יום העבודה | Salvation through Avodah, a prayer for the Sabbath before Labor Day, adapted from the writings of A.D. Gordon by Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan (1945)

“Salvation through Labor,” adapted by Rabbi Mordecai Menaḥem Kaplan from the writings of Aaron David Gordon, can be found on p. 548-551 of his The Sabbath Prayer Book (New York: The Jewish Reconstructionist Foundation, 1945). The translation was attributed in the Sabbath Prayer Book to its editors (Mordecai Kaplan & Eugene Kohn, assisted by Ira Eisenstein and Milton Steinberg). . . .

הברכה אהבת עולם | Ahavat Olam, translated by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi

Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, z”l, included his translation of “Ahavat Olam” in his Siddur Tehillat Hashem Yidaber Pi (2009). . . .

הברכה יוצר אור | Yotser Ohr, translated by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi

Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, z”l, included his translation of the shaḥarit blessing before the Shema “Yotser Ohr” in his Siddur Tehillat Hashem Yidaber Pi (2009). . . .

מה טובו | Mah Tovu: Prayer upon Entering the Synagogue (Romanian trans. Avraham Shlomo Gold, ca. 1903)

To the best of my ability, this is a faithful transcription of the prayer upon entering the synagogue from סדר תפילות לכל השנה Ordinea Rugăciunilor pentru toate zilele anului (nusaḥ Sefaradi, minhag Romania) translated into Romanian by Rabbi Abraham Shlomo Gold (Institutul de editura Ralian si Ignat Samitca, Craiova, 1903). A video of this siddur can be seen on youtube here. We would like to know more about Rabbi Gold; if you have any information, please contact us. . . .

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) . . .

Piyyutim to Introduce the First Aliyot of Each Book in the Torah, by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer

These are piyyutim written in a traditional style, meant to introduce the opening of each book in the Torah. These piyyutim can be used at any time the opening line of the reading is said – on the Shabbat Minḥa/Monday/Thursday prior to the reading OR on the Shabbat morning of the reading proper. Because of this, the sheets arranged including the readings use two sizes – a larger size for the shorter first reading for weekdays, and a smaller size for the full first reading on Shabbatot. They can only be read when the first verse of the book is read. . . .

שיר של מרים הנביאה | The Song of Miriam, a petiḥah by Rabbi Ruth H. Sohn (1981)

“The Song of Miriam” by Rabbi Ruth Sohn was first published as “I Shall Sing to the Lord a New Song,” in Kol Haneshamah: Shabbat Vehagim, Reconstructionist Prayerbook, 1989, 1995 Second Edition. Reconstructionist Press, pp. 768-769. (This poem was also published in several haggadot and other books and set to music by several composers in the U.S. and Israel.) Rabbi Sohn wrote the poem in 1981 as a rabbinical student after immersing herself in the Torah verses and the traditional midrashim about Miriam, and after writing a longer modern midrash about Miriam. Part of this modern midrash was published as “Journeys,” in All the Women Followed Her, ed. Rebecca Schwartz (Rikudei Miriam Press, 2001). . . .

A Closing Prayer by the Ḥazzan, by Gershom Seixas (K.K. Shearith Israel, 1789)

A ḥatimah (closing) prayer delivered by Ḥazzan Gershom Seixas at a special Thanksgiving Day service by K.K. Shearith Israel in 1789. . . .

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. . . .

תהלים ק״נ בלשון לאדינו | Psalms 150 in Ladino (Estampado por Ǧ. Griffit, ca. 1852/3)

The Masoretic text of Psalms 150 set side-by-side with a Ladino translation published ca. 1852 in Izmir, Turkey. . . .

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. . . .

תהלים קמ״ה | Psalms 145 by David, translated by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer

Psalms 145 in Hebrew with English translation. . . .

תהלים קמ״ט | Psalms 149, translated by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer

Psalms 149 in Hebrew with English translation. . . .

תהלים ק״נ | Psalms 150, translated by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer

Psalms 150 in Hebrew with English translation. . . .

מי שברך לעגונות | Mi sheBerakh to Support Agunot and Call Get Refusers to Account, by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer

This prayer, following the structure of the Mi Sheberakh supplications during the Torah service, is meant to call get refusers to account, by name, and make a statement that their behavior is evil and will not be tolerated. . . .

מִי שֶׁבֵּרָךְ לִמְקַבְּלֵי שֵׁם אֱמֶת אַחַר אִשּׁוּר מְגַדְּרִי | Mi sheBerakh for those receiving a true name after gender confirmation, by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer

A Mi sheBerakh prayer, in the manner of those used during the Torah service, to honor those receiving a true Hebrew name reflecting their gender after undergoing gender confirmation. . . .

מי שברך לילדים והוריהם בשלהי שנה ובפתיחה | Mi sheBeraj para los niños y sus padres en el inicio de un nuevo año escolar | Mi sheBerakh for Children and their Parents at the Commencement of the School Year, by Rabbi Hagit Sabag Yisrael (Masorti Movement in Israel)

A “mi sheberakh” blessing for children and the parents of children returning to school at the beginning of the new school year. . . .

מִי שֶׁבֵּרַךְ | Mi sheBerakh for United States Military War Veterans, by Hinda Tzivia Eisen

A “mi sheberakh” prayer for U.S. war veterans on the shabbat preceding Veterans Day (November 11). . . .

