בסיעתא דשמיא

תפילה לנספים בשטפונות | Prayer for Flood Victims (Masorti Movement in Israel)

Flash floods are dangerous in every season, but are rare in the dry season, after most rain and snow are thought to have fallen. Changes in the global climate due to global warming caused by anthropogenic activities such as the burning of fossil fuels and the conversion of land for raising animals for their meat is a significant contributor to extreme weather experienced around the world. The Masorti Movement of Israel’s prayer for flood victims was first published on their website, here. . . .

תְּחִנָה לְשַׁבָּת מְבָרְכִים רֹאשׁ חוֺדֶשׁ אִיָיר | Tkhine for Shabbat Mevorkhim Rosh Ḥodesh Iyyar (1877)

To the best of my ability, this is a faithful transcription of the תְּחִנָה לְשַׁבָּת מְבָרְכִים רֹאשׁ חוֺדֶשׁ אִיָיר (“Tkhine for Shabbat Mevorkhim Rosh Ḥodesh Iyyar”) which appeared in תחנות מקרא קודש (Teḥinot Miqra Qodesh, Widow and Brothers Romm, Vilna 1877). English translation adapted slightly from Techinas: A Voice from the Heart “As Only A Woman Can Pray” by Rivka Zakutinsky (Aura Press, 1992). –A.N. Varady . . .

ראש חדש | Au Renouvellememt 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. . . .

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. . . .

Am Neumonde | Prayer for the Day of New Moon, by Fanny Schmiedl-Neuda (1855)

This is the prayer for Rosh Ḥodesh (the day of the New Moon, and first day of the month in the Jewish calendar) 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. The translation in English was made by Moritz Mayer in his abridged translation of Neuda’s collection, Hours of Devotion (1866). . . .

תְּחִנָה לְשַׁבָּת מְבָרְכִים רֹאשׁ חוֺדֶשׁ נִיסָן | Tkhine for Shabbat Mevorkhim Rosh Ḥodesh Nisan (1877)

Yiddish (source) English (translation) אֵל רַחוּם עוֹשֶׂה גְדוֹלוֹת עַד אֵין חֵקֶר נִסִּים וְנִפְלָאוֹת עַד אֵין מִסְפָּר, דערבּאדעמדיגער פאָטער, דער װאָס טוּט גרױסקײַט גאָר נִיט צוּ דערקלערן, נִסִּים אוּן װאוּנדער אָן א צאָל, מיר קוּמען יעצט בּענטשן אוּן הײליגן דעם חוֹדֶשׁ נִיסָן, װאָס אין דעם חוֹדֶשׁ האָסטוּ אוּנז, ליבּער גאָט, פיל נִסִּים געטאָן אוּן גרױסע . . .

תְּחִנָה לְשַׁבָּת מְבָרְכִים רֹאשׁ חוֹדֶשׁ אַדָר | Tkhine for Shabbat Mevorkhim Rosh Ḥodesh Adar [II] (1877)

To the best of my ability, this is a faithful transcription of the תְּחִנָה לְשַׁבָּת מְבָרְכִים רֹאשׁ חוֺדֶשׁ אַדָר (“Tkhine for Shabbat Mevorkhim Rosh Ḥodesh Adar [II]”) which appeared in תחנות מקרא קודש (Teḥinot Miqra Qodesh, Widow and Brothers Romm, Vilna 1877). English translation adapted slightly from Techinas: A Voice from the Heart “As Only A Woman Can Pray” by Rivka Zakutinsky (Aura Press, 1992). –A.N. Varady . . .

