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☞   Labor, Fulfillment, and Parnassah

Prayer for Workers in a Time of Pandemic, by Rabbi Michael Rothbaum (New England Jewish Labor Committee 2020)

A prayer for workers and worker needs amid the 2020 COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak. . . .

דיזי שיני נייאי תפילה | Dize sheyne naye tfile (This Beautiful New Prayer), by the typesetter Gele bat Moshe v’Freyde (1710)

This is a faithful transcription of the prayer of Gele (Gella), daughter of the printer Moshe, as found at the end of Tfile LeMoshe (2nd ed., Halle, Germany, 1710), a prayerbook Gele typeset when she was only 11-years-old. This prayerbook is rare owing to the destruction of the press following the incarceration of Gele’s father for publishing a prayerbook containing the prayer “Aleinu,” which had been forbidden by royal decree. The translation provided here was made by Dr. Kathryn Hellerstein as found in A Question of Tradition: Women Poets in Yiddish, 1586-1987 (2014, Stanford University Press), p. 63-4. The layout of Gele’s prayer follows that of Ezra Korman from his anthology of Jewish women’s poetry, Yiddishe Dikhterins, also the source of the page image provided. If you know the location of a copy or digital scan of this siddur, please contact us. . . .

[Prayer for a] Nurses’ Commencement, by Rabbi Avraham Samuel Soltes (1951)

A prayer for a Nurse’s Commencement ceremony at Beth Israel Hospital on 19 September 1951. . . .

Man Is Here for the Sake of Others, by Albert Einstein (1930) as excerpted by Rabbi Morrison David Bial

An excerpt of an 1930 essay by Albert Einstein set as a prayer supplement by Rabbi Morrison David Bial in 1962. . . .

Prayer for Sustenance (Parnasah), by Rabbi Simon Glazer (1930)

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Lord of the universe! Thou in Thy infinite wisdom didst make provision for every living creature, both small and big, and Thou causest Thy blessing to fall upon the earth in rain and in dew to sate the hungry, and to give them the comfort which they . . .

Courage to Withstand the Ridicule of the Worldly, a prayer by Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan (1945)

“Courage to Withstand the Ridicule of the Worldly,” by Rabbi Mordecai Menaḥem Kaplan can be found on p. 433-4 of his The Sabbath Prayer Book (New York: The Jewish Reconstructionist Foundation, 1945). I have adapted the original text of this prayer, replacing “thy” with ‘your’ and “Lord” with ‘YHVH’. –Aharon N. Varady . . .

A Psalm of Gratitude, a poem by Ben Aronin (ca. 1950)

The poem, “Psalm of Gratitude” by the Jewish poet and educator, Ben Aronin. . . .

[Prayer for a] Teachers’ Commencement, by Rabbi Avraham Samuel Soltes (1951)

A prayer offered at a ceremony honoring the graduated of the New Jersey State Teachers’ College in Newark in 1951. . . .

תפילה של עובד קמעונאי | Prayer of a Retail Worker

May it be Your will, O Lord my God and God of my ancestors, to deliver me this day, and every day, from cranky customers and from cowardly managers; and if I must deal with them, grant me the patience and the wits to make things work. Grant me also an easy temper with my daughter, and let me not lose sight of her preciousness for one instant. And let me devote myself to my duties to my (wife/husband, and always keep her happiness in mind, and show her often that I love her. For all this, I ask You to help me, because I cannot do it alone. . . .

[Prayer on the] Retirement of a Civic Servant (Mayor Charles Henry Martens), by Rabbi Avraham Samuel Soltes (1952)

A prayer composed for a ceremony honoring the tenure of Charles Henry Martens, mayor of East Orange, New Jersey on his retirement from three decades of civic service. . . .

תפילת היוצר | A Worker’s Prayer, by Rabbi Stephen Belsky

A worker’s prayer by Rabbi Stephen Belsky, dedicated to Noam Ezra ben haRav Moshe z”l. . . .

Prayer for American Enterprise, by Rabbi Avraham Samuel Soltes (1956)

A prayer offered at the opening of a department store during the post-WWII economic expansion in the United States. . . .

פיוט למוזיקאי קודם שיופיע | A Performing Musician’s Piyut, by Alan Jay Sufrin

This piyut (liturgical poem) arose after a very meaningful performance of mine in the summer of 2000. It was such a powerful experience that I was moved to say a prayer of thanks to G-d for the opportunity to perform my songs for audiences – but found no such prayer in existence. So I wrote this one. It took about a year to complete and I’ve been saying it backstage right before my performances, and sometimes before recording sessions, since then. . . .

A Prayer for Health in Work, by Rabbi Menachem Creditor

A holistic prayer for health in work. . . .

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). . . .

ברכת יוצר יצירים | A Blessing for Creating, by Rabbi Adina Allen (Jewish Studio Project)

“A Blessing for Creating” comes by way of David A.M. Wilensky (with approval by the blessing’s author, Rabbi Adina Allen) who shared a photo on Facebook of a posterboard on which the blessing was written. The poster was made for the first ever Kabbalat Shabbat organized by the Jewish Studio Project, whose mission is “to activate creativity in individuals and communities to reclaim Jewish values, make meaning in our lives and restore hope to the world.” Vocalization added by Aharon Varady. . . .

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: . . .

כַּוָּנָה לִפְנֵי עֲבוֹדָה בְּאַדְמַת הַקֹּדֶשׁ | Kavvanah before working with the holy soil, by Rabbi Shalom Ḥayyim Sharabi (ca. 1911)

A kavvanah for focusing one’s intention before working with the soil of Erets Yisrael. . . .


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