September 8, 2007
Prayers for women, by a woman
(Page 2 - Previous Page)People are looking for prayers that speak to them, and sometimes are put off by the formal and rote quality of the liturgy. These prayers "come from a very deep and personal place -- they're very intimate," she says. "These tkhines have the quality of going to the deeper center of oneself."
Berland has also been conducting workshops on composing personal prayer. For example, she may have participants write down five losses and five great joys and see if any of those connect.
"After you live long enough, you see that a lot of the sorrows can be good," she said. "My son was absent for me for 11 years, and I would never have bought the book in that bookstore if I didn't need a prayer -- and it's changed my life."
For more information, visit http://www.dinahberland.com/HOD-toc.shtml
Here are some High Holy Day selections from "Hours of Devotion":
On the Morning of the New Year
As we concluded the old year
With tears and prayers before you, O God,
So we assemble again in the first hours of the new,
In your sanctuary, to dedicate our emotions to you
And open our hearts before your watchful eye.
O God, we ask so much of you for the new year!
As a child approaches a parent,
So we open our hearts and souls to you,
Confiding our joys and sorrows,
Our thoughts and feelings.
Whatever secret misery may depress us,
Whatever our souls may hesitate to bring to our lips,
The glowing tears in our eyes reveal
And our sights and weeping lay bare before you.
At the Sounding of the Shofar
How my heart stirs at the shofar's glorious blast.
Its vibration causes the very sinews of my being to echo.
Its earnest tones call out to me:
Mortal child, take courage! Take Courage!
Save the people who know the sound of the shofar
And bask in your light, O God,
In the brilliance of your countenance, Amen.
At the Close of the Day of Atonement
Grant, O God, that the purity and innocence of my heart
That has been restored to us before you today
Never be lost to us.
May the noble feelings that arise within us now
Lead us through the course of our lives
And to life's end -- so our souls may resemble
The way they were at the beginning
And leave this earth in purity and innocence
To go and dwell with you
In the heavenly realm of eternity. Amen.
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