מי שברך לתלמידים היוצאים לחופשת הקיץ | A Mi sheBerakh prayer for students leaving school for their summer break, by Rabbi Esteban Gottfried

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

שירת הים | Shirat haYam :: the Song of the Sea (Exodus 15:1-19)

According to Rabbinic tradition, the 21st of Nissan is the day in the Jewish calendar on which Pharaoh’s army was drowned in the Sea of Reeds, and the redeemed children of Yisrael sang the Song of the Sea, the (Shirat Hayam, Exodus 15:1-19). The song, as included in the the morning prayers, comprises one of the most ancient text in Jewish liturgy. The 21st of Nissan corresponds to the 7th day of Passover, and the recitation of the Shirat HaYam is part of the daily Torah Reading. Rabbi Hillel Ḥayim Yisraeli-Lavery shares a performance of a melody he learned for the Shirat Hayam from צוף דבש Tzuf Devash, a Moroccan synagogue in the Old City of Jerusalem. If there is something about this tune that strikes one as particularly celebratory, it might be because the relationship between G!d and the Jewish people is traditionally described as a marriage consummated with the Covenant at Mt. Sinai. The passage of Bnei Yisrael through the Sea of Reeds towards Mt. Sinai thus begins a bridal march commencing in the theophany at Mt. Sinai, 42 days later. . . .

מודה אני | 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. . . .

Adventures in Ancient Jewish Liturgy: the Birkat Kohanim

The earliest artifacts recording Jewish liturgy (or for that matter any Hebrew formulation found in the Torah) are two small silver amulets, discovered in 1979 by Israeli archaeologist Gabriel Barkay. He discovered the amulets in a burial chamber while excavating in Ketef Hinnom, a section of the Hinnom Valley south of Jerusalem’s Old City. The inscriptions on these amulets conclude with parts of the Birkat Kohanim (Priestly Blessing), the three-part blessing in which the Kohanim are instructed to bless the people of Israel in Numbers 6:22-27. The script in the amulets dates them approximately to the reign of King Yoshiyahu (late 7th or early 6th century BCE) predating the Nash papyrus, and the earliest of the Dead Sea Scrolls by four centuries. . . .

מִי שֶׁבֵּרַךְ | A Hadran Mi sheBerakh Upon Completing the Writing of a Sefer Torah, by Rabbi Menachem Creditor

Misheberach Avoteinu Avraham Yiztchak veYa’akov, ve’Imoteinu Sarah Rivkah, Rachel, veLeah – May the One who blessed our ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel, and Leah, bless this scribe who has, through the commitment of her heart, devotion of her soul, and skill of her hands, invited us to return to Torah, turn with Torah, and turn Torah over and over again. Please, God, sweeten the words of Torah in our mouths and in the mouths of all people. May we all, old and young, touch the Sacred and be preserved and strengthened. We thank You, Adonai, for the privilege of experiencing the overflowing well of Torah, and for the sweetness of those who give it life. May this Soferet, our friend and teacher, be blessed to do her work in this world experiencing abundant safety, security, and love. May she only know the grace she bestows on her People Israel, her community who needs her gift so very deeply. May we all learn and love Torah, even more than we already did. Amen. . . .

After Shaḥarit: Abiding Advice for Daily Living, by Eliyahu Carmi (1767)

In Avignon, France, in 1767, Eliyahu Karmi (Elijah Crémieux) compiled a siddur preserving the nusaḥ of the Comtat Venaissin titled the סדר התמיד (Seder HaTamid). Just after the section for תפלת שחרית (the morning prayers), Karmi provides the following advice for how to organize one’s workday: . . .

A Kavvanah for Waking Up, by Andrew Shaw

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

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! . . .

פַּרְשְׁיָתָא דְּפִתְחָא לְמִנְחָה | Passages for Opening Minḥah, by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer

One of the great things about Pesukei and Kabbalat Shabbat is that it enhances our feeling of holiness, that what we’re about to do is outside the secular world we’ve just left. Minḥah is the shortest service, and usually gone through the fastest. But it is still a spot of holiness in our afternoons, and we should keep that in mind. I hope that this text can help us remember that we can always take a break from our day to access some afternoon holiness. . . .

מִי שֶׁבֵּרַךְ | Mi sheBerakh for Victims of Slavery, by Rabbi Joshua Boettiger (2009)

We are grateful to Rabbi Joshua Boettinger and Rabbis for Human Rights–North America (RHR-NA) for sharing the following petitionary prayer, A Misheberakh for Victims of Slavery. Originally published by RHR-NA on their website in 2009, the prayer attends to the desperate need to eradicate all forms of slavery that persist today, especially in advance of the holiday celebrating our Z’man Cheruteinu, the season of our freedom, every Spring, every Pesaḥ. . . .

Adventures in Ancient Jewish Liturgy: The Ten Commandments and the Sh’ma in the Nash Papyrus

Once upon a time, according to the Mishnah, it was the nusaḥ (liturgical tradition) of the Cohanim in the Bet Hamikdash[ref]Priests of the Temple in Jerusalem[/ref] for the Ten Commandments to be read prior to the Sh’ma. . . .

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. . . .


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