תְּחִנָה לְשַׁבָּת מְבָרְכִים רֹאשׁ חוֹדֶשׁ אַדָר רִאשׁוֹן | Tkhine for Shabbat Mevorkhim Rosh Ḥodesh Adar I for Leap Years (1877)

To the best of my ability, this is a faithful transcription of the תְּחִנָה לְשַׁבָּת מְבָרְכִים רֹאשׁ חוֺדֶשׁ אַדָר רִאשׁוֹן (“Tkhine for Shabbat Mevorkhim Rosh Ḥodesh Adar I”) which appeared in תחנות מקרא קודש (Teḥinot Miqra Qodesh, Widow and Brothers Romm, Vilna 1877). English translation adapted slightly from Techinas: A Voice from the Heart “As Only A Woman Can Pray” by Rivka Zakutinsky (Aura Press, 1992). –A.N. Varady . . .

תְּחִנָה לְשַׁבָּת מְבָרְכִים רֹאשׁ חוֹדֶשׁ שְׁבָט | Tkhine for Shabbat Mevorkhim Rosh Ḥodesh Shvat (1877)

To the best of my ability, this is a faithful transcription of the תְּחִנָה לְשַׁבָּת מְבָרְכִים רֹאשׁ חוֺדֶשׁ שְׁבָט (“Tkhine for Shabbat Mevorkhim Rosh Ḥodesh Shvat”) which appeared in תחנות מקרא קודש (Teḥinot Miqra Qodesh, Widow and Brothers Romm, Vilna 1877). English translation adapted slightly from Techinas: A Voice from the Heart “As Only A Woman Can Pray” by Rivka Zakutinsky (Aura Press, 1992). –A.N. Varady . . .

תְּחִנָה לְשַׁבָּת מְבָרְכִים רֹאשׁ חוֹדֶשׁ טֵבֵת | Tkhine for Shabbat Mevorkhim Rosh Ḥodesh Tevet (1877)

To the best of my ability, this is a faithful transcription of the תְּחִנָה לְשַׁבָּת מְבָרְכִים רֹאשׁ חוֺדֶשׁ טֵבֵת (“Tkhine for Shabbat Mevorkhim Rosh Ḥodesh Tevet”) which appeared in תחנות מקרא קודש (Teḥinot Miqra Qodesh, Widow and Brothers Romm, Vilna 1877). English translation adapted slightly from Techinas: A Voice from the Heart “As Only A Woman Can Pray” by Rivka Zakutinsky (Aura Press, 1992). –A.N. Varady . . .

תפילה לחודש כסלו עד סוף חנוכה | Prayer for the month of Kislev through the end of Ḥanukkah, by Rabbi Levi Weiman-Kelman (from Isaiah 60)

Rabbi Levi Weiman-Kelman introduced the tradition of reading these verses from Isaiah during the month of Kislev through the end of Ḥanukkah in his Siddur Ha’Avodah Shebalev of Kehillat Kol HaNeshamah (R’ Levi Weiman-Kelman, R’ Ma’ayan Turner, and Shaul Vardi, 2007). The translation provided here was adapted from the one made by Shaul Vardi in Siddur Ha’Avodah Shebalev. –Aharon Varady. . . .

בְּכִסְלֵו – מאבן בֹחן | On Kislev, from the poem “Touchstone,” by Rabbi Kalonymus ben Kalonymus ben Meir (ca. 14th c.)

Before potatoes entered the diet of Ashkenazi Jews, latkes were cheese pancakes, or cassola, as described in “Even Boḥan” (Touchstone), a satyrical poem by Rabbi Kalonymus ben Kalonymus ben Meir (b.1286-died after 1328). . . .

תְּחִנָה לְשַׁבָּת מְבָרְכִים רֹאשׁ חוֹדֶשׁ כִּסְלֵו | Tkhine for Shabbat Mevorkhim Rosh Ḥodesh Kislev (1877)

To the best of my ability, this is a faithful transcription of the תְּחִנָה לְשַׁבָּת מְבָרְכִים רֹאשׁ חוֺדֶשׁ כִּסְלֵו(“Tkhine for Shabbat Mevorkhim Rosh Ḥodesh Kislev”) which appeared in תחנות מקרא קודש (Teḥinot Miqra Qodesh, Widow and Brothers Romm, Vilna 1877). English translation adapted slightly from Techinas: A Voice from the Heart “As Only A Woman Can Pray” by Rivka Zakutinsky (Aura Press, 1992). –A.N. Varady . . .

