Archive for the ‘Davenology’ Category

Auschwitzion

Monday, April 28th, 2014

Auschwitzion
(To the melody Eli Tzion)
by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi

May HaMakom console the whole world
Auschwitz-tzion
(Scroll down for Hebrew version)

Alas, how poor are words to state our pain
In remembering the millions slain,
While yet upon our souls the stain
Of standing by while brothers called in vain.

Unshriven here we are depressed
As long as somewhere someone is oppressed
As long as the murderers the meek suppressed,
And grieving mothers wail distressed.

Shalt Thou, O G-d, not bear Thy guilt this day
For standing by while multitudes in blood did lay,
And silent Thou unmoved didst stay,
Thy covenant to help us didst betray.

While millions’ lives to ash were turned,
To their last breath Thine intervention yearned,
Still hoping day and night, while all the ovens burned.
Why were our prayers of desperation spurned?

If Thine own we are, O Lord, then Thou art King
If only by Thy leave occurs each thing,
Then butcher Thou, and we the offering.
Yet who, but Thou, can heal our suffering?

The help Thou sendest must renew
All of mankind, not just the Jew
The Arabs and the Russians too
Must be freed, ere peace is true.

Send Thine annointed Savior Lord,
To turn to plowshare atom’s sword.
May each in Him see One adored
And prophesied by prophet’s word.

המקום ינחם את העולם כולו
אושביציון
מאת משלם זלמן הכהן שחטר-שלומי

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For Hanukkah / Thanksgiving from Reb Zalman

Friday, November 15th, 2013

Dear Friends: The following is transcribed from Reb Zalman’s talk last week at Nevei Kodesh, which was also broadcast on the internet (and is still available for download). In it, Reb Zalman references the updating of liturgy which has happened as part of Jewish Renewal in our time:

“Very soon we are going to have Thanksgiving and when you sit after you eat a wonderful meal, you really need to do THANKS-giving and do birkhat hamazon and bentsch afterwards.

“In Birkat Hamazon, we include on special holidays Yaaleh v’yavo to say, ‘And we thank you,’ for Pesach, Shavuot, Sukkot, for Rosh Chodesh; sometimes we say we thank you for Hanukkah, for Purim.

“So, I wrote one, ‘I thank You’ for Thanksgiving and it would be good to have it when you have a Thanksgiving dinner so you can really do the bentschen including that which has become for us a source of THANKSgiving.”

And here are links to the updates Reb Zalman has provided:

For Hanukkah: על הניסים / Al Hanissim and מעוז צור / Maoz Tzur

For Thanksgiving: a Birkhat Hamazon insert and an Amidah Insert

In addition, here is a transcription of a portion of Reb Zalman’s talk from last week, (good yom tov!):

Thank you, Nevei Kodesh! You give me an opportunity to witness:

It was last week that I was able to give you the witness of how I understand where we came from. At the end of the time I didn’t have a chance to speak enough about where we are today so I need to begin with where we are today, what is our achievement and what do we look forward to.

So many of the things that we have engendered are already being emulated, copied, redone, (as it were), by other people.

I have to begin with a witness about davenology:

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HaShir for High Holydays

Tuesday, August 27th, 2013

Reb Zalman sends these singable texts in English for liturgy of this time of year. Use them when you davenn during this season. Click here to download a word document with all the texts for yourself.

KI HINEH KAHOMER
DIRGE ON AUSCHWITZ
AVINU MALKENU
T’SHUVAH
A SONG FOR RAISING CONSCIOUSNESS PSALM 130
AVOT
MALKHUYOT
SHOFAR
ZIKHRONOT
SHOFROT
ABBA, ABBA HAVE PITY!
VIDDUI
Kavvanah for KOL NIDRE
YOU HOLD OUT A HAND

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Dear God!

Monday, August 26th, 2013

Reb Zalman sends the following song. Click here to hear it sung by Reb Zalman.  Click here to open pdf

13AttributesBBB1

13AttributesBBB2

Stages of Prayer

Sunday, July 21st, 2013

Click here for the Hebrew text which comes from Yishmiru Daat page 72.

