“Abide in Me, and I in You: the Soul’s Answer,” a prayer-poem by Harriet Beecher Stowe (1855/1865)

A hymn by the abolitionist Harriet Beecher Stowe, included in the hymnal of Congregation Adath Jeshurun in Philadelphia in 1926. . . .

מודים דרבנן בלי מנין או אם לבד (אשכנז)‏ | Modim d’Rabbanan Replacement for when Praying Alone or Without a Minyan (Nusaḥ Ashkenaz), by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer

This text uses the passage for the Askenazi nusach of the Modim d’Rabbanan and incorporates it into an extended version of the Modim, slightly editing it so as to fit more appropriately and so as not to repeat the word “modim” (which is forbidden on the grounds of appearing, ḥas v’shalom, to pray to multiple deities—see Berakhot 33b). It was first written for a separate project by the editor (https://opensiddur.org/prayers/lunisolar/musaf/dukhening-in-a-musaf-amidah-after-a-heykhe-qedushah-by-isaac-gantwerk-mayer/) but here it can be found alone. It can be silently recited when praying alone or after a heykhe kedusha, to replace the first paragraph of the Modim prayer. . . .

ברכו בלי מנין או אם לבד (אשכנז)‏ | Barkhu replacement for when Praying Alone or Without a Minyan (Nusaḥ Ashkenaz), by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer

This replacement barkhu arranges multiple Biblical verses in a catena. It is introduced and closed with verses from the book of Neḥemiah, verses often considered the source for the custom of calling to prayer. In between are poetic texts from the Song of Deborah and from Psalms that direct the term “Barkhu” — the plural imperative “Bless ye!” — at God. It could be recited alone in the location where the Barkhu would traditionally be recited, or said aloud in a community when no minyan is available. Alternatively, it could be used WITH a minyan as a text to introduce the Barkhu, a new step in of a line of poetic introductions to the service written for multiple generations. . . .

קדיש יתום בלי מנין או אם לבד (אשכנז)‏ | Abbreviated, Personal Mourner’s Kaddish for when Praying Alone or Without a Minyan (Nusaḥ Ashkenaz), by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer

This text takes the basic idea of the Baladi-rite ‘Brikh Shmeh d’Kudsha Brikh Hu’ and adapts it for the Askenazi nusach of the Kaddish. It can be used when praying alone wherever a minyan would say the entire Kaddish. It could also be recited by a community in unison out loud when it can’t make a minyan, to show that even if we don’t have a full minyan, we still welcome mourners as part of our community. . . .

Meditation on the Akeidah in the Birkot haShaḥar, by Shim’on Menachem

I had an opening, with the help and support of some holy chevrei, to take on Binding of Isaac and accompanying meditations that occupy a conspicuous space during the morning blessings. This is what came out. . . .

עלינו | An Alternative Aleinu by Leon Gunther

Leon Gunther presents a proposal for a revision of the controversial line of the traditional Aleinu prayer, shehem mishtaḥavim l’hevel varik (“For they worship ephemera and emptiness, and pray to a god who cannot save,” a combination of Isaiah 30:7 and Isaiah 45:20). . . .

תהלים קמ״ב | Psalms 142 and Mi sheBerakh for those in captivity or whose whereabouts are unknown

May the one who blessed our ancestors, Avraham, Yitzḥak, and Yaakov, Yoseph, Moshe, and Aharon, David and Shlomo, Ruth, Sarah, Rivka, Miriam, Devorah, Tamar, and Raḥel, bless and safeguard and preserve the captives… . . .

תפילה לשלום מדינת ישראל | Prayer for the Welfare of the State of Israel, by Rabbi Yitsḥak haLevi Hertzog (1948)

The Prayer for the Welfare of the State of Israel was composed by Rabbi Yitsḥak haLevi Hertzog, edited by S.Y. Agnon, and first published in the newspaper Ha-Tsofeh on 20 September 1948. . . .

תפילה למדינת ישראל | Prayer for the State of Israel by Rabbi Dr. Aryeh Cohen (2002)

My heart, my heart goes out to you Zion Tears, jubilation, celebration, grieving Did we not dream a dream that came to be? And here it is—both song and lament. . . .