תְּחִנָה לְשַׁבָּת מִבָרְכִים רֹאשׁ חוֺדֶשׁ מַרְחֶשְׁוָן | Tkhine for Shabbat Mevorkhim Rosh Ḥodesh Marḥeshvan (1877)

To the best of my ability, this is a faithful transcription of the תְּחִנָה לְשַׁבָּת מְבָרְכִים רֹאשׁ חוֺדֶשׁ מַרְחֶשְׁוָן (“Tkhine for Shabbat Mevorkhim Rosh Ḥodesh Marḥeshvan”) which appeared in תחנות מקרא קודש (Teḥinot Miqra Qodesh, Widow and Brothers Romm, Vilna 1877). English translation adapted slightly from Techinas: A Voice from the Heart “As Only A Woman Can Pray” by Rivka Zakutinsky (Aura Press, 1992). –A.N. Varady . . .

וידוי לראש השנה לבהמות | Meat and Feathers: We Confess for Rosh Hashanah LaBehemot on Rosh Ḥodesh Elul by Trisha Arlin

Trisha Arlin first published this prayer for a communal confession on Rosh Hashanah LaBehemot on her liturgy site, here. Elements of this vidui (confession) are derived from the Kavvanah before Blowing the Shofar on Rosh Ḥodesh Elul for Rosh Hashanah LaBehemot (New Year’s Day for Domesticated Animals). . . .

ברכות ותפילות לרגל עדות העטרה של החמה | Blessings and a Prayer for Witnessing a Solar Eclipse by Rabbi David Seidenberg (neohasid.org)

Blessings and prayers for the eclipse, at: neohasid.org/eclipse including texts and links to other Internet resources. May we all find blessing in the wonder. . . .

Gebet im Monate Elul | Prayer for the Month of Elul by Fanny Neuda (1855)

This is the prayer for the month of Elul included by Fanny Schmiedl Neuda in her collection of teḥinot in vernacular German. 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. The English translation provided here was lightly adapted from Rabbi Moritz Mayer’s 1866 translation. . . .

תְּחִנָה לְשַׁבָּת מְבָרְכִים רֹאשׁ חוֺדֶשׁ אֶלוּל | Tkhine for Shabbat Mevorkhim Rosh Ḥodesh Elul (1877)

To the best of my ability, this is a faithful transcription of the תְּחִנָה לְשַׁבָּת מְבָרְכִים רֹאשׁ חוֺדֶשׁ אֶלוּל (“Tkhine for Shabbat Mevorkhim Rosh Ḥodesh Elul”) which appeared in תחנות מקרא קודש (Teḥinot Miqra Qodesh, Widow and Brothers Romm, Vilna 1877). English translation adapted slightly from Techinas: A Voice from the Heart “As Only A Woman Can Pray” by Rivka Zakutinsky (Aura Press, 1992). –A.N. Varady . . .

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

The Teḥina 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). . . .

תחינה לשבת מברכים ראש חודש סיון | Tknine for Shabbat Mevorkhim Rosh Ḥodesh Sivan (1877)

To the best of my ability, this is a faithful transcription of the תְּחִנָה לְשַׁבָּת מְבָרְכִים רֹאשׁ חוֺדֶשׁ סִיוָן (“Tkhine for Shabbat Mevorkhim Rosh Ḥodesh Sivan”) which appeared in תחנות מקרא קודש (Teḥinot Miqra Qodesh, Widow and Brothers Romm, Vilna 1877). English translation adapted slightly from Techinas: A Voice from the Heart “As Only A Woman Can Pray” by Rivka Zakutinsky (Aura Press, 1992). –A.N. Varady . . .

