hmlv lv ha…wpr Prayers and Readings for .
Healing and Comfort
A gift from RR UCLA Department of Spiritual Care For information, resources, or care Call Ext. 57484 or (310) 825-7484
Graphic Design & Layout - Daniel Medwin, Rabbinic Intern, 2008-2009 Editor - Rabbi Pearl Barlev, Jewish Chaplain Special thanks to Rabbi Michele Medwin for her blessings and for the contribution of her extensive collection of readings.
BIBLIOGRAPHY AND RESOURCES A Circle of Prayer, The National Center for Jewish Healing Covenant of the Heart, Women of Reform Judaism Flames to Heaven: New Psalms for Healing and Praise, by Debbie Perlman Gates of Prayer, CCAR Gates of Healing, CCAR Rabbis Manual, CCAR Healing of Soul, Healing of Body: Spiritual Leaders Unfold the Strength and Solace in Psalms. Edited by Rabbi Simkha Y. Weintraub Living with Loss, Healing with Hope: A Jewish Perspective, by Rabbi Earl A. Grollman The Lord is My Shepherd: Healing Wisdom of the 23rd Psalm, by Harold S. Kushner Making Loss Matter: Creating Meaning in Difficult Times, by Rabbi David Wolpe The Mitzvah of Healing: An Anothology of Essays, Jewish Texts, Personal STories, Meditations, and Rituals, URJ Press. Edited by Hara Person. On the Doorposts of Your House, CCAR Press The Power of Hope, by Maurice Lamm Talking to God: Personal Prayers for Times of Joy, Sadness, ! Struggle and Celebration, by Naomi Levy Tears of Sorrow, Seeds of Hope: A Jewish Spiritual Companion for Infertility and Pregnancy Loss, by Rabbi Nina Beth Cardin Under the Wings of Sh’khinah: A Jewish Healing Service, Women’s League for Conservative Judaism. When Bad Things Happen to Good People , by Harold S. Kushner When the Body Hurts and the Soul Still Longs to Sing, National Center for Healing When Life Hurts: A Book of Hope, by Wayne Dosick
Dear Patients, Family, and Friends,
Being in the hospital or caring for a loved one who is ill can be a difficult journey. Jewish tradition and contemporary Jewish authors have provided for us a rich tapestry of prayers and prose that may help us find comfort and healing. We pray that the words on the following pages will help you in your time of need and offer a path on which to navigate life’s challenges. It is natural for some to question God’s plan or sense of justice when illness strikes. Illness can sometimes raise questions that are difficult to answer or have no answers. An important question we can ask ourselves is: How can I find comfort in God, despite the pain I am feeling?
Sometimes, when God seems out of reach, the greatest source of comfort can come from a friendly presence and a warm smile. If at any time you would like someone to talk to, or someone to be there with you, please contact the Spiritual Care Department at extension 57484 or (310) 825-7484. We are here for you. While the doctors and nurses work hard to provide physical healing and comfort, it is also important to attend to your emotions and spirit. We wish you and your loved ones a hmlv hawpr refuah shleimah, a complete healing. May you find compassion in those around you, strength within yourself, and answers to your prayers. Spiritual Care Department, RR UCLA Medical Center and Health System Room 12-217 CHS 10833 Le Conte Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90095
We are Here for You
The Spiritual Care Department of RR UCLA Medical Center is honored to be able to provide for you:
(May be read on behalf of patient)
PEOPLE: • Rabbi on staff • Interfaith Chaplains • Jewish Volunteers • Rabbinic Interns BY REQUEST: • Shabbat Box - includes: ! electric candles, challah and grape juice as available. ! (A free gift from the Spiritual Care Department.) • Prayer books from a range of traditions • Kashrut • Kosher food for patients - order through Dietary services • Kosher food for visitors in the cafeteria • Refrigerator and microwave (call to check for availability) • Ritual Items (call to check for availability) • Meditation Room/Chapel for patients and families ! (Located on the first floor near the Information Desk.)
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My God and God of my ancestors, Author of life and death, I turn to You in trust. Although I pray for life and health, I know that I am mortal. If my life must soon come to an end, let me die, I pray, at peace. If only my hands were clean and my heart pure! I confess that I have committed sins and left much undone, yet I know also the good that I did or tried to do. May my acts of goodness give meaning to my life, and may my errors be forgiven. Protector of the bereaved and the helpless, watch over my loved ones. Into Your hand I commit my spirit; redeem it, O God of mercy and truth.