שִׁוִּיתִי | Shiviti: perceiving the world as an expression of divine Oneness

Given that the Torah forbids impressing our imaginations with illustrations of the divine, some other method is necessary to perceive divine Oneness. One method is found in the verse in Psalms 16:8, “I have set YHVH before me at all times.” . . .

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? . . .

שמע | Kabbalistic Commentary on the Shema from Rabbi Isaiah Horowitz’s Siddur Shaar haShamayim

Rabbi Isaiah Horowitz (1565-1630), known as the Shlah from the name of his chief work (Shnei Luḥot HaBrit – The Two Tablets of the Covenant), was a rabbi in Central and Eastern Europe and later Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi of Jerusalem. This text is an excerpt from his kabbalistic prayer book, Siddur Shaar haShamayim (Gate of Heaven), which deals with the Shma prayer. . . .

הֲרֵינִי מְקַבֵּל עָלַי | A kavvanah to love your fellow as yourself, before prayer

The custom of reciting this intention is attributed to Rav Yitzḥak Luria, circa 16th century, on Leviticus 19:18, recorded in Minhagei ha-Arizal–Petura d’Abba, p.3b by R’ Ḥayyim Vital. . . .

הַנּוֺתֵן תְּשׁוּעָה | A Prayer for the Prosperitie of his Royal Majestie (King Charles II) delivered by Rabbi Jacob Jehudah Leon (1675)

Rabbi Jacob Judah Leon’s Prayer for King Charles II, from his 1675 booklet, was the first Jewish prayer in English for an English king (Mocatta Library, University College London). . . .

תְּחִנָה קַבָּלַת עוֺל מַלְכוּת שָׁמַיִם | Tkhine [for Women] Receiving the Yoke of the Kingdom of Heaven (1916)

The author of this tkhine intended for women to begin their morning devotional reading of prayers by first accepting patriarchal dominion. Women compensate for their inherent weakness and gain their honor only through the established gender roles assigned to them. The placement of this tkhine at the beginning of the Shas Tkhine Rav Peninim, a popular collection of women’s tkhines published in 1916 (during the ascent of women’s suffrage in the U.S.), suggests that it was written as a prescriptive polemic to influence pious Jewish women to reject advancing feminist ideas. . . .

תפילה למצביעי המדינה | Prayer for the Electorate, by David Zvi Kalman (2016)

A prayer for the electorate to be recited together with the Prayer for Government on the Shabbat before an election (federal, state, or local). David Zvi Kalman’s “Prayer for the Electorate” was initially published on Ritualwell here and linked from an explanation of the prayer posted here. Vocalization of the unpointed text by Josh Soref. (Thank you!) . . .

מי שברך לחיילי צה”ל | Mi sheBerakh Prayer for the Welfare of Israel Defense Forces Soldiers, amended by Dr. Alex Sinclair (2012)

May the Lord give our soldiers wisdom, understanding, and insight, so that they do not destroy the righteous with the wicked, as it is written in Your Torah: “Far be it from you to do such a thing, to kill the righteous with the wicked, treating them the same. Far be it from you – should the Judge of all the Earth not do justice?” (Genesis 18:25) . . .

תְּחִנָה פון רֹאשׁ חוֹדֶשׁ בענטשן | Tkhine for the Rosh Ḥodesh Blessing, by Sarah Rivka Raḥel Leah Horowitz (ca. 18th c.)

The teḥinah for the blessing of the new moon is said each Shabbat Mevorkhim, addition to the specific teḥinah for that month. The prayer is recited when the Aron HaKodesh is opened, signifying the opening of the Heavenly gates of mercy (an especially propitious time to pray for health, livelihood, and all good). . . .

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. . . .

מה טבו | A Paraliturgical Mah Tovu in French by R’ Arnaud Aron and Jonas Ennery (1848), translated to English by Hester Rothschild (1855)

This is a faithful transcription of a teḥinah (supplicatory prayer) composed in parallel to the prayer for entering a synagogue, Mah Tovu, following in the paraliturgical tradition of Yiddish tkhines, albeit written in French. (This particular paraliturgical prayer may be original or it may be based on an earlier work in German or Yiddish. Please contact us or comment below if you can identify it.) The prayer was written by Rabbi Arnaud Aron and Jonas Ennery for their opus, אמרי לב Prières d’un Coeur Israelite published in 1848 by the Société Consistoriale de Bons Livres. In 1855, an abridged English translation of Prières d’un Coeur Israelite was authorized by Nathan Marcus Adler, chief rabbi of the British Empire and published as Prayers and Mediatations, translated by Hester Rothschild. Aron and Ennery were directly inspired by tkhines literature. . . .