ראש השנה לבהמות | Kavvanah before Shofar Blowing on Rosh Ḥodesh Elul for Rosh Hashanah LaBehemot (New Year’s Day for Domesticated Animals)

The text of this ritual shofar blowing for Rosh Chodesh Elul and Rosh Hashanah Labehemot developed as part of annual ceremony taking place at the dairy barn on the campus of the Isabella Freedman Retreat Center beginning in 2009 under the auspices of Elat Chayyim and the Adamah Jewish Farming Fellowship. The ceremony was co-developed by Rabbi Jill Hammer and Sarah Chandler in 2009, with elements added by Aharon Varady beginning in 2012. . . .

תְּחִנָה לְשַׁבָּת מְבָרְכִים רֹאשׁ חוֺדֶשׁ מְנַחֵם אָב | Tkhine for Shabbat Mevorkhim Rosh Ḥodesh Menaḥem Av (1877)

This is a faithful transcription of the תְּחִנָה לְשַׁבָּת מְבָרְכִים רֹאשׁ חוֺדֶשׁ מְנַחֵם אָב (“Tkhine for Shabbat Mevorkhim Rosh Ḥodesh Menaḥem Av”) which appeared in תחנות מקרא קודש (Teḥinot Miqra Qodesh, Rom Brothers, Vilna 1877). English translation adapted slightly from Techinas: A Voice from the Heart “As Only A Woman Can Pray” by Rivka Zakutinsky (Aura Press, 1992). –A.N. Varady . . .

תְּחִנָה לְשַׁבָּת מְבָרְכִים רֹאשׁ חוֺדֶשׁ תַּמּוּז | Tkhine for Shabbat Mevorkhim Rosh Ḥodesh Tamuz (1877)

This is a faithful transcription of the תְּחִנָה לְשַׁבָּת מְבָרְכִים רֹאשׁ חוֺדֶשׁ תַּמוּז (“Tkhine for Shabbat Mevorkhim Rosh Ḥodesh Tamuz”) which appeared in תחנות מקרא קודש (Teḥinot Miqra Qodesh, Rom Brothers, Vilna 1877). English translation adapted slightly from Techinas: A Voice from the Heart “As Only A Woman Can Pray” by Rivka Zakutinsky (Aura Press, 1992). –A.N. Varady . . .

תחנה אמהות מן ראש חדש תשרי | Tkhine of the Matriarchs for the New Moon of Tishrei [Rosh Hashanah] by Seril Rappaport (ca. 18th century)

“Tkhine of the Matriarchs for the New Moon of Tishrei [Rosh Hashanah]” 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. . . .

תחנה אמהות מן ראש חודש אלול | Tkhine of the Matriarchs for the New Moon of Elul

“Tkhine of the Matriarchs for the New Moon of Elul” by Rebbetsin Seril Rappaport is a faithful transcription of her tkhine 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. . . .

שִׁיר לְשִׂמְחָה | Shir l’Simḥa, Friedrich Schiller’s An die Freude (ode to Joy) in Hebrew, 1795

In 1785 Friedrich Schiller wrote his ‘An die Freude an ode ‘To Joy’, describing his ideal of an equal society united in joy and friendship. Numerous copies and adaptations attest to its popularity at the time. The slightly altered 1803 edition was set to music not only by Ludwig van Beethoven in his Ninth Symphony but also by other composers such as Franz Schubert and Pyotr Tchaikovsky. Hs. Ros. PL B-57 contains a Hebrew translation of the first edition of the ode (apparently rendered before the 1803 alteration), revealing that the spirit of the age even managed to reach the Jewish community in the Netherlands. Whereas the imagery of Schiller’s original is drawn from Greek mythology, the author of the שִׁיר לְשִׂמְחָה relies on the Bible as a source. In fact, he not only utilises Biblical imagery, but successfully avoids any allusion to Hellenistic ideas whatsoever. . . .

