This Rosh Hashanah prayer opens with an allusion to another name for this day − Ha-Yom Harat Olam, the birthday of the world − by comparing both the gift of life and the flow of time to the movement of a river. It ends with gratitude and the longing for peace. It’s also appropriate for the secular New Year. To listen as you read, click on the triangle in the bar below. The text follows.
For the New Year
G-d of time and space,
Hand of rhythm and grace,
You’ve granted me moments and breaths,
Life like a river
Rapids and flats,
Deep narrow canyons
And bright open skies,
Thundering, churning waters
And calm gentle flows.
A life of beauty and wonder
Beyond my understanding,
Beyond my wildest dreams.
And still, Heavenly Redeemer,
You also give me choices,
To live in grief or joy,
Fear or awe,
Tears or laughter.
To lift my life in glory and radiance,
A shining light of kindness and love.
G-d of all being,
May the New Year bring us closer to You
And each other,
Guided by justice and mercy.
A joyous celebration of life in its fullness.
Grant us wisdom and compassion as we witness
Births and deaths.
Marriages and divorces,
Monumental joy and crushing loss.
Help me stay awake and open,
Embracing each new moment with dignity, vitality and charity,
So that I may be of gentle service to those in need.
In gratitude for Your gifts, Holy One,
Bless this New Year with health and happiness,
Family and friendship,
Prosperity and peace.
© 2010 Alden Solovy and http://www.tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.
Postscript: Here’s a meditation called “Another Year: An Introspection.” Click here for the full list of prayers for the Yamim Noraim, listed by topics. Here’s a list of prayers for Elul and another list of prayers for Rosh Hashana. Here’s a link to yizkor and memorial prayers. Other seasonal prayers include: “For Winter,” “For Spring,” “For Summer,” “For Autumn” and “For Rain.”
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Photo credit: Scott Church / National Park Service