A Kavvanah on Praying, Singing, and Listening to Torah Readings, by Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan (1942)

A prayer on praying, singing, and Torah learning by Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan. . . .

ריבונו של עולם הריני מוחל | Prayer of Forgiveness by Rabbi Yitsḥak Luria z”l, from the Bedtime Shema (translation by Reb Zalman Schachter-Shalomi)

Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, z”l, included his translation of Rabbi Yitsḥak Luria’s prayer “Hareni Moḥel” (I hereby forgive) in his Siddur Tehillat Hashem Yidaber Pi (2009). To the best of my ability, I have set his translation side-by-side with a transcription of the vocalized text of the prayer. The prayer by the ARI z”l was first published in Ḥayim Vital’s Pri Ets Ḥayyim, Shaar Kriyat Shema al Hamitah, Pereq 2 (פרי עץ חיים, שער קריאת שמע שעל המיטה, פרק ב), and based on the statement of Reish Lakish in the Bavli Pesachim 66b and the practice of Mar Zutra attested in the Bavli Megillah 28a . . .

Twilight, a poem by Rosa Emma Salaman (1849)

The poem, “Twilight” by Rosa Emma Salaman, was first published in the Occident 7:5, Ab 5609/August 1849, p.245. . . .

Night, a poem by Rosa Emma Salaman (1846)

The poem, “Night” by Rosa Emma Salaman, was first published in the Occident 3:11, Shebat 5606, February 1846. . . .

Divine Love, a poem by Rosa Emma Salaman (1848)

The poem, “Divine Love” by Rosa Emma Salaman, was first published in the Occident 6:7, Tishrei 5609, October 1849, p. 197-198. . . .

A Description of my Dreams, a poem by Rosa Emma Salaman (1848)

The poem, “A Description of my Dreams” by Rosa Emma Salaman, was written in September 1849 and first published in the Occident and American Jewish Advocate Vol. 6:4, Tamuz 5608, July 1848, p.175-177. . . .

The Angels’ Vigil, a poem by Rosa Emma Salaman (1848)

The poem, “The Angels’ Vigil” by Rosa Emma Salaman, was written in April 12, 1848 and first published in the Occident and American Jewish Advocate 6:3, Sivan 5608, June 1848, p. 127-128. . . .

אשרי | Ashrei (Psalms 145), in an adapted translation by Rabbi Sam Seicol

A modern translation of the Ashrei in alphabetic parallel to the Hebrew. . . .

רבון העולמים | Ribon HaOlamim from the Seder Tefilot of the RaMBaM in M.S. Constantinople 1509 (trans. Aharon Varady)

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תהלים כ״ז | Psalms 27 (interpretive translation by Reb Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, z”l)

This English translation of Psalms 27 by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi z”l, was first published in his Siddur Tehillat Hashem Yidaber Pi (2009). Versification by Aharon 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. . . .

ברכות התורה | Blessing for Torah Study, interpretive translation by Reb Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, z”l

This English translation of the blessing for Torah study by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi z”l, was first published in his Siddur Tehillat Hashem Yidaber Pi (2009). Versification according to the Nusaḥ ha-ARI z”l by Aharon Varady. . . .

נשמה שנתת בי | Neshamah Shenatata Bi (the breath you have given me), interpretive translation by Reb Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, z”l

This English translation by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi z”l of “Neshama Shenatata Bi,” was first published in his Siddur Tehillat Hashem Yidaber Pi (2009). Linear associations of this translation according to the nusaḥ ha-ARI z”l by Aharon Varady. . . .

ידיד נפש | Yedid Nefesh, attributed to Elazar ben Moshe Azikri ca. 16th c. (translation by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi)

You who love my soul Compassion’s gentle source, Take my disposition and shape it to Your will. Like a darting deer I will flee to You. Before Your glorious Presence Humbly I do bow. Let Your sweet love Delight me with its thrill Because no other dainty Will my hunger still. . . .

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. . . .

