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☞   Birkhot haShaḥar

אלהי נשמה | Elohai Neshamah, adapted by Yael Schweid & Rabbi Ofer Sabath Beit-Halachmi (2009)

An adaptation of the prayer Elohai Neshama in honor of a bar mitsvah. . . .

ברכות השחר | Morning blessings, by Rabbi Tamar Duvdevani

Four morning blessings inspired from traditional blessing in the Birkhot haShaḥar and Shaḥarit services. . . .

ברייתא דרבי ישמעאל | The Baraita of Rebbi Yishma’el: thirteen principles of halakhic exegesis, translated by Ben-Zion Bokser

The thirteen exegetical rules by which halakhot from the Torah may be derived, according to Rebbi Yishmael, included with the preliminary prayers before the Psukei d’Zimrah/Zemirot of Shaḥarit. . . .

Morning Prayer, by Marcus Heinrich Bresslau (1852)

A prayer upon rising in the morning. . . .

Morning Prayer for Children, by Rabbi Moritz Mayer (1866)

A rhyming morning prayer in English for young Jewish children. . . .

Acte d’humilité | Act of humility, by Jonas Ennery & Rabbi Arnaud Aron (1852)

A paraliturgical prayer for cultivating humility modeled after the morning prayer, Ribon haOlamim. . . .

Leányka reggeli imája | Morning prayer for young girls, by Rabbi Ferenc Hevesi (1930)

A morning prayer for young girls composed in Magyar and published in 1930, with English translation. . . .

רִבּוֹן הָעוֹלָמִים | Ribon HaOlamim, a paraliturgical reflection by Rabbi Shoshana Meira Friedman

A paraliturgical reflection of the prayer Ribon haOlamim for a shame resilience practice. . . .

בִּרְכוֹת הַתּוֹרָה | Birkhot haTorah, paraliturgical reflections by Rabbi Shoshana Meira Friedman

A paraliturgical reflection on the blessings over learning Torah, the Birkhot haTorah, for a shame resilience practice. . . .

אֱלֹהַי נְשָׁמָה | Elohai Neshamah, a paraliturgical reflection by Rabbi Shoshana Meira Friedman

A paraliturgical reflection on the prayer over being animated with life sustaining breath, Elohai Neshamah, for a shame resilience practice. . . .

ברכות השחר | Birkhot haShaḥar (Morning Blessings), paraliturgical reflections by Rabbi Shoshana Meira Friedman

Paraliturgical reflections of the morning blessings for a shame resilience practice. . . .

יְדִיד נֶפֶשׁ | Yedid Nefesh, translation by Rabbi Sam Seicol

A variation of the piyyut “Yedid Nefesh” in Hebrew with English translation. . . .

יְדִיד נֶפֶשׁ | Yedid Nefesh, translation by Rabbi Levi Weiman-Kelman & Shaul Vardi

A variation of the piyyut “Yedid Nefesh” in Hebrew with English translation. . . .

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.” . . .

מודה אני | Modeh Ani by Moshe ibn Makhir (interpretive translation by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi)

Modeh Ani, in Hebrew with English translation by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi. . . .

נְשָׁמָה שֶׁנָּתַתָּ בִּי | 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. . . .

ברכות השחר | Blessings at your Dawn of Wakefulness, translated by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi

Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, z”l, included his translation of the Birkhot haShaḥar in his Siddur Tehillat Hashem Yidaber Pi (2009). . . .

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. . . .

אֲדוֹן עוֹלָם | Adōn Olam, interpretive translation by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi

Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi’s interpretive “praying translation” of the piyyut, Adon Olam. . . .

אָנָּא בְּכֹחַ | Ana b’Khoaḥ, a 42 letter name piyyut with a singing translation by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi

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

מודה אני | Modah/Modeh Ani, by Moshe ibn Makhir (translation by Andrew Shaw)

Thankful am I in your Presence, Spirit who lives and endures, for You’ve returned to me my soul with compassion. Abundant is your faith! . . .

ידיד נפש | Yedid Nefesh attributed to Elazar ben Moshe Azikri ca. 16th c. (Arabic translation by Hillel Farḥi, ca. 1913)

Yedid Nefesh is a piyyut composed by Elazar ben Moshe Azikri (1533-1600) commonly found in the morning baqashot of Sepharadi siddurim and as a petiḥah for Kabbalat Shabbat in many siddurim. This is a faithful transcription of Yedid Nefesh translated into Arabic from סדור פרחי سدور فرحي Siddur Farḥi (nusaḥ Sefaradi, minhag Egypt 1913, 1917) by Hillel Farḥi (1868-1940). (A copy of Siddur Farhi can be ordered from the Farḥi Foundation here.) Transcription of the Arabic was made by Wikisource contributor Avigdor24, here. Please help to proofread and improve this transcription. Join us in the digital transcription of Siddur Farḥi on Hebrew Wikisource. . . .

