Sacrifices and Offerings – Musaf Amidah: An Additional Prayer

© Trisha Arlin

The sun is high in the sky,
See the awesome beauty of Creation,
Breathe in the glory of the One-ness!
Let us assemble to daven the additional prayer!

Blessed Oneness
I propose these independent words
As a substitute
For the sacrifices in another place,
For the sacrifices of another time.
May this be a suitable offering.

Bless our inventive ancestors
Who have given us the
Jealous God of the Torah;
The hidden God of the Holy of Holies;
And the clever God of the Talmud;
And the Kingly God of our Siddur.
To this God we will make our offerings.

Bless our inventive ancestors
Who have given us the
The Unknowable God of the mystics;
And the rational God of the philosophers;
The haimish God of our grandparents.
To this God we will pray.

Bless our inventive ancestors
Who have given us the
The Daddy God of our childhood faith;
And the nonexistent God of our young skepticism;

And now the complicated doubt-filled God-ness of our adult searching.

With  this God, we will have a conversation.

Bless our inventive ancestors
Who have given us
God, the Everything;
God, the Everywhere;
God, the One-ness.
With this God, we will breathe.

With all our histories and memories, 
And with gratitude to all who came before us, 
Praising God, 
However we approach God
And even if we don’t,  
We are protected.

Blessed Fierce Mystery,  hear our voices here and now.

There is nothing that is not God.
God is no thing.
God is something.
God is anything.
Blessed be the Was, the Is, the Will Be.

How do you worship all these holy possibilities?
When all division is false, 
When all superiority is delusion, 
When all separation is temporary.
What can we possibly do to properly express our awe?
We look everywhere for a way to describe the glory.
Blessed Adonai Echad, the Uniter Of All Existence

Holy, Holy, Holy!
It is written down!
We are blessed with many minds with which to imagine God
And many mouths to describe what we see.
It is passed down
From generation to generation
As we attempt to give ourselves over to the impossible.
Blessed be Adonai, Elohim, Achat/Echad, El Shaddai, HaShem, Shechinah  and all the other names of the One-ness,
Presenting us with so many splendid opportunities for metaphor.
Kadosh Baruch Hu, inspiring us to be so creative.


Tecantah Shabbat:  Shabbat is.
We make the Meal Offering:

First, there is that portion of dough we take off the challah before we bake it, in order to sustain high priests, artists and those who are in need.

Then, we marvel at the chain of creation and work that brings us the challah;

At the seed and the earth and the rain and the sun;
At the farmer and the picker and the miller and the baker;
At the trucker and the packager and the store owner and the grocery checker;
At the shopper and the cook;
At those who serve the meal and those who will clean up afterwards;
At our families and our guests who eat with us;
At the pleasure we take in being together on this day.

Then, we honor those who struggle for us and this gift, our planet:
The scientists and activists;
The teachers and the learners and the new farmers and the leaders;
Those who work so hard to understand this earth;
Those who fight the odds;
Those who sacrifice so much of their time and effort;
Those who lose their joy so we do not lose ours.

And we offer our profound gratitude for all that was
And we offer our profound responsibility for all that will be.
And we offer our deep awe as we approach the Holy One-ness
With our Meal Offering.

OoVaYom HaShabbat:   On the Sabbath Day.
On this Shabbat day,
I offer these things,
As did Moses our teacher, in Torah,
To my loved ones, to my community, to my planet

I offer 
My heartbreaks and my disappointments,
My resentments and my failures
And all they have taught me.

I offer
My loves and my expectations,
My admirations and my successes,
And all they have taught me.

I offer

Everything I want to keep
I offer
Only what I can afford to lose

I offer nothing,

I offer jokes,
I offer sincerity,
I offer these words.

(insert your own offerings here)

I offer
I offer
I offer
I offer

And what will I sacrifice?
Not a a sheep or a pigeon
Not flour or incense 
An online donation in December?
Is that enough?

I am so very safe.

I am so comfortable.
I have so many choices.

Can I give up my safety?

Like when I was young and didn’t really think I could ever be hurt?

Can I give up my comfort?
Now, when my feet hurt?

Can I give up my choices?

Now that I have fewer options to choose?

I could give of myself,

I must find out what that really means.
And what will you sacrifice?

Yismachu:  Rejoice in the One-ness

It is as if, on this seventh day,
We remember the creation of life:
Awesome and mundane,
Profound and ordinary.

It is as if, on this seventh day,
We remember the creation of Shabbat
Set apart and blissful,
Thoughtful and serene.

It is as if, on this seventh day,
We are heard
We are known
We are loved
We are remembered
We are inspired
We are roused
We are forgiven
We know
That we are made holy by the Holiness.

Elohainu: Our God

Our God?  Who is “us”?

The God-ness is not ours alone to know.

The service is not ours alone to perform.

The sanctification is not ours alone to experience.

Shabbat is not ours alone to enjoy.

Let us share in the God-ness.

V’ al kol Yisrael v’al kol yoshvai taivel

For all Israel  and for all who dwell on earth,

Bless the One.


It is at this point in the Musaf Amidah,
That we are supposed to ask
For the restoration of the temple service.
I cannot kill something to honor the Creator.
I cannot start a war to achieve peace.
I cannot destroy someone else’s holy place in order to establish my own.

And as the rabbis said, *

Anyone with deep knowledge of God
Anybody with an enlightened mind,
If that person exists,
It is as if the temple exists in this world.
And I know such people
And the temple is already built.
And I already worship there
And I am  not alone.

Blessed God of our strengths and our weaknesses,
Blessed God of our current understanding and our lack thereof,
We are in this glorious and troubled place
We promise to take responsibility for how it turns out.
We will we watch for our opportunities to serve and build.

We are so thankful. 
We are One with the One-ness.
We give thanks for whatever love and kindness we have received
And even more for the love and kindness we have given.
We give thanks for those who have forgiven us
And to those who have asked us for our forgiveness.
We give thinks for those who work to sustain us
And those who work for sustainability.
We give thanks  for the deep rest of Shabbat
And the exciting hope for the coming week,
May we never take any of this for granted.
Blessed  HaMakom,  this Place is so amazing.
God is goodness, and good things happen.

We pray for peace and holy wholeness.
We pray for the goodness
To resist the urge to inhumanity
That we feel in times of fear and mourning.
We pray for the bravery
To resist the calls to inhumanity
That others may make upon us in times of crisis.
May we find relief from our hurts and fears
And may we not, in our pain,
Lose our empathy
For the hurts and fears of others.

Blessed One-ness
We pray for the strength to be kind
And the courage to make peace.


Baruch Atah Adonai
Brucha At Shechina
Blessed One-ness

May it be your will that we enter our own Holy of Holies whenever we pray in divine conversation.

May the words of my mouth and the thoughts of my heart be joyful truth.

May the good things I pray for happen and, if not, 
May I never forget to hope. 


*Rabbi Miles Krassen –

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