בּרידער | “Brothers” – Y.L. Peretz’s Yiddish Lampoon of Friedrich Schiller’s Ode to Joy

Y.L. Peretz rejected cultural universalism, seeing the world as composed of different nations, each with its own character. Liptzin comments that “Every people is seen by him as a chosen people…”; he saw his role as a Jewish writer to express “Jewish ideals…grounded in Jewish tradition and Jewish history.” This is Peretz lampoon of the popularity of Friedrich Schiller’s idealistic paean made famous as the lyrics to the climax of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. . . .

ט״וּ בִּשְׁבָט | A Tree Comes of Age by Rabbi Dr. Daniel Sperber

Tu Bish’vat is sometimes referred to as the day in which the sap begins to rise in the trees. From where does this teaching arise? . . .

תפילת גשם בזכות האמהות | Prayer for Rain in the Merit of the Matriarchs by Rabbi Jill Hammer

The time of Sukkot is a time of fullness and generosity, but also a time to pray for the coming season. Shemini Atzeret, the festival when we pray for rain, is an expression of our need for water, which in the Jewish tradition symbolizes life, renewal, and deliverance. Tefillat Geshem, a graceful fixture of the Ashkenazic liturgy, invokes the patriarchs as exemplars of holiness and model recipients of God’s love. This prayer uses water as a metaphor for devotion and faith, asking that God grant us life-sustaining rain. While its authorship is unknown, it is sometimes attributed to Elazar Kallir, the great liturgist who lived sometime during the first millenium. Each year, we are reminded of our people’s connection to the patriarchs and to the rhythms of water, spiritual and physical sources of life, through this medieval piyyut. While we know that rain is a natural process, formal thanksgiving for water as a source of life, energy, and beauty reminds us that our Creator is the source of our physical world and its many wonders. . . .

A Blessing for the Bugs on Rosh Ḥodesh Elul and Rosh Hashana LaBehemot by Trisha Arlin

I have come to see That we are not the only creatures who are B’tzelem Elohim, We are all in God’s image. So today, on Rosh Ḥodesh Elul, On the New Year of the Domesticated Beasts, Let’s give thanks to the bugs Like the four questioning children Wise and snarky and simple and oblivious, Like the four worlds of the kabbala The earth, the sky, the heart and the spirit We give thanks and acknowledge The bugs we have domesticated The bugs who serve us in their wild state The bugs that hurt us or gross us out And the bugs who live only for themselves, without any reference to us. . . .

Masking the Liturgy: a pedagogy for learning the siddur, by Rabbi Dr. Joshua Gutoff

I wanted my students to start thinking of prayers as expressions of an interior world, rather than as descriptions of the exterior one. I suggested to them that they think of a prayer as a kind of mask, much like the ones worn in religious rituals by many peoples. The job of the mask-wearer is to discover the reality on the “inside” of the mask and bring it to life. . . .

פרק שירה | Perek Shirah (Chapter of Song), a hymn 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. . . .

A Kavvanah for Erev Shabbat HaAviv, by Rabbi Yaakov Reef

In the year 5775 (2015), the vernal equinox coincided with Rosh Ḥodesh Nissan, the Hebrew month known also as Aviv (Spring), as well as the onset of Shabbat, and a total solar eclipse. Here is a short meditation to receive the shabbat in embrace of the new season. . . .

תפילה לראש חודש טבת ותקופת החורף על חנוכּה | Prayer for the new moon of Tevet on Ḥanukkah occurring on the winter solstice, by Rabbi David Seidenberg (neohasid.org)

Here’s a first draft of a brief liturgy for last night, for solstice plus Ḥanukkah. Note that this is a kind of eco-liturgy, but it also stands on its own without imposing an ecological overlay. Since it’s still solstice all day, you may want to use this prayer now, or at dusk tonight. . . .

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). . . .

עננו | Aneinu, Answer us, a seliḥah in advance of the Shemita year by Emmy Cohen

After struggling with the requests in Aneinu, read during Selichot, I composed a list of requests and questions for this upcoming Shmita year. . . .


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