.#234) 5!6! ,78!,-.1) 5!6! ,9,):;<=! >0';? .#4>5" @29&>;9 &%7A;90' #&*;B @,? C7D2E Shema Yisraeil, Adonai Eloheinu, Adonai echad. Baruch shem kavod malchuto l’olam va’ed. Hear O Israel, Adonai is our God, Adonai is one. Blessed is God’s glorious name now and forever.
Shabbat Services (egalitarian) Friday evenings at 4:30pm Meditation Room/Chapel (First floor near Information Desk) All are welcome to join.
To contact the Spiritual Care Department from within the Medical Center dial Ext. 57484 or call (310) 825-7484.
(Said after the moment of death)
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Adonai natan v’Adonai lakach y’hi shem Adonai m’vorach. God gives and God takes away, blessed is God’s name. (Job 1:21)
.tRmTaDh N…Dy;Dd# K…wr;Db Baruch dayan ha’emet. Blessed is the Judge of Truth. 28
PSALM 23 The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures; He leadeth me beside still waters. He restoreth my soul; He guideth me in straight paths for His name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me. Thy rod and Thy staff, they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies; Thou has anointed my head with oil, my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever. MOSES CRIED OUT TO GOD, “HINEINI, HERE I AM.” EX. 4:3
I tremble before Thee - Hineini Weak of will, and frail with age Worried to live until I’m done with living I bow my head before Thee - Hineini Once I was important to my loved ones and my friends Now I am a nuisance I beg a question before Thee - Hineini Has my earthly sojourn, completed soon enough Meant anything at all to You who lives forever? I humbly entreat before Thee - Hineini Love me for all I was, and whatever now remains The culmination of a life spent loving You. My soul opens up before Thee - Hineini In the endless time to come allow my caring essence to flourish yet again So that my children’s children will want to bow before Thee And cry - Hineini Barbara Wolpaw Drossin in Mitzvah of Healing
TABLE OF CONTENTS Mi Shebeirach - Healing Prayer
Where is God?
What is Prayer?
From the Tradition
Psalms of Comfort
Meditations and Readings
When Facing Difficulties
A Caregiver’s Prayer
Facing the Future
Bibliography and Resources
May the one the one who blessed our ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel, and Leah, Bless our loved ones who are ill: ________________________ May the Holy One, source of blessings, be filled with compassion for them, and grant healing and recovery, strength and fortitude. May they receive a swift and complete healing from heaven, a healing of the soul and a healing of the body. May this be soon and without delay. Let us say: Amen.
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FACING DEATH IN CONTEMPLATION OF DEATH Everlasting God, Creator of all that lives; although I pray for healing and continued life, still I know that I am mortal. Give me courage to accept my kinship with all who have come before me. Alas, over the years, I have committed wrong; I know, too, I left much undone. Yet I also know the good I did or tried to do. That goodness imparts an eternal meaning to my life. As You are with me, so, I know, are You with my loved ones. This comforts my soul, O God, my Rock and Redeemer. Into Your hands I comment my soul, both when I sleep and when I wake. Body and soul are Yours, Eternal God, and in Your presence, I cast off fear and am at rest.
IN MY LAST DAYS
Mi shebeirach avoteinu v’imoteinu, Avraham, Yitzchak, v’Yaakov, Sarah, Rivkah, Rachel, v’Leah, Hu y’vareich et hacholim ha’eleh: _______________________ HaKadosh baruch Hu yimaleh rachamim aleihem, l’hachalimam ul’rapotam, ul’hachazikam, v’yishlach lahem meheira refuah shleima min hashamayim, refuat hanefesh, u’refuat haguf, hashta ba’agalah u’vizman kariv. v’Nomar Amen.
Guide me, Holy One, on this final journey, Your hand pointing the way, Your loving eye upon my face, as I seek my new dwelling. Surround me with Your kindness, embrace me with tranquility. Soothe my fears with the surety of Your care, even as I release my tears to Your custody. Then shall I find Your eternal gift of peace, laid out for my notice and my strength. Linger near, Holy One, through these trials, easing my way as I fly to Your keeping. Please watch over my loved ones, God. Ease their pain, be their comfort. Protect them from harm. Shelter them with gentleness and love, as I would. Grant them health and strength, blessings and joy. I place my body and soul in Your hands, God. In You, I put my trust. (adapted from Debbie Perlman and Naomi Levy)
FOR THOSE WHO ARE ILL
HOPE There are times when each of us is sick with the world And life weighs upon us like a heavy bolder We cannot imagine any good or happy thought We sink further and deeper into the pit of our despairs. There are times when each of us feels sorely hurt The very thing we love the most has been taken away We feel empty, we fell alone, we are afraid. There are moments all human beings share When their hearts sink and their minds entertain the worst Fear assails us all, we tremble and shake at problems facing us. At these times a little voice from within us rouses us Often waiting until we reach the very brink of despair At first nothing more than a whisper, It tells us that we can indeed prevail. This little voice abiding in each of us is - hope. It is not logical or even reasonable. It is our heart telling our head that we cannot surrender For to give in to the trials of life is to let them win over us. From a whisper hope grows slowly First in a moderate tone and finally to a roar It supersedes fear, sorrow, and even despair. It gives us the courage to try again.