ברוך שאמר | Barukh She’amar, interpretive translation by Reb Zalman Schachter-Shalomi z”l

This English translation by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi z”l of “Barukh Sh’amar,” was first published in his Siddur Tehillat Hashem Yidaber Pi (2009). Linear associations of this translation according to the nusaḥ ha-ARI z”l by Aharon Varady. . . .

א תְּפִילָה פיר שָׁלוֹם הַמְדִינָה | A Prayer for the Welfare of the Government during WWII (from A Naye Shas Tkhine Rav Pninim, ca. 1942)

A prayer for the welfare of the government in Yiddish from A Naye Shas Tkhine Rav Pninim (after 1933). . . .

מי שברך לאסונות טבע | Mi sheBerakh for Natural Disasters, by Isaac Gantwerk-Mayer

A Mi Sheberakh prayer for those affected by natural disasters. This prayer uses many standard liturgical phrases in a new context to stress that God, while full of great power, is not a God of destruction but one of peace and life. Quoting the famous vision of Elijah at Ḥorev, this prayer is for those who seek comfort and tranquility from their God. . . .

מי שברך למיני פשעי שנאה | Mi sheBerakh for Hate Crimes and Bigotry, by Isaac Gantwerk-Mayer

From resurgent neo-fascist movements to religious extremist attacks, hate crimes are on the rise all over the world right now. At times like this many people live in fear – fear of being attacked or maligned, physical, mental or emotional. Hatred is not new to the Jewish people, but traditionally it was considered “just the way it is.” As Americans, we should believe better. The midrash (Devarim Rabbah 5:10) says that hateful speech kills three – the speaker, the listener, and the subject. This Mi Sheberakh was written as a prayer for all those of every people and nation that are affected by hatred and bigotry. . . .

יהי כבוד | Yehi Kh’vod, interpretive translation by Reb Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, z”l

Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, z”l, included his translation of “Yehi Kh’vod” in his Siddur Tehillat Hashem Yidaber Pi (2009). To the best of my ability, I have set his translation side-by-side with the verses comprising the piyyut. . . .

ברכות על קריאת התורה | Blessing over the Torah Reading, at Mishkan Shalom, Philadelphia

Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, Reb Arthur Waskow, and others helped to formulate this grammatically feminine Hebrew blessing for an oleh in their blessing over the Torah reading, in the early years of Congregation Mishkan Shalom in Philadelphia (1988-1983). . . .

Betrachtung, wenn der Neumond eingesegnet wird | Prayer on the Sabbath Prior to the New Moon, by Fanny Schmiedl-Neuda (1855)

This is Prayer for the Shabbat preceding the New Moon (Shabbat Mevorkhim) included by Fanny Schmiedl Neuda in her collection of teḥinot in vernacular German, Stunden der Andacht (1855). Fanny Neuda likely either composed or translated this teḥinah into German (from Yiddish) while performing in the capacity of firzogerin (precentress) of the weibershul (women’s gallery) in her husband’s synagogue in Loštice, Bohemia. . . .

Au Renouvellement Du Mois | At the New Moon, by Arnaud Aron and Jonas Ennery (1848), translated to English by Isaac Leeser (1863)

To the best of my ability, this is a faithful transcription of a teḥinah (supplicatory prayer) composed in parallel to the Prayer for the New Moon, following in the paraliturgical tradition of Yiddish tkhines, albeit written in French. . . .

תהלים | Schedule for the Reading of Psalms corresponding to the Weekly Torah Portion, by Isaac Gantwerk-Mayer

This is a system that seeks to create a Haftarah-like system for the reading of Psalms, linking their meaning to the meaning of the reading or the Shabbat of that day. Like the Haftarah system, there are special psalms for the Shabbatot leading up to and following the Ninth of Av, as well as specific psalms for Rosh Chodesh and the special Shabbatot. Unlike the Haftarah system, if two portions are read together or a special Shabbat occurs on a day when another reading is done, both psalms are read (since psalms are generally shorter and easier to read than prophetic texts.) . . .

