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. . . .

תפילת הנוטע | Prayer for a Tree Planting, by Zeev Kainan (2018)

This prayer for planting was composed by Zeev Kainan for Tu biShvat (2018) for the Masorti Movement for Conservative Judaism in Israel. . . .

קינה | Kinah/lamentation, by Aryeh Cohen (2004)

The yahrzeit of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzḥak Rabin, assassinated on 4 November 1995, is י״א בְּמַרחֶשְׁוָן (11 Marḥeshvan). . . .

תפילה לשוב לעבודה | A Prayer for – finally – getting back to WORK by Chaya Kaplan-Lester

Chaya Kaplan-Lester’s “Prayer for – Finally – Getting Back to WORK” was first published on her Facebook page, here. The Hebrew word Todah תודה, means grateful. The English word ‘ta-da!’ is an onomatopoetic form of a horn (Cf. 1913 Sphinx July 98/1): “Coming front in utter disgust, he [sc. a conjuror] tells them [sc. the orchestra] that that won’t do, that he wants something like ‘tadaa!’ from all of them. They seem to understand, so he goes off again. On his reappearance, however, he is met with a loud tumult, as all the orchestra shout out in unison the word ‘tadaa!’” (Oxford English Dictionary). . . .

תפילה לישראל ופלסטין | Prayer for Israel and Palestine by IfNotNow-Chicago (5778)

On 29 September 2017 IfNotNow Chicago writes, “Tonight begins Yom Kippur. We are asking our community, when you say the prayer for Israel this Kol Nidre, will you say it for all the people that live in Israel and Palestine? Will you stand for freedom and dignity for all Palestinians and Israelis? Our members have re-imagined the Prayer for the State of Israel. We hope you use this New Prayer for Israel and Palestine, and share it with your own community.” . . .

תפילה לשלום העם הסורי | Prayer for the Peace of the Syrian People (Rabbi Yuval Cherlow, 2013) trans. Elli Sacks

This prayer for the peace of the Syrian people was composed in 2013 by Rabbi Yuval Cherlow and translated by Elli Sacks of Modi’in. Our Hebrew source of the text was first published in this YNet article. Our source for Elli Sacks’s translation is this post in Alan Brill’s blog. Rabbi Cherlow suggests that Psalms 37 and Psalms 120 are particularly appropriate for praying for peace in Syria. Both psalms speak of the plight of the innocent righteous when evil men plot against them. Thank you to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency for informing us of this prayer, and to YNet, and Alan Brill for providing the source text. . . .

תפילה לשלום אזרחי סוריה וחלבּ (ארם-צובה, אר”ץ)‏ | Prayer for the Well-being of the Citizens of Syria and Residents of Aleppo (Masorti Movement in Israel)

This prayer for peace for the citizens of Syria and residents of Aleppo was first published by the Masorti Movement in Israel, via their web page here. The prayer was transcribed to Unicode Hebrew by Aharon Varady. Translation adapted by Aharon from one provided by Rivka Kellner in a Facebook comment. . . .

תפילה לפני חלוקת תרופות | Prayer before the dispensation of medication, by Dafna Meir, z”l

This prayer was originally published April 13th, 2013 on Dafna Meir’s blog, Derekh Nashim (Women’s Ways), here, writing “את התפילה זכיתי לחבר תוך כדי למידה למבחן תרופות במחלקה הנוירוכירורגית בסורוקה, בה אני עובדת.” (The prayer I composed for a friend while studying for a test at the Neurosurgery department at Soroka Hospital, which I work.) English translation by Moshe F. via Israellycool. More about Dafna Meir, here and here. . . .

הושענא לתיקון ולנחמה | Hoshana for Healing and Consolation by Rabbi Dr. Dalia Marx (trans. Aharon Varady)

A supplemental hoshana (prayer for salvation) for healing and consolation for the sake of true love, needed blessings, rainfall in a timely fashion, paths and their repair, mountains and their crossing, goals and objectives, lasting memories, good dreams, cosmic goodness, etc. . . .

שבחי המשפחה לבת המצווה | A Prayer in Honor of a Bat Mitzvah from her Family, by Dr. Chaim Hames-Ezra

A prayer for a ritual of blessing of a bat mitzvah by her family. . . .

תפילה לישראל | A Prayer for Israel, by Rabbi Nahum Waldman z”l (2004)

This prayer for Israel was written by Rabbi Naḥum Waldman (1931-2004) for T’ruah: the Rabbinic Call for Human Rights. T’ruah works to ensure that Israel remains a safe and secure home for Jews and a place that lives up to the ideal stated in the State of Israel’s 1948 Declaration of Independence that Israel “will foster the development of the country for all of its inhabitants; it will be based on freedom, justice, and peace as envisaged by the prophets of Israel; it will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex.” . . .