In my illness, O God, I turn to You, for I am Your creation. Your strength and courage are in my spirit, and Your powers of healing are within my body and my soul. May it be Your will to restore me to health and a feeling of wholeness. As I go on my way toward healing, grant me the strength to get through each day, the courage to bear the unbearable, and the ability to keep my hopes and dreams alive. When the challenges of life get me down, help me to focus on what is good and precious in my life, for You have blessed me with so many wonderful things. Comfort me, Eternal One, in Your shelter of peace and be my help and guide along the path of life. May the One who makes peace in the Heavens, bring peace to me, to my family and loved ones, and to us all.
IN PROLONGED ILLNESS My God and God of all generations, in my great need I pour out my heart to You. The days and weeks of suffering are hard to endure. In my struggle, let me feel that You are near, a presence whose care enfolds me. Rouse in me the strength to overcome fear and anxiety, and brighten my spirit with the assurance of Your love. Help me to help my dear ones in their striving to strengthen and encourage me. Let the healing power within me - Your gift to me - give me strength on my journey. May my sickness not weaken my faith in You, nor diminish my love for others. From my illness may I gain fuller sympathy for all who suffer.
Hope abides in each of us giving us the energy to survive. It gives us the strength to turn to God and offer praise.
WHERE IS GOD?
FACING THE FUTURE
I believe in the sun even when it is not shining. I believe in love even when not feeling it. I believe in God, even when God seems to be silent. Found on a wall in the Warsaw Ghetto
WHERE IS GOD? God is in the faith by which we overcome the fear Of loneliness, of helplessness, of failure and of death ! God is in the hope Which, like a shaft of light, cleaves the dark abyss Of depression, suffering, and despair. God is in the love Which creates, protects, forgives. God is the Spirit stirring into life, the formless beginnings Of a new and better world.
Beloved God, show us the truth about this. We now surrender all fears, doubts, and judgments, and invite the light of perfect consciousness to illuminate our path. Pure love is present here and now, as God lives in every person we meet. We are not separate from our brothers and sisters, but one with them. We trust that our highest good is unfolding before us, and we accept the very best that love and life have to offer. We are worthy of living in the sovereignty of Heaven even as we walk the earth. We claim it now. Thank you, God, for loving me infinitely, and opening all doors for the highest good of all concerned. I receive your love, and magnify it.
THE BOOK OF LIFE: UNCERTAINTY I wanted a perfect ending, so I sat down to write the book with the ending in place before there even was an ending. Now I’ve learned the hard way, that some poems don’t rhyme, and some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle and end. Like my life, this book has ambiguity. Like my life, this book is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next. ! Gilda Radner, It’s Always Something
DURING RECOVERY BIRKAT HAGOMEL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! A Prayer for Survivors
Said by Rabbi or Patient:
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Baruch ata Adonai Eloheinu Melech haOlam, hagomel l’chayavim tovot, she’gamlani kol tov. Blessed are You, Eternal our God, Sovereign of the Universe, who bestows favor upon us all, and bestowed favor upon me. Response by Congregation or Family:
:-294_ *&] 92B @4A;92';[=! )7- ,*&] 92B @4A;92';[4? !(' ,V,'2) Amen. Mi She-g’malchem kol tov, Hu yi-g’mal-chem kol tov! May the One who has been gracious to you continue to favor you with all that is good. HOME AGAIN Strengthen me, Holy One, on my walk from illness, Even as You gave courage, as the children fled from Egypt, Open the sea to my steps. Like a Hebrew slave, I have sojourned in pain; Under whips of illness and despair, I have shed my tears of bitterness. Show me again the path of freedom, Speeding toward a Promised Land of wholeness and health. Creating my completeness for Your sake. Bring me up through recovery, through remedies, therapies, To an altered yet acceptable life, Again rejoicing in the common place. Then will my songs fill this recovered shore, Where my mind will dance for joy at my deliverance, Singing Your praises, Holy One, singing new songs. 23
