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. . . .

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 . . .

רבון כל העולמים | Master of the Cosmos, a tehinah for entering Shabbat by Rabbi Yitsḥak Luria (circa 16th c.)

Ribon Kol Ha-Olamim is a teḥinah (supplication) for entering the Shabbat that can be found in many siddurim following after the custom of the school of Rabbi Yitsḥak Luria. In his Ha-Siddur Ha-Shalem, Paltiel (Philip) Birnbaum includes it, commenting as follows: “Ribon kol Ha’Olamim is attributed to Rabbi Joseph of Rashkow, Posen, who lived towards the end of the eighteenth century. The adjectives in the first paragraph are in alphabetic order.” This can’t be correct however as a copy of Ribon Kol Ha-Olamim can be seen in the siddur Tikunei Shabbat from 1614 (see below for source images). Google Books attributes Tikunei Shabbat to Rabbi Yitsḥak Luria (1534-1572), which is the attribution we have followed, although as a posthumously published work we wonder whether it might be more properly attributed to “the School of Rabbi Isaac Luria.” Please comment below if you know of another attribution. The English translation is that of Paltiel (Philip) Birnbaum, with some minor changes that I have made to divine names and appelations.– Aharon Varady . . .

סדר לפסח: חד גדיא | Ḥad Gadya (Prague Haggadah, ca. 1526 CE)

Making sense of Ḥad Gadya beyond its explicit meaning has long inspired commentary. For me, Ḥad Gadya expresses in its own beautiful and macabre way a particularly important idea in Judaism that has become obscure if not esoteric. While an animal’s life may today be purchased, ultimately, the forces of exploitation, predation, and destruction that dominate our world will be overturned. Singing Ḥad Gadya is thus particularly apropos for the night of Passover since, in the Jewish calendar, this one night, different from all other nights, is considered the most dangerous night of the year — it is the time in which the forces of darkness in the world are strongest. Why? It is on this night that the divine aspect of Mashḥit, the executioner, is explicitly invoked (albeit, only in the context of the divine acting as midwife and guardian/protector of her people), as explained in the midrash for Exodus 12:12 . . .

תפילה קודם למוד הקבלה | Prayer Before Studying Kabbalah, by Yitsḥak Luria (translated by Aharon Varady)

Master of the worlds and Lord of Lords, Father of Compassion and Forgiveness, we give thanks before you [haShem] Elohainu, Elohai of our ancestors, by bowing and kneeling for having brought us near to your Torah and to your sacred work, and for granting us a portion in the hidden insights of your holy Torah. . . .


בסיעתא דארעא