תפילת בת המצווה | Prayer of the Bat Mitzvah after she finishes reading from the Torah, by Chaim Hames-Ezra

A statement by the Bat Mitsvah after her first aliyah. . . .

הַוִּדּוּי הַמַּשְׁלִים | HaVidui Ha-Mashlim, Complementary Confession by R’ Binyamin Holtzman

Ahavnu – We have loved, Bakhinu – we have cried, Gamalnu – we have given back, Dibarnu yofi – we have spoken great things! He’emanu – We have believed, v’Hish’tadalnu – and we tried to give our best effort, Zakharnu – we have remembered, Chibaknu – we have embraced, Ta’amnu Sefer – we have chanted Your book! . . .

תפילה לתורם דם | The Blood Donor’s Prayer by Elli Fischer

A prayer to be recited upon donating blood. In Israel, there are major blood drives around the times of Rosh Hashana and Pesaḥ, so the prayer borrows themes from both of those holidays. It emphasizes both the tzedaka aspect of blood donation and the ancient symbolic resonances of blood sacrifice. . . .

תחנון לימים קשים | Taḥanun [Plea for Mercy] on Hard Days by Noa Mazor (trans. by Jonah Rank)

Lord, our God, bring us days of good, of mercy, of life and of peace. Give our leaders the capability to see the natural sanctity embedded in every person. Give us the ability to trust human beings fighting for their way, for their lives–for our lives. Lord, lay us down along Your path–a path for loving humanity as humanity, a path for welcoming peace between neighbors: between humanity and pain. . . .

תשעה באב | Prayer for Tisha b’Av by Reb Zalman Schachter-Shalomi z”l (translated by Gabbai Seth Fishman)

During the time before there was a State of Israel, those ideals in our hearts which we tried to practice and which we wanted others to practice, seemed not achievable where we were because, we felt we had no influence over our world where we were. And so, the longing for our homeland was tied into the longing for our dreams and our vision. Now that the state of Israel is with us, our dreams and our visions still remain distant from our lives and therefore when we say the Tisha B’av prayers we need to remind ourselves of the distance between that which we would have in this world and that which we do have. . . .

מִי שֶׁבֵּרַךְ | Blessing for students leaving school or returning from their summer break by Rabbi Esteban Gottfried (trans. Miri Landau)

Prayers for students leaving school or returning from their summer break. . . .

כוונה להדלקת נרוֺת חנוּכה | Kavvanah for Ḥanukkiah Lighting by Bonna Devora Haberman, z”l (Mistabra Institute for Jewish Textual Activism, 2002)

This is an intention that I composed for the conclusion of a performance piece, Inner Fire, created and performed by my Mistabra Institute for Jewish Textual Activism at Brandeis University in 2002. It is as relevant today as ever. Please use it for inspiration when you light Ḥanuka candles. . . .

תפילה לשלום העיר תל אביב יפו | Prayer for the Welfare of Tel Aviv and Jaffa by Rabbi Esteban Gottfried

רִבּוֹן הָעוֹלָמִים, מוֹדִים אֲנַחְנוּ לְךָ עַל שֶׁהִפְלֵאתָ חַסְדֵךָ לָנוּ בְּהַקָמַת עִיר גְּדוֹלָה וּמְפֹאָרָה וְרַבַּת־עַם בְּאַרְצֵנוּ בְּשֵׁם תֵּל אָבִיב־יָפוֹ. אַתָּה הִשְׁפַּעְתָּ לִפְנֵי לְמַעְלָה מִמֵאָה שָׁנָה רוּחַ עֵצָה וּתְבוּנָה עַל קְבוּצַת בּונִים מִבְּנֵי צִיוֹן הַיְקָרִים, לִתְקֹעַ יָתֵד עַל שְׂפַת הַיָּם לְעִיר עִבְרִית וְחֲנַנְתַּם עֹז וְעָצְמָה לְבַצֵּעַ שְׁאִיפָתָם זוֹ בְּאֹמֶץ וּגְבוּרָה וּבִמְסִירוּת נֶפֶש, וְקַבְעוּ בָהּ סְדָרִים מְתֻקָּנִים, וְהֶעֱמִידוּ מוֹסָדוֹת נַעֲלִים לַתַרְבּוּת עִבְרִית, לְתּוֹרָה וּלִתְפִילָה, לְבָתֵי חִנּוּךְ וְלִמוּד, לְמִסְחַר וּלְחֲרשֶׁת הַמַּעֲשֶׂה וּלִפְעֻלּוֹת־חֶסֶד. וְהִנֵה הָעִיר גָּדְלַה וַתִיף, וְרַבִּים מֵאָחֵינוּ וְאַחֲיוֹתֵינוּ נָהֲרוּ אֵלֶיהָ וְנִהְיְתָה לְמֶרְכָּז הַחַיִּים בָּאָרֶץ. תָּמִיד הוֹמִיָּה מֵאֲנָשִׁים וּמְלֵאָה חַיִּים וּתְנוּעָה, קוֹל תִּקְוָה נִשְׁמַע בִּשְׁעָרֵיהָ וְהַלְמוּת עֲמֵלִים בְּחוֹמוֹתֵיהָ וּמַרְכֹּלֶת רָבָּה בִּשְׁוָקֵיהָ.‏ . . .