WHEN GOD SEEMS DISTANT God, I need to know that You are with me, that You hear my cry. I long to feel Your presence not just this day, but every day. When I am weak and in pain, I need to know You are beside me. That in itself, is often comfort enough. I do not pretend to know Your ways, to know why this world You have created can be so beautiful, so magnificent, and yet so harsh, so ugly and so full of hate. The lot You have bestowed upon me is a heavy one. I am angry. I want to know why: why the innocent suffer, why life is so full of grief. There are times when I want to have nothing to do with You. When to think of You brings nothing but confusion and ambivalence. And there are times, like this time, when I seek to return to You, when I feel the emptiness that comes when I am far from You. Watch over me and my loved ones. Forgive me for all that I have not been. Help me to appreciate all that I have and to realize all that I have to offer. Help me to find my way back to You so that I may never feel alone. Naomi Levy LIFE IS NOT FAIR. The wrong people get sick and the wrong people get robbed and the wrong people get killed in war and accidents. Some people see life’s unfairness and decide: “There is no God, the world is nothing but chaos.” Others see the same unfairness and ask themselves, “Where do I get my sense of what is fair and unfair? Where did I get my sense of outrage and indignation, my instinctive response of sympathy? Don’t I get these from God? Doesn’t God plant in me a little bit of the divine outrage at my injustice and oppression, just as God did for the prophets of the Bible? Isn’t my feeling of compassion for the afflicted just a reflection of the compassion God feels in seeing the suffering of God’s creatures?” Our responding to life’s unfairness with sympathy and righteous indignation, God’s compassion and God’s anger working through us, may be the surest proof of all of God’s reality. Rabbi Harold Kushner, When Bad Things Happen to Good People 4
WHAT IS PRAYER?
If prayer worked the way most people think it should, then no one would ever die, because there is no prayer offered with more sincerity than a prayer for the recovery of someone who is ill. People who pray for miracles don’t get them any more than kids who pray for bicycles, or good grades, get them as a result of praying. But people who pray for courage, for strength to bear the unbearable, for grace to remember what they have left ,instead of what they have lost, very often find their prayers answered. ! Rabbi Harold Kushner
Please God, heal her/him. (Num 12:13) .Owl/;hDl
The prayer of a sick person is answered not by having disease disappear but by gaining the sense of God’s nearness, the assurance that illness is not a punishment from God and that God has not abandoned us. ! Rabbi Harold Kushner
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! O God, heal _______________ and he/she shall be healed. We ask Your blessing upon our dear loved one at this difficult time. Sustain him/her with Your power. Watch over him/her with Your love. Grant him/her healing in accordance with Your will. ! Look with favor upon those who help in healing. Bless them with wisdom and skill as they labor to bring recovery of body and spirit to ___________________. ! May our burden be lightened by our faith in You, and may Your love enable us to help him/her for whom we pray. ! We commend our loved one to Your care with these words: Said by patient or on patient’s behalf:
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Prayer is a pathway to God which leads us to feel God’s love, not only in the heavens above, but within us and within those around us. If we walk on this path with faith, we will feel God’s presence here in this room, here in our hearts, giving us strength, guidance and hope. “When you call Me, and come pray to Me, I will give heed to you. You will search for Me and find Me, if only you will seek Me wholeheartedly.” ! Jeremiah
My spirit I commit to You, My body, too, and all I prize; Both when I sleep and when I wake, You are with me, I shall not fear.
B’yado af’keed ruchi b’eit ishan v’ah’ira, v’im ruchi g’vi’ati, Adonai li v’lo irah.
May the doctors and nurses be skillful and gentle. May his/her pain be stilled. May his/her anguish be softened. May he/she be spared for a good life. And may we cherish his/her life anew.
A CAREGIVER’S PRAYER Sustainer of the Universe, help me to care for my loved one, with hope, courage and sensitivity. Grant me insight, resourcefulness and the ability to ask for help and to accept help when it is needed. May I find the patience to overcome difficult moments and to find meaning and purpose in the smallest task. O Eternal God, help me to remember to take care of myself so that I may have the strength to help others. Be with me and my loved one, as we journey on this path together. May the One who makes peace in the Heavens, bring peace to me, to my family and loved ones, and to us all.