[Moshe begins to pray to God to reverse the edict that he would not be allowed to cross over into the Promised Land.]

(Deuteronomy 3:24) “O Lord God, You have begun to show Your servant Your beneficence and Your strong hand

הוי’ אלקים / YHVH Elokim / “YHVH God” is the way it’s heard. ‘אדנ”י הוי / ADNY YHVH / “O Lord YHVH” is the way it’s written.

[The second word is written with Shem Hamephorash, YHVH, pointed (voweled) like Elokim and therefore read aloud as “Elokim” instead of its  usual way of being read, Adonai. Thus, one hearing it would normally assume the word is written as it sounds, “Elokim“. The first word Adonai is written out and read as written, but if one hears it, one would assume the word written is the Shem Hamephorash YHVH.]

YHVH Elokim, (the way one hears it when it’s read aloud), seems straightforward for this text because YHVH (Chesed) is associated gadlicha / Your beneficence (Chesed), while Elokim (Gevurah) is associated with yad’cha hachazaka / Your strong hand (Gevurah). But according to the way it’s written, ADNY YHVH, there’s a question as to what’s going on here.

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Moshe’s Lesson for Us

Friday, July 19th, 2013

Click here for Hebrew text

Vaetchanan / I entreated YHVH at that time, saying… (Deut 3:23).

[Moshe is praying that he not die in the land of Moab, but that he be allowed to enter the Land of Israel with the rest of the Israelites.]

The word, אתחנן / etchanan / I entreated, is written in the reflexive case which means that the object of the verb is also the subject. So in the case of prayer, it means that Moshe prayed himself. A reflexive in this instance functions as an intensifier with respect to the impact of the action, which is the experience Moshe has in praying. We may think of prayer as consisting of the one who prays and a God to whom one prays. But by putting the verb in the reflexive, it creates a feedback loop; the praying has more effect on the one who prays.

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For Tisha B’av

Monday, July 15th, 2013

Click here for Hebrew text. Please consider this prayer composed by Reb Zalman for your Tisha B’av (freely 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.]

May the One who knows of our wishes for a better world, and Who sees the longing and sadness that we hold in our hearts and the brokenness that we encounter in our lives, dear Yah our God, please comfort us. We are in mourning for the loss of Your chosen House, special place. We grieve the holiness that once could reach to us from without and which held us up as we lived our lives. Dear Yah, comfort especially those who are so broken by the world that they’ve become bitter and alienated from the holiness they could love, but have lost touch with because of its remoteness from them. And comfort those who reside in Yerushalayim because they feel these things more acutely and basically than we; residents of Yerushalayim, the capital of the state of Israel which is the place from where the first signs of our redemption begin; the city also called Al Quds, the holy place for Palestinians. Please may there be quiet and ease. Please assuage their anger and reduce their terror of being attacked. Please pour down to them a spirit of wisdom and the wherewithal to support one another, that one reaches out one to another with words of respect and honor. Please establish in support of them the bringing about of a government of ease and calm in which the representatives of the people treat one another with honesty and integrity.

Please comfort us Yah, haEl haGadol haGibor v’haNora, with that holy vision of a House of prayer for all peoples. Place into our hearts, feelings of respect and kinship for one another, one Law, one nation with everyone joining and being aware that they are Your creation, oh Yah, and that You are their Creator and, may Your glory be entreated, may it come about that we are all entreating and praying and hoping through the various hymns which will be united into a psalm, a song for a time that is completely Shabbos / full of peace and calm. May it be Your will, dear God, that the souls of all who enter the gates of the Holy city may be refreshed with complete ease, doubly consoled. Baruch atah yah, who comforts Zion and builds Yerushalayim, Ir Hashalom, Yerushat haolom / Jerusalem, city of peace, world’s legacy.