מוֹדה אֲנִי | Returning the body to the soul: an adaptation of Modeh Ani by Moshe ibn Makhir

Modeh Ani first appeared as an addendum in Seder ha-Yom (1599) by Moshe ibn Makhir of Safed. A slightly different formula offers a deep insight into who and what has returned to one’s self upon waking. . . .

A Kavvanah for Waking Up, by Andrew Shaw

An original liturgical poem inspired by the Modah|Modeh Ani prayer. . . .

צַפְרִירִים | Tsafririm (“Morning Spirits”), a poem by Ḥayyim Naḥman Bialik (1900)

The poem “Tsafririm” (1900) by Ḥayyim Naḥman Bialik with an English translation by Ben Aronin. . . .

עִם שָׁמֶשׁ | At Sunrise, a poem by Ḥayyim Naḥman Bialik (1903)

The poem, “Im Shamesh” (At Sunrise) by Ḥayyim Naḥman Bialik in June 1903. . . .

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. . . .

“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. . . .

יְדִיד נֶפֶשׁ | Yedid Nefesh, interpretive translation by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi

Yedid Nefesh is a piyyut of uncertain authorship. Rabbi Elazar Moshe Azikri (1533-1600) included the piyyut in his Sefer Haḥaredim (1588). (The images below are of pages with Yedid Nefesh handwritten by Azikri.) A version of the piyyut “with noteworthy text, spelling and pointing” may be found on folio 146 (verso) of Samuel b. David b. Solomon’s Commentary On the Book of Numbers (ca. 1437 CE, see Stefan C. Reif, The Hebrew Manuscripts at Cambridge University Libraries: A Description and Introduction Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997, page 93). Presumably, this text was added to the 15th century manuscript sometime in the 17th century after the popularization of Yedid Nefesh. The piyyut has since appeared with a number of variations in various siddurim. . . .

אֲדוֹן עוֹלָם (ספרד)‏ | Adon Olam, rhyming translation by Rabbi David de Sola Pool (1937)

A rhyming translation in English to the popular piyyut, Adon Olam. . . .

אֲדוֹן עוֹלָם (ספרד)‏ | Adon Olam, rhyming translation by Rosa Emma Salaman (1855)

A rhyming English translation of Adon Olam by Rosa Emma Salaman. . . .

יִגְדַּל אֱלֹהִים חַי | Yigdal by Daniel ben Judah (German translation by Chajm Guski)

Gelobt sei der lebendige Gott! Ihn grenzt nicht Raum, ihn grenzt nicht Zeit. Er ist der Einzige, dem nichts gleicht in seiner hehren Einzigkeit. Er ist nicht Form, ist nicht Gestalt, „der Heilige“, sich gleichend bloß. Der Urbeginn, vor allem Sein: Anfang, der selber anfangslos. So waltet er als Herr der Welt, von dessen Macht das All erzählt. Mit dessen Geist erfüllte er G-ttkünder, die er auserwählt. Nie stand, wie Mosche, einer auf, der je so klar sein Bild erschaut. Die wahre Torah gab uns Gott durch ihn, der seinem Haus vertraut. Und nie verwirft Gott sein Gesetz, nie gibt er es für ein anderes hin. Er schaut in unser Herz und weiß das Ende schon beim Anbeginn. Von ihm wird nach Verdienst und Schuld uns Lohn und Strafe einst zuteil. Die Zeit des G-ttesreiches kommt und bringt den Harrenden das Heil. Die Toten weckt er auf zur Zeit. Gelobt sei Gott in Ewigkeit. . . .

פֶּרֶק שִׁירָה | Pereq Shirah, a litany of verses spoken by the creatures & works of Creation (after the arrangement of Natan Slifkin)

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. . . .

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. . . .

רבון העולמים | Ribon HaOlamim from the Seder Tefilot of the RaMBaM in MS Constantinople 1509

A variation of the prayer Ribon ha-Olamim from the section of prayers preceding Psukei d’Zimrah/Zermirot. . . .

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. . . .

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. . . .


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