A PRAYER FOR PRAYER O My God, My soul’s companion, My heart’s precious friend: I turn to you. I need to close out the noise To rise above the noiseThe noise that interrupts, The noise that separates. The noise that isolates. I need to hear You again. In the silence of my innermost being, In the fragments of my yearned-for wholeness, I hear whispers of Your presenceEchoes of the past when You were with me. When I felt Your nearness, When together we walked. When you held me close, embraced me in Your love, Laughed with me in my joy. I yearn to hear You again. In Your oneness, I find healing. In the promise of Your love, I am soothed. In your wholeness, I can become whole again. Please listen to my call Help me find the words. Help me to find the strength within. Help me to shape my mouth, my voice, my heart. So that I can direct my spirit and find You in prayer. In words only my heart can speak. In songs, only my soul can sing, Lifting my eyes and heart to You.
FROM THE TRADITION
EVERYTHING A SEASON
On reaching the Summit of Life, still full of life and hope, now the descent must be faced. O God help me to cope. I need the strength and wisdom to be free, to fulfill my dreams, to live in dignity and peace; not to be a burden, but to be humble enough to say, “Thank You, God, for my life and all I have received.” Dear God, life passes by so quickly, bringing the realization that wealth, position, even ambition are transitory. Help me now to appreciate the value of each precious day - make me know that life is too short to harbor grievances and hatred - that forgiveness cannot be delayed. Accept my thanks for granting me these last years. Help me realize that I'm not really old until regrets completely take the place of dreams. Guide me that I spend the remainder of my life in ways that are helpful to others and pleasing in Your sight. Hannah Stein, Della Meyer
(based on Ecclesiastes 3:1-8)
For everything there is a season, and a time for every experience under Heaven. A time to be born and a time to die; A time to grow and a time to shrink. A time to lay seeds, and a time to taste their fruit. A time to hurt, and a time be well. A time to give comfort, and a time to grieve. A time to share, and a time to receive. A time to love, and a time to be loved. A time to study, and a time to germinate. A time to work, and a time to rest. A time to sail, and a time to drift. A time to pause, and a time to rush forward. A time to pray, and a time to hold back from praying. A time to ask forgiveness, and a time to forgive others. A time to be angry, and a time to let go of anger. A time to defend, and a time for the peace of the brave.
Let me do my work each day;
and if the darkened hours of despair overcome me, may I not forget the strength that comforted me in the desolation of other times. ! May I still remember the bright hours that found me walking over the silent hills of my childhood, or dreaming on the margin of the quiet river, when light glowed within me, and I promised my early God to have courage amid the tempests of the changing years. ! Spare me from bitterness and from the sharp passions of unguarded emotions. Lift my eyes from the earth, and let me not forget the uses of the stars. Forbid that I should judge others lest I condemn myself. Let me not follow the clamor of the world, but walk calmly in my path. ! And though age and infirmity overtake me, and I come not within sight of the caste of my dreams, Teach me still to be thankful for life, and for time's golden memories that are good and sweet; and may the evening's twilight find me gentle still. 20
IN ADVERSITY It may be difficult to believe that we can learn from adversity, yet it is our best teacher. It can open our eyes to things we couldn’t see before; It can make us grow in ways we never knew; It can give us the precious gift of compassion; It can teach us a universal truth: Life is not fair; And if we are very thoughtful, it can lead us to God. ! Maurice Lamm LIVING WITH DISABILITY God, I wish I could pray and You would magically free me from disability. I wish I were not handed this fate. But the only life I have is the one You have given me. Help me God, to realize all the gifts hidden inside me. Teach me that there is a way around each obstacle, that I can surmount each barrier in my path. Shield me, God, from stares and cruelty. Most of all, protect me from pity. When I grow weary, God, renew my spirit. When I am frightened, teach me faith. When I despair, fill me with hope. When I get frustrated, be my comfort. Remind me to treasure all the miracles that I often ignore. Bless me, God, with life and strength and joy. FOR THOSE WHO SUFFER The Psalmist felt my pain and cried out, “Why do You stand far off, Eternal One, Why do You hide Yourself in time of trouble?“ (Psalm 10:1) So too, do I call out to You, O God. You know how much I suffer, the difficulties that surround me: Renew a steadfast spirit within me - renew it, and help me to overcome the bitterness I sometimes feel. When I am tempted to give up the struggle, let me feel Your hand holding mine, giving me courage. May I not think merely of what I cannot do, being sick or weak, but what I can do, in spite of weakness and sickness. I praise You, O God, You give strength to the weary. The times of our lives which hold the deepest meaning for us, from which we learn the most, are very often those when we are face to face with problems which seem too great for our strength, with illness and with death. May I find meaning in all that I sense and feel - whether it be pain or joy. 19
BIBLICAL PRAYERS FOR HEALING
Moses cried out to the LORD, saying, “O God, pray heal her!” !! Num. 12:13 Be strong and of good courage; have no fear . . . for the Eternal One, your God, is the One who goes with you, never failing you or forsaking you.! Deut. 31:5 Thus said the Eternal One, the God of your father David: “I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears. I am going to heal you.”! 2 Kings 20:5 Those who hope in God will renew their strength and soar on wings like eagles. ! Isaiah 40:31 I see your journey, and I bring healing. I will guide you and bring solace to you. Says the Eternal God: I will heal you!! Isaiah 57:18-19 Heal me, Eternal God, and I shall be healed. Save me, and I shall be saved. You are my Glory.! Jeremiah 17:14 Heal me, Eternal God, as You say through Your prophet: "For I will restore your health, and I will cure your wounds, says the Eternal One."! Jeremiah 30:17 Heal me, Eternal God, for my bones shake with fear. My whole being is fraught with anxiety. How long, O God, how long? Come back to me, Eternal One, and rescue me. Make me whole as I trust You will.! Psalms 6:3-5
