Certificate of Conversion template for adults (Hebrew-English and gender-neutral), by Rabbi Jonah Rank

A gender-neutral Hebrew-English conversion certificate template for adults. . . .


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