Posts Tagged: Prayer

Am Chai: What Does It Mean?



by Rabbi Jen Gubitz What exactly does it mean that “Am Yisrael Chai” – the People of Israel live? Perhaps it is a song of joy and relief! The People of Israel Live – because there were times when our living, when our survival was unclear. Perhaps it is a refrain of power and dominion! […]

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Re-Routing: Trying a New Pathway



Today I took a new route to work. It might seem like a simple thing. After all, I’ve been driving from the same house to the same synagogue for seven years (that’s how long we’ve lived in this house. I’m actually celebrating my 10th year at the synagogue!). But today I got a little lost. […]

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A Prayer for the Lone Soldier



by Alden Solovy A “Color Red” siren went off in Jerusalem yesterday. For the second time in four days, rockets were launched from Gaza at the City of Gold. We got a taste of what the south has been suffering, quite literally, for years. My first reaction: the IDF has my back. No need to […]

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Prayer for the Children of Abraham / Ibrahim



by Rabbi Rachel Barenblat As a mother, as a human being, as a Jew, and as a rabbi, this prayer/poem is the best articulation I can offer of what my heart and soul are feeling right now. I pray for God to heal the hearts of all who suffer: Israelis and Palestinians, Jews and non-Jews, […]

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Prayers for Peace in the Middle East



by Alden Solovy We do not hear the warning sirens here in Jerusalem, but the city sounds different, as if suddenly this town began holding its breath. We are, like the rest of the nation. Like Jews all over the world. And like Jews everywhere, we’re praying for the sons and daughters of our people […]

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A Prayer for Flood-filled Days



Eloheinu velohei avoteinu v’imoteinu, Our God and God of our fathers and mothers, The flood waters came, wreaking havoc upon our cities, our homes, our rescue workers, our sense of security, And we turn to You for comfort and support. Help us to differentiate between floods of destruction and down-pouring of Your love and comfort.

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From Darkness to Enlightenment: Learning to Believe in God



by Rabbi Andrew R. Sklarz, MSW It was hours before I would step on the bimah and conduct the Erev Rosh HaShanah service. As the nation was reeling from the cataclysmic events of 9/11, I lay upon the examination table of the cancer ward. Was it just weeks earlier that life was normal? Young, carefree, […]

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This Is How I Pray



In response to Anat Hoffman’s arrest earlier this week for “disturbing the peace” at the Western Wall, Rabbi Josh Strom of Temple Shaarey Tefila in New York City created a video called “This Is How I Pray.” In it, he encourages Reform Jews and other supporters of religious pluralism in Israel to create their own […]

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Arrest in Jerusalem Underscores Gender & Pluralism Issues



Two nights ago, police intervened as women, including Anat Hoffman, Executive Director of the Israel Religious Action Center and chairwoman of Women of the Wall, prayed at the Western Wall in celebration of the beginning of the Jewish month of Cheshvan and the 100th anniversary of Hadassah. Hoffman was arrested and charged with the “offense” […]

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Repetition in Prayer



As a rabbi, the most common complaint I hear about Jewish ritual in the synagogue is that the repetition of prayers is boring. The complaint is not only common but justified. First, let’s look at Jewish prayers dispassionately. Petitions and adorations of God in ancient times reflected an intimate relationship between a Jew and his deity. Over the years, these prayers were canonized into a liturgy that has come to be recited three times a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Such prayers were not “free form” but followed a prescribed pattern. Orthodox (fully observant) Jews still recites these prayers daily.

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On Faith, Trust, and Kindergarten



Tomorrow, my oldest child begins kindergarten, and I’m not sure who’s more nervous. My sweet, sensitive, 95-year-old-Jewish-man-trapped–in-the-body-of-5-year-old son has expressed numerous concerns, ranging from: “What if I don’t make friends?” to “Where will the bathrooms be?” I tell him not to worry, that it won’t be so different from his cherished preschool in my synagogue (where everyone knows him, where is he most comfortable outside of our home) – but I know it will be completely new and very different.

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The New Tisha B’Av



By Rabbi Stacey Blank What can Tisha B’Av mean today? Tisha B’Av is not a day ordained by G-d in the Torah, but rather it is an observance that was created by people in reaction to an event: The destruction of the First Temple.  This was a tragic and traumatic time for the Jewish people […]

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92nd Psalm: A Prayer for Shabbat



by Stacey Zisook Robinson And so we stand On the edge of this week Pebbles strewn at our feet The distance between us an endless heartbeat The difference like night Like day Like light and darkness Like God Who separates the days And brings us Ever and always To this holy edge

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“How Did You Pray When You Were Younger?”



by Rabbi Melissa Zalkin Stollman Last week, I had the opportunity to spend a morning with the URJ Kutz Camp’s Torah Corps major, which focuses on Jewish studies. I visited a major each day during my week on faculty, but this one was quite unique. The purpose of my being there, in addition to doing […]

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