PSALMS OF COMFORT AT A TIME OF DISAPPOINTMENT
FROM PSALM 27 The Eternal is my Light and my Help; whom will I fear? The Eternal is the strength of my life; who can make me afraid? Even if an army rises up against me, my heart will have no fear! I will still feel secure. One thing I ask from God, one thing I seek: to dwell in God’s house all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Eternal God, to explore God’s sanctuary. Eternal God, hear my voice when I call! Have mercy on me and respond! You seek my heart, my heart seeks You, I seek your Presence. Do not hide Your Face from me; do not turn Your servant away in anger! You have always been my Help so do not abandon me, do not forsake me, my God, my Saving One. ! FROM PSALM 30 I extol You, O Eternal, for You have lifted me up, O Eternal, my God, I cried out to You, and You healed me. O you faithful of the Eternal, Sing to God, and praise God’s holy name. One may lie down weeping at nightfall; But at dawn there are shouts of joy. When I was untroubled, I thought, “I shall never be shaken,” You turned my lament into dancing, You undid my sackcloth and girded me with joy, That my whole being might sing hymns to You endlessly; O Eternal my God, I will praise You forever. 9
My high hopes have been brought low, and in place of contentment I feel pain and distress. O God of life, even as You renew the work of creation day by day, so, now, help me find renewal in my time of sadness and disappointment. Now, especially, I need the healing touch of Your love. Let Your presence be a light within to dispel the darkness. Let Your nearness, Your silent speech within the heart, be a comfort to me. I pray for the courage to carry on in the face of disappointment, for! the wisdom to learn from adversity, for the strength to build a new and better life. Your spirit can transform affliction into salvation; enlighten me, therefore, that I may look to the dawn of a new day with confidence and trust. May hope abide beyond the moment's loss. For You, O God of hope, are my sustaining power, even when I have fallen. Keep me from selfrecrimination. Give me peace of mind and contentment of spirit. AT A TIME OF ANXIETY Eternal God, You abide though all things change. I am anxious and fearful, and I turn my heart to You, looking to You and leaning on Your strength. It is written (Psalm 84:5), Blessed is the one whose strength is in You. Bless me now with faith and courage. Help me to feel that You are with me, steadying and sustaining me with the assurance that I am loved. Be with me and bring me hope, that in the days to come, my aspirations may be fulfilled for my good and the good of those I love who depend on me. Banish my fears with the sense that You are always present, to uphold and sustain me, as it is written (Isaiah 40:10): Have no fear, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with the power of My righteousness. 18
MEDITATIONS AND READINGS WHEN FACING DIFFICULTIES We pray: ! If we are weary, give us strength; ! If we are discouraged, give us hope. ! If we have forgotten how to pray, remind us; ! If we have been careless with time, forgive us. ! If our hearts have been chilled by indifference, ! Warm them with Your mercy, and inspire us ! with the glowing spirit of Your Presence. ! We see that what life has given to us, matters less than what we can give to life. So we know that illness is not what defines us, our hearts and souls can rejoice, for we can find ways to be useful, we can love and be loved. ! O God, help us to remember the good we can do, even when we are weak and in pain. And help us, on this day, and every day, to see beyond our troubles, that we may be a blessing to others - and to ourselves. WHEN OUR BURDENS SEEM TOO HEAVY I come to You, O God, for Your gracious help. You dwell within my heart, You feel my distress, You know my pain, and how burdened I am. Give me strength to bear my burdens with courage, wisdom, and grace. Help me to be true to my better self, to discern my real work in life, and to do it with all my might. When I struggle within my own heart, stay by my side. Then I shall be able to say with Your prophet (Isaiah 40:31), But those who hold fast to the Eternal shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk, and not faint. May my work, and the ties that bind me to family and friends, make life rich in meaning for me, so that each day I live may be yet another step leading me nearer to You. ! Naomi Levy 17
PSALM 102 A prayer of the afflicted when he is faint and pours forth his plea before the Eternal. O Eternal, hear my prayer; let my cry come before You. Do not hide Your face from me in my time of trouble; Turn Your ear to me; when I cry, answer me speedily. For my days have vanished like smoke, My body is stricken and withered like grass; I am like a great owl in the wilderness, I lie awake; I am like a lone bird upon a roof. My days are like a lengthening shadow; I wither like grass. But You, O Eternal One, are enthroned forever; Your fame endures throughout the ages. God has turned to the prayer of the destitute and has not spurned their prayer. May this be written down for a coming generation, That people yet to be created may praise the Eternal. For God looks down from the holy height; The Eternal beholds the earth from heaven to hear the groans of the prisoner, to release those condemned to death; I say, “O my God, do not take me away in the midst of my days, You whose years go on for generations on end. Of old You established the earth; The heavens are the work of Your hands. May the children of Your servants dwell securely and their offspring endure in Your presence.”!
