Jewish Prayers From the Heart and Pen of Alden Solovy

Can These Bones Live?

?בֶּן-אָדָם, הֲתִחְיֶינָה הָעֲצָמוֹת הָאֵלֶּה
Son of man, can these bones live? — Ezekiel 37:3

We’ll read Ezekiel’s prophecy of the dry bones tomorrow, Shabbat Chol Hamoed Pesach and the anniversary of my Bar Mitzvah. It’s been a rough road for me and my family. At times I’ve felt like an empty shell of bones. Was it a coincidence that this was my reading? G-d renews us, both as individuals and as the whole house of Israel. I will chant these words again tomorrow.

This is a prayer for a new heart, for healing from within. Deep in my chest, I know what it’s like for a dulled heart to reawaken to life. It is neither gentle nor painless. On this anniversary, I honor my own journey by reposting this prayer. For G-d, indeed, has blessed me with a new heart. To listen along as you read, click on the triangle in the bar below. The entire text follows.

This Stubborn Heart
This heart refuses to heal.
The pain must stay fresh,
The wound must stay open.
How else will I remember
The shattered love,
The scattered dreams?

No more!
I reject this heart that scorns
The balm of time,
The salve of companions,
The grace of music,
The power of the open sky.

Let joy and humor
Fill my chest with passion
For every moment,
Every person,
Every longing,
And every desire.
Let it pump sweetness
From ventricle to ventricle
And into my empty veins.

Cut out this stubborn heart.
Replace it with a clean organ,
Fresh with romance and blood.

© 2010 Alden Solovy and All rights reserved.

Postscript: This prayer also fits, albeit awkwardly given the tone, into the theme of the first week of Counting the Omer, Chesed: Loving-kindness, benevolence. This prayer was originally posted July 13, 2010.

Please use these prayers. See “Share the Prayer!” in the right hand column. For notices of new prayers posted here, please subscribe. To read four to six mini-prayers each week, as well as notices of new prayers posted to the site, please join the To Bend Light fan page on Facebook.


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