I open my mouth, I open my heart.
I speak praise, hope and thanks.
I speak the Ancient Prayer:
1. Praise our Ancestors!
God of my childhood faith, of my adult skepticism
God of the mystics, of the philosophers
God of our ancestors, of our children
God of my strength and of my weakness
God of this community, and of mine alone
God of my current understanding and my lack thereof
God who knew my parents, God who knows my death
Blessed be Ain Sof, that which was here before IS, and that which will be here afterwards.
2. Praise God’s Power!
Incline your metaphorical ear
Open your metaphorical eye
If you can’t imagine God then you don’t exist.
Blessed be God who brings us the Wow.
3. Sanctify God’s Name!
Blessed HaMavdeel, the Divider of Time;
Blessed Adonai Echad, the Uniter Of All Existence;
Blessed Ain Sof, That Which Cannot Be Known;
Blessed Ruach HaOlam, The Breath That Animates;
Blessed Shechina, the Presence of Eternity;
Blessed Elohim, God of our Past, Blessed Yah, God of our future;
Blessed HaMakom, God of our present.
Look from side to side, to see all these possibilities,
Holy, Holy, Holy
But there is only One.
Blessed be Echad, with so many names.
4. I ask for Knowledge.
I pray that I may continue to have so many questions
And give thanks for my teachers and hevruta for the answers
Which I will then question.
Blessed HaMavdil Bein Kodesh L’Khol, who is so interesting.
5. I ask for Repentance.
Someone asked, what were you thinking? I don’t know.
I was hurt, I was angry, I was scared.
I’m not making excuses, I know what I did.
But it is good to be understood. I am so sorry.
Blessed be God, who is so patient.
6. I ask for Forgiveness.
The truly evil are already condemned
The truly good are already blessed
And the rest of us, most of us,
Hope for mercy and a little leeway.
I will do better.
Blessed is the Presence that does not hold a grudge.
7. We ask for Redemption.
We pray that we have no enemies.
But if we must have enemies, we pray that we may find a way to live in peace.
If we cannot live in peace, we ask for safety.
If we cannot be safe, then we ask to be saved from annihilation.
If most of us are killed, we pray that some of us will be able to run away to start again.
Bless the Redeemer, who has compassion for all who are in pain or who cause pain.
8. We ask for Healing.
We pray for the compassion to comfort and care,
the anger to keep going,
the clarity to see what must be done,
the acceptance of love from all sources,
the brains to get help,
and the strength to accept the truth.
Bless the Source of Life, that we may be healed, in our souls if not always in our bodies.
9. We pray for the Earth, our home and all that it gives us.
We pray for the rain and the dirt and the seeds.
We pray to be proper caretakers of this earth and all who live upon it.
We pray that all who are hungry will have to eat.
We honor the chain of work that brought us bread, from the farmer to the picker and the miller and the baker, to the trucker and the store owner and the shopper.
Bless the Creation, that which brings us the means to make our food that we may eat together.
10. We ask for the gathering of the exiled.
Sound a shofar, listen!
Gather the lost and homeless:
The Ivrit fleeing Mitzraim, the Ladinos exiled from Spain;
The refugees of Darfur, the Europeans who crossed to America in steerage;
The Cherokee on the Trail of Tears, the ethnically cleansed of Serbia;
The Oleh who ran from Nazis and Soviets to Israel, the Palestinians walled off from their farms.
Bless El, who gathers the dispersed and sometimes takes them home.
11. We ask for the rule of Law
Help us refuse to participate in wrongdoing
Help us act when we see someone else in danger, whether we know them or not.
Help us free ourselves from violence and recover when we cannot.
Protect us from police states and dictatorships.
Make sure our judges are impartial and our laws makes sense.
Bless The One Who Judges and Writes in the Book of Life, seeing us as we truly are.
12. We ask for tolerance and perception.
All division is false,
All superiority is delusion,
All separation is temporary.
Blessed Adonai Echad, the Uniter Of All Existence.
13. We ask for righteousness.
May we pray in mindfulness and not by rote.
May our actions match our ethics.
May we not oppress or bore others who do not believe or practice as we do.
Bless God Who Has Given Us Our Minds that we may use them to think for ourselves. May we all be Jews By Choice.
14. We ask for Jerusalem.
Have mercy on Israel and Palestine’s people.
May they all be able to see themselves clearly
And may they find themselves able to act ethically.
Please keep them safe from physical harm
And please, if at all possible, keep them sane.
As we have always aspired to return to Jerusalem,
May those who live there aspire to live in harmony and justice with their neighbors.
Bless Yud Hey Vuv Hey, the God of Abraham, Sarah, Ishmael, Isaac, Rebecca, Esau, Jacob, Rachel, Leah, Zilpah, Bilhah, Moses, Zipporah, Naomi, Boaz and Ruth.
15. We ask for salvation.
May the World To Come be the world we live in.
Bless HaMakom, we are in this glorious and troubled place and we take responsibility for how it turns out.
16. Hear Our Prayers
That which Was, That which Is, That which Will Be.
I imagine you. I’m listening. Do you hear me?
Blessed Adonai Elohim. Sh’ma.
17. We are thankful for our opportunities to serve.
For the eyes to see the suffering,
For the minds and body to take action,
For the liturgy that still speaks to us,
For the prayers we create now,
We are thankful.
And please, no need to rebuild the Temple:
God is everywhere.
Bless the Shechinah, the Presence that never leaves.
18.We are so thankful.
Ah, the sweetness of life, savor the taste.
Life can be so good, can’t it?
And right now it is fine.
Feed it with bread and honey,
Irrigate and watch it grow.
Who cares which book we’re inscribed in?
This moment is so great.
I am so thankful for the beautiful weather,
the glorious music, the fine words, the embracing community
the sweet meals, the warm home,
the good friends, the silly toys, the spiritual seaches,
the sexual pleasures, the profound thoughts,
the crazy family, the big laughs,
and the loving.
Blessed Ruach HaOlam who gives us today, which is so beautiful.
19. We pray for peace.
May the Eternal bless us and keep everyone.
Let us have some inkling of the Holy Connection
And grant us wholeness and peace.
Blessed Ain Sof, encompassing all existence,
May the words of my mouth and the thoughts of my heart be truth.
May the good things I pray for happen and, if not,
May I never forget to hope.