אשת חיל | Eyshet Ḥayil, adapted by Alex and Peri Sinclair

A woman of valour who can find?
For her price is far above rubies.

The heart of her husband does safely trust in her,
And he has no lack of gain.

She does him good and not evil
All the days of her life.

My beloved is mine, and I am his,
That feeds among the lilies. . . .

A Love Song to Arabs from a Jew, by Pesach Dahvid Stadlin

السلام عليكم اننى يهودي أعيش في أسرائيل هذه الاغنية أهديها لجيراني العرب انها أغنية حب لكل جيراني العرب الذين يحبون الحياة و التعايش معا في سلم و سلام , و الاوقات السعيدة , و الاكل الطعم , و الصداقات الجميلة , و العلاقات الجيدة , و الأمن و الأمان نتعلم في التوراة أن اللهّ الخالق خلق الناس أجمعين و هذا يتضمننا كلنا هذه أغنية حب لكم…

. . .

תפילת דרך משולשת | A Kavvanah for Crossroads: Triple Prayer for the Road, by Yakov Green

Yakov Green shares a short kavvanah (intention, meditation) which he wrote in Hebrew one morning at Beit Midrash Elul in Jerusalem. He later translated it into English. תפילת דרך משולשת | Triple Prayer for the Road . . .

Feminist Influences on Jewish Liturgy: The Case of Israeli Reform Prayer (2009)

In Israel, the Reform movement, which is called the Israeli Movement for Progressive Judaism (IMPJ), dates back to the 1950s, but a serious concern for women’s role in liturgy is a relatively recent development, namely since the last decade of the 20st century. This paper examines the modes of liturgical change with regard to the role and presentation of women in Jewish ritual and worship within Israel: what they do to regain their voice[s] through worship and how they are depicted in contemporary liturgies. Today, gender-related issues are among the most heated issues faced by contemporary liberal, non-Orthodox Jews; discussions on the subject dominate the religious and academic spheres as well as the socio-cultural arena. This paper is based upon the assumption that the Israeli case is a distinct one compared to the North American treatment of gender in the liturgy, because Hebrew is not only the liturgical language, but also the vernacular for Israeli Jews. This makes it much harder to change liturgy, as it is perceived as holy matter. Another unique aspect of the Israeli liberal liturgy is the fact that it operates in a rather conservative religious environment: both Orthodox and secular Jews in Israel are less prone to experimental approaches toward liturgy and ritual. . . .

פרי עץ הדעת על צלחת סדר ט״וּ בִּשְׁבָט | The Fruit of the Tree of Knowledge on the Tu biShvat Seder Plate, by Rabbi Dr. Dalia Marx

Through eating those fruits that our sages of blessed memory identified as the fruit of the tree of knowledge, we recall the best of creation, in its beauty and completeness. We remember that every human being, by virtue of being a human being, is the pinnacle of creation. Our task as caretakers is to preserve the world, to work it, and to repair it. Our task is to make the State of Israel more just, so that she will be a blessing to all of her inhabitants and those who love her. . . .

באנו חשך לגרש | Banu Ḥoshekh l’Garesh, by Sara Levi-Tanai (1960)

Some might seem surprised that this work isn’t in the Public Domain simply by virtue of the song’s popularity. Translations of Banu Ḥoshekh L’garesh are not uncommon despite the apparent lack of translation rights provided to translators. This all underlines how copyright is regularly ignored in the living practice of creative cultures. And yet, copyright law and the protections it affords are ignored at the peril of a copyrighted work’s remixers, publishers, translators, and other creatives. Both the song and an anonymous English translation are here being provided as an example for this article on copyright under Fair Use. Each individual contribution to our collective intellectual commons may be small, but together, our contributions will make a tremendous resource for a renewed vibrant living and creative culture. . . .


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