PSALM 121 I lift my eyes to the mountains; from where will my help come? My help comes from the Eternal God, Maker of heaven and earth. 10
MORNING BLESSINGS Giving Thanks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Modeh Ani!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!'*+,-
./0) Lay Us Down!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Hashkiveinu!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 78,*!(B;?0-
Said upon waking:
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Modeh Ani l’fanecha, Melech chai v’kayam, she’he’chezarta bi nishmati b’chemlah rabba emunatecha. I thank you God, eternal creator of life, for restoring my soul with love, filled with Your eternal trust.
For Our Bodies!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Asher Yatzar!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1234'
We are grateful for the parts of our bodies which function properly even while we try to heal those which do not.
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92?;97 @!(^03;9 78,)&*7 78F%),N Hashkiveinu Adonai Eloheinu l’shalom, v’ha’amideinu Malkeinu l’chayim. Ufros aleinu sukat shlomecha. V’takneinu b’eitza tova milfanecha. V’hishi’einu l’ma’an shmecha. V’hagen ba’adeinu, v’haser me’aleinu o’yev dever v’cherev v’ra’av v’yagon. V’haser sattan milfaneinu u’mei’achreinu. Uv’tzel k’nafecha tastireinu. Ki El shomreinu u’matzileinu Ata, ki El Melech chanun v’rachum Ata. Ush’mor tzeteinu u’vo’einu l’chayim u’l’shalom, mei’ata v’ad olam.
Lay us down, Adonai our God in peace, and raise us up, our
Baruch Atah Adonai, Ehloheinu Melech Ha’olam, asher yatzar et Ha’adam b’chochmah u’vara vo n’kavim, n’kavim, chalulim, chalulim. Galui v’yadu’ah lifnei chiseh ch’vodecha she’im yipate’ach echad m’hem o y’satem echad m’hem, ee-efshar l’hitkayem v’la’amod l’fanecha. Barcuh Ata Adonai, rofeh chol basar u’mafli la’asot.
Sovereign in life. Spread over us a shelter of your peace. Guide our paths with great wisdom. Save us for the sake of your Name. Shield and protect us, remove from before us every enemy, sickness, violence, hunger, and sorrow. Remove adversaries from before us and from behind us. Hide us in the shadow of your wings. For you are a protecting and saving God, a gracious and compassionate Sovereign. Guard our going forth and our return in life and in peace, now and forever.
NIGHTTIME BLESSINGS (Shema, bottom of previous page, is also said at this time.)
Blessing Before Sleep qqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqq 9!T'-
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: @!J7-U0-6" @!(>: %&'&9+3L" !L8&!;>H %0E V&?!();9 D!(),G0- -2Y0) !(B ,%d"2G0- V0?!() V4R !L8!,> D,)2-6" ,c!d82T;9 .&#&*;A(E &lmB @29&>29 D!(),G0- ,5!6! -2Y0) C7D2E .V=!2> Baruch Ata Adonai Eloheinu Melech ha’olam, hamapil chevli sheina al einai ut’numa al af’apai. V’yehi ratzon milfanecha Adonai Elohai v’Elohei avotai v’imotai, she’tash’kiveini l’shalom v’ta’amideini l’shalom, v’al y’vahaluni rayonai vachalomot ra’im v’harhurim ra’im, ut’hei mitati shleima l’fanecha, v’ha’er einai pen ishan ha’mavet, ki Ata ha’me’ir l’ishon bat ayin. Baruch Ata Adonai, ha’me’ir l’olam kulo bich’vodoh.
are You, Adonai, Sovereign of the Universe, who brings sleep upon my eyes, slumber upon my eyelids. May it be your will, Adonai, my God and the God of my ancestors, that you lay me down in peace and raise me up in peace. Do not let my thoughts upset me, nor my dreams or meditations disturb me. May my bed be complete before you, and let me not sleep the sleep of death. For you enlighten humanity. Blessed are You, who enlightens the entire universe with Your glory.