העמידה לימות החל עם טעמי המקרא‎ | Weekday Amidah and Kaddish with Ta’amei haMiqra (cantillation), by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer (Nusaḥ Ashkenaz)

The full Weekday Amidah (or Eighteen Blessings), according to Nusach Ashkenaz with optional additions for egalitarian rites or for within Israel, 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 has the Eighteen Blessings (which number nineteen) of the weekday Amidah, and is suitable to use as a text for any standard weekday service. Note: this does not include any of the pre- or post-Amidah texts, such as Ashrei, Kriyat Shema, Tachanun, or Aleinu. It also doesn’t include additions for festivals, fast days, or the Days of Repentance. Those may be coming in the future, though! . . .

מי שברך על קבלת שם עברי | Mi sheBerakh on Receiving a Hebrew Name as an Adult

The names of our ancestors reflect the diverse tapestry of experiences and cultures they encountered including the names of those who joined our families from neighboring people and regional societies. In giving and receiving Hebrew names, we honor the names of all our ancestors whose “names may be remembered for a blessing” (zekher livrakha). Of the ancestors mentioned in the mi sheberakh (“May the one who blessed our forefathers and foremothers…”), I wanted to make certain to include Mordekhai and Esther, names of figures distinguished in their being both native to their Diasporan roots (Marduk and Ishtar), as well as elevated by the heroic, brave action of their namesakes. If there are figures from the Tanakh that are important to you, that are a kesher (connection) between you and the identity contained within our stories, then please feel free to include them in your mi sheberakh. –Aharon Nissn ben Adrienne & David (ﬡַﬣֲﬧֹן ניסן בֶּן עײﬢﬧען וְﬢַוִﬢ) . . .

תפילה קודם קריאת פרשת אחרי מות | Prayer to be Recited Before the Reading of Parashat Aḥarei Mōt, by Rabbi Steven Greenberg

A prayer to recognize lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer-identifying folk before reading Parshat Aḥarei Mot (Leviticus 16:1–18:30) in the synagogue. . . .

פֶּרֶק שִׁירָה | Pereq Shirah (Chapter of Song), a litany of verses pronounced in the voice of the creatures and works of Creation

Talmudic and midrashic sources contain hymns of the creation usually based on homiletic expansions of metaphorical descriptions and personifications of the created world in the Bible. The explicitly homiletic background of some of the hymns in Perek Shira indicates a possible connection between the other hymns and Tannaitic and Amoraic homiletics, and suggests a hymnal index to well-known, but mostly unpreserved, homiletics. The origin of this work, the period of its composition and its significance may be deduced from literary parallels. A Tannaitic source in the tractate Hagiga of the Jerusalem (Hag. 2:1,77a—b) and Babylonian Talmud (Hag. 14b), in hymns of nature associated with apocalyptic visions and with the teaching of ma’aseh merkaba serves as a key to Perek Shira’s close spiritual relationship with this literature. Parallels to it can be found in apocalyptic literature, in mystic layers in Talmudic literature, in Jewish mystical prayers surviving in fourth-century Greek Christian composition, in Heikhalot literature, and in Merkaba mysticism. The affinity of Perek Shira with Heikhalot literature, which abounds in hymns, can be noted in the explicitly mystic introduction to the seven crowings of the cock — the only non-hymnal text in the collection — and the striking resemblance between the language of the additions and that of Shi’ur Koma and other examples of this literature. In Seder Rabba de-Bereshit, a Heikhalot tract, in conjunction with the description of ma’aseh bereshit, there is a clear parallel to Perek Shira’s praise of creation and to the structure of its hymns. The concept reflected in this source is based on a belief in the existence of angelic archetypes of created beings who mediate between God and His creation, and express their role through singing hymns. As the first interpretations of Perek Shira also bear witness to its mystic character and angelologic significance, it would appear to be a mystical chapter of Heikhalot literature, dating from late Tannaitic — early Amoraic period, or early Middle Ages. . . .

תהלים ט״ו | Psalms 15, translated by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi

Psalms 15 is read on special days of festive joy in place of Taḥanun. Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, z”l, included his translation of Psalms 15 in his Siddur Tehillat Hashem Yidaber Pi (2009). To the best of my ability, I have set his translation side-by-side with the verses comprising the Psalm. –Aharon N. Varady . . .

עלינו | Aleinu, attributed to Abba Arikha (early 3rd cent.), translated by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi

Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, z”l, included his translation of an abridged form of the prayer Aleinu in his Siddur Tehillat Hashem Yidaber Pi (2009). . . .


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