Jewish Prayers From the Heart and Pen of Alden Solovy

High Holy Days

These are prayers and stories for the Yamim Noraim, including brief descriptions and links to each. Use this list to look for prayers topically. To narrow your search, here are lists divided by holiday and topic: Elul, Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur and Sukkot. Here’s a link to yizkor and memorial prayers.

T’shuva (Repentance, Return)

Each of these three meditations begins with a prophetic voice, asking why we stay chained to our sorrows, then challenges us to see life as a sacred journey:

  • For Healing the Spirit – Why do we waste our days in grief and despair when we have the power to make our lives holy?
  • For Sharing Divine Gifts – Can we find the path of compassion, using our divine gifts in service to each other in the name of G-d?
  • Regarding Old Wounds – Are you ready to take your most crushing losses and turn them into a deep well of strength and love?
  • Repentance Inside – To leave my transgressions behind.
  • Cry No More – This is the day G-d made to lift you from sorrow.

Living in Holiness

These prayers and meditations examine journey of a living a life of holiness, focusing on attributes (like humility) and practices (listening for G-d’s voice, doing G-d’s will):

Time

Prayers about the holiness of time and the sanctity of this period in the Jewish calendar, from Elul through the end of Sukkot and Simchat Torah:

  • Rhythms – On the contrasting rhythms of life, time moving in a straight line and holiness moving in circles.
  • The Season of Healing – The time for healing our souls and our lives.
  • The Season of Return – The time of repentance and t’shuva.
  • History – A celebration of the gifts of history and memory.

For Creation and the New Year

Meditations  for the New Year, which is also Yom Harat Olam, the birthday of the world:

Vidui (Confession)

Meditations on confession:

Neilah (Yom Kippur Closing Service)

Prayers as the day ends and our hearts yearn:

Death and Mourning

For an annotated list of Memorial and Yizkor prayers, click here. Here are prayers about preparing for one’s own death:

  • Near the End: A Meditation – A meditation on preparing for the journey of my own death with grace and dignity, awe and wonder.
  • Remember – A call back to our deepest sense of well-being.
  • Things Break – As we face the flow of endings and beginnings, G-d’s love remains.
  • Gather Me – Comfort in the thought of being gathered to our people.

Stories

Here are two short, short stories for the holidays:

  • Cantor Cohen – A Yom Kippur story of a Chazzan preparing to lead his congregation in prayer, repentance and righteousness.
  • Motyl the Fool – A Simchat Torah story about a man who loves Torah, a man who feels the fire of G-d’s word.

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