We praise You, Eternal God, Sovereign of the universe. With divine wisdom you have made our bodies, combining veins, arteries and vital organs into a finely balanced network. Were one of them to fail, O wondrous Maker and Sustainer of life - we would lack the strength to stand in life before You. Source of our health and strength, we give You thanks and praise.
A Pure Soul!!!!!!!!!!!Elohai N’shama!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.5)5&6+
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!a%,' @!J2X;T(9 %&'2?68 D!(W+30G0- ,5!6! -2Y0) C7D2E Elohai n’shama she’natata bi tehora hi. Ata v’rata, Ata y’tzarta, Ata n’fachta bi, v’Ata m’shamra b’kirbi, v’Ata atid litla mi’meni, ul’hachazira bi le’atid lavo. Kol zman she’han’shama v’kirbi, modeh (modah) ani l’fanecha, Adonai Elohai ve’lohei avotai, ribon kol hama’asim, adon kol hanshamot. Baruch Ata Adonai hamachazir n’shamot lifgarim meitim. My God, the soul you have given me is pure. You created it, You formed it, You breathed it into me, You guard it within me. You will, in the future, take it from me, and restore it to me at a future time. So long as this souls is within me, I thank You, Adonai, My God, God of my ancestors, Master of all creation, Sovereign of all souls. Praised are You, Adonai, who restores the soul to the lifeless and exhausted. 12
For Health ! Compassionate Source of Healing, heal us, and we shall be healed; save us and we shall be saved; Grant us a complete healing from all our wounds. For You, Almighty Sovereign, are a faithful and merciful healer.
.9,):;<=! &'0> !,9&3 ),T&D 5!6! -2Y0) C7D2E Ba-ruch A-tah Adonai, Ro-fei cho-lei a-mo Yis-ra-eil. We praise You, O God, Healer of the sick.
Hear our Prayer !!!!!!!!Shma Koleinu!!!!!!!!!! !!9+#:0;
V&N:;*7 @!('+3H;E 9,Eb6" 78!,92> @,3H6" _73 78!,-.1) 5!6! 78,9&M >0'ji 5!6! -2Y0) C7D2E .-2Y2) @!=878+3$%6" %&l(T;Y 0>,'&i 9,) !(B 78F%2l(T;Y %4) .-2l(T;Y 0>,'&i Sh’ma koleinu Adonai Eloheinu, chus v-rachum aleinu. V’kabel b’rachamim u-v’ratzon et t’filateinu, ki eil shomei-ah t’filot v’tachanunim Atah. Ba-ruch A-tah Adonai, Sho-mei-a t‘fi-lah. Hear our voice, Eternal our God. Have compassion upon us and accept our prayer with favor and mercy. For You are a God who hears prayer and supplication. Blessed are You, Eternal One, who hears prayer.
For Our Blessings
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For the blessings of friendship & love, of family & community, For the blessings we ask of You and those we cannot ask, For the blessings You bestow upon us in the open and those You give in secret we are grateful to You. For all these blessings, Eternal God of the Universe, we thank You and are grateful to You. For the blessings we recognize and those we fail to recognize, For the blessings of our tradition and of our Holy Days, For the blessings of return and forgiveness, of memory, of vision, and of hope For all these blessings which surround us on every side Dear God, hear our thanks and accept our gratitude.
.%&-;9 -4)58 c;97 c;'(? *&r0- ,5!6! -2Y0) C7D2E Ba-ruch A-tah Adonai, Ha-tov shim-cha u-l’cha na-eh l’ho-dot.
(Shema is included in both the Morning and Nighttime Blessings.)
.#234) 5!6! ,78!,-.1) 5!6! ,9,):;<=! >0';? .#4>5" @29&>;9 &%7A;90' #&*;B @,? C7D2E Shema Yisraeil, Adonai Eloheinu, Adonai echad. Baruch shem kavod malchuto l’olam va’ed. Hear O Israel, Adonai is our God, Adonai is one. Blessed is God’s glorious name now and forever.