Amen

Beauty’s Joyful Excitement

Friday, April 26th, 2013

Here is a link to the Hebrew text:

When we count the Omer starting with Chesed of Chesed and ending with Malchut of Malchut, then Lag B’Omer, the thirty-third day, is Hod Sheb’Hod. Hod represents “beauty“, “a sense of perfection“, “balance“, “symmetry” and “aesthetic“. For an entire week this is our theme and, as we go through the days of the week we arrive at Hod sheb’Hod on the fifth day of our Hod-focused work. It is that part of the work in which we are remembering that we need to be sensitive to the level of “affect” in the way that we present the Hod on which we are working. Hod is to be presented in a way that is respectful of its non-verbal impact on the receiver, of how it is felt, and of the sense of beauty one feels when it is handed over. So Hod Sheb’Hod is “the beauty of the beauty”.

In Genesis 32:26, after the angel wrestles with Jacob and Jacob prevails, the angel injures Jacob’s left leg, (when the Sefirot are mapped to the parts of the body, Netzach and Hod are associated with the right and left legs respectively), and his left leg is dislocated from its socket. Here is the interpretation on a symbolic level (cf Pardes Rimmonim Shaar 17:1):

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For Rosh Hashanah (Zeh Hayom)

Wednesday, September 5th, 2012

Here is a translation of Reb Zalman’s Rosh Hashanah piece, published before in its original Hebrew here.

“This day is [the anniversary of] the start of Your handiwork, a remembrance of the first day.”

Much is written on these verses and to this, behold, I add, from what Hashem has graced me about this current age, as it is written, “You are all standing this day,” in our era at which time even we, who are on the level of “your water drawers” or “your woodcutters”, the entire leadership of Israel during the days of ikvata d’mashicha relies on us holding it up.

And as is put forward in sefarim, the point of Rosh Hashanah is binyan hamalchut as we pray, “reign over the whole world in Your dignity.” And besides what one needs to be in shofar blowing, (simple strain of “Father, merciful father”), there is much else that is cast our way from the level of itaruta d’l’tata / arousal from below, that is begun for us in the month of Elul which begins with [Aleph Lamed] Ani Ldodi V‘dodi Li / I am my beloved’s – in arousal from below, – and so too the month of Tishrei, i.e. they begin from the end of the alphabet – going upwards — TavShinReishKuf and after, V’dodi Li / my beloved is mine.

And what is our role? To raise Binyan hamalchut! “Pronounce before me verses of malchuyot, etc” (in order to make me your Sovereign) and through this we arouse the Divine will to be our king for another year. And some particular efforts on our part are needed to make us worthy of this service.

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Reb Zalman on YouTube

Wednesday, December 21st, 2011

A quick survey of YouTube returns a long list of videos featuring Reb Zalman.  They are listed here in the following categories:

Jewish Renewal, Organismic Paradigm, Reb Zalman Davvenen, Inner Life, KavvanahCalendar/Lifecycle,  Intimacy and Spirit, From Age-ing to Sage-ing, Deep Ecumenism, Tshuvah,  Reminiscences, Psychedelics, Communities.

With gratitude to the many videographers, (most notably, Rabbi Sarah Leah).

Jewish Renewal

Hello Renewal
Reb Zalman reviews his legacy
What is Jewish Renewal?
Renewal Visions for future
Renewal Visions for future 2

Organismic Paradigm

We are just a cell
Shifting toward healing the planet

Davvenen

Tour of Reb Zalman’s davvenen space
Putting on the tallis
Praising with Heart and Flesh
Andalucian Zikr

Inner Life

In Your Blessed Hands
Covenant is unique to yiddishkeit
Rosh Hashanah inner work
Rosh Hashanah inner work 2
Freeze-dried Psalm 23 as Reb Zalman heats it up
Affirmations and Jew-ing
Interpersonal aspects of the inner life
Reb Zalman’s legacy of increasing attunement
Using the imagination, Baal Shem Tov and Star Trek
On relating to God during prayer and role of ego
On Avot 1:14
The Baal Shem‘s Spirit

  • Kiss of God, shmooze with Father Thomas Keating, descriptions of closeness with God that they share

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

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