PLACE YOURSELF: WORDS OF PRAYER AND INTENTION, by Trisha Arlin, with a Foreword by Rabbi Jill Hammer and original artwork by Mike Cockrill, is a book of original prayer, kavannot and liturgical poems. From her first prayer, “The Earth Prays”, written for Birkat HaChammah in 2009 to the latest one, “All My Grudges”, written in 2018 as an alternative for this most recent Kol Nidrei, this is a collection of Arlin’s best work. Arlin’s work is fresh, challenging, useful and very modern, in straightforward language that is meant to be heard and understood in real time as part of a service or ritual event, or to use for personal spiritual explorations.
From Rabbi Jill Hammer’s Foreword:
“How does a contemporary person engage Jewish prayer and make any sense of the words? How do we reconcile what we know about the messy, uncertain, often painful and unjust world with the God the prayerbook describes? Conversely, how do we express the awe we feel at the beauty of the universe when we are immersed in a culture of cynicism, materialism, and doubt? In her by turns whimsical, incisive, and vulnerable prayer-poetry, Trisha Arlin offers a bold answer to these questions…
Trisha Arlin’s prayers make space for the things we thought we couldn’t say. If you want prayers for the Sabbath, holidays, and other occasions that speak to the heart and don’t discount your head, Arlin’s work is for you. If you’re ready to be honest and vulnerable, reverent and heretical, mystical and down-to-earth, you’ve come to the right place. You can use these words as a resource for enhancing your Jewish prayer practice, or you can use them to re-enter Jewish prayers you left behind forever. However you place yourself, may you find this book to be a blessing.”
“The words Trisha wrote for her book – her prayers, (poems of a sort) and liturgical writings have many layers. At times funny. At times edgy. At times lovely and always thought provoking. My wife read one of Trisha’s pieces from her book at the family passover seder we attended in Long Island. When my wife said “Yuk” as she read, the guest interrupted. “Does it actually say that? Yuk?” My wife said, “Yes.” In a prayer book, appeared the word “Yuk.” Yes, this is not your usual book of Jewish Prayer.” —- Mike Cockrill