Entering Jewish Prayer:
Guide to Personal Devotion
and the Worship Service,
by Reuven Hammer.
When we feature prayer traditions of other faiths, particularly the liturgical expressions of observant Israel, our purpose is simply to learn from them and experience their way of worshipping the same God we all approach in our differing characteristic and unique ways and words.
For this liturgy, while the prayers are randomly chosen, we carefully selected those that are universal, not specific or unique to Israel’s experience as YHWH’s “chosen”. Shabbat shalom to Israel, the original Sabbath-observer, and to all Gentile Sabbath-keepers all over the world!—Admin1.]
Kindle the Sabbath Lights
King of the universe,
Who has sanctified us by His commandments
and commanded us to kindle the Sabbath lights.
Let us come to greet the Sabbath,
For she is the source of blessing,
Anointed of old at the beginning,
Last of creation, first in planning.
And God blessed the seventh day
and declared it Holy.
He blessed it with the lamp . . .
He blessed it with the face of man,
for the light of man’s face on the Sabbath
is unlike that of any other day.
The Lord is God;
He has given us light!
The soul of every living thing shall bless Your Name,
O Lord our God.
The spirit of all flesh shall continually adore
and exalt the mention of You, O our King.
You are God from everlasting to everlasting.
Other than You we have no king, redeemer, savior,
liberator, and deliverer
Who sustains and pities at all times of sorrow and distress.
We have no king other than You.
The king enthroned aloft on high,
His name is high and holy.
It is written:
Sing forth, O you righteous, to the Lord;
it is fit that the upright acclaim Him (Ps. 33:1).
You will be praised by the mouth of the upright,
You will be blessed by the words of the righteous,
You shall be exalted by the tongue of the pious,
You shall be hallowed in the midst of the holy.
By the myriad choirs of Your people, the house of Israel,
Your name will be glorified, O our king, in every generation.
For it is the duty of all creatures to thank and acknowledge,
praise, laud, glorify, exalt, adore, bless, uplift, and acclaim You,
O Lord our God and God of our fathers,
beyond all the words of song and praise of David son of Jesse,
Your anointed servant.
The Lord neither slumbers nor sleeps.
He awakens the sleepers and arouses the slumberers.
He makes the dumb speak,
Frees those who are imprisoned,
Sustains those who fall,
Straightens those who are bowed down.
Unto You alone do we give thanksgiving and acknowledgment.
Were our mouths filled with song as the sea,
Our tongues with melody as the multitude of its waves,
Our lips with praise as the expanse of the heavens,
Our eyes bright as the sun and the moon,
Our hands spread out as the eagles of heaven,
Our feet swift as the deer,
We would still be unable to adequately acknowledge You
and bless Your name, O Lord our God and God of our fathers. . . .
Therefore the limbs You have planted in us,
The spirit You have infused within us,
The tongue You have put in our mouths—
They shall all thankfully acknowledge You,
For every tongue shall acknowledge You,
Every tongue shall pledge loyalty to You,
Every knee shall bend to You,
Every back shall bow to You,
Every heart shall revere You,
Every inward part shall sing unto Your name.
As it is written:
All my bones shall say,
“Lord, who is like You”
You save the poor from one stronger than he
the poor and needy from his despoiler” (Ps. 35:10).
Who is like You?
Who can be compared to You?
Who is equal to You?
The great, mighty, awesome God—
Most High God,
Creator of heaven and earth!
We shall praise, exalt, and glorify You,
We shall bless Your holy name.
As it is said:
Bless the Lord, O my soul, all my being,
His holy name. (Ps. 103:1)
BLESSINGS for FAMILY and FRIENDS
God of the first generations and of the last,
God of all creatures,
God of all generations,
Praised through the multitude of adorations,
Governing His world with steadfast love
and His creatures with mercy.
I have been young and am now old,
but I have never seen a righteous man abandoned,
or his children seeking bread. (Ps. 37:25)
Enlighten our eyes in Your Torah
and let us succeed in all our endeavors.
Our God, our father,
care for us, provide for us, sustain us,
give us our needs, prosper us—
and speedily relieve us of all our sorrows.
Let us not be in need of the generosity of human beings
nor of their loans,
but only of Your full, open, abundant,
and spacious hand,
O Lord our God,
so that we shall never be ashamed or embarrassed.
[Take this time to remember and lift up specific requests
for specific members of your family,
for friends and for colleagues in your workplace,
and all other concerns. ]
Righteous one of all generations,
Faithful God who says and does, speaks and fulfills—
For all His words are true and righteous.
You, O Lord our God, are dependable
And Your words are dependable—
Not one word of Your words will remain unfulfilled
For You are a dependable God and king.
Blessed are You,, O Lord, God—
all of whose words are dependable.
I do not place my trust in man,
Nor rely upon a son of God,
But only upon the God of heaven,
For He is the God of truth,
His Torah is truth,
His prophets are truth,
He abounds in deeds of goodness and truth.
In Him do I trust,
To His holy and glorious name I utter praises.
May it be Your will to open my heart to the Torah.
Fulfill all the wishes of my heart
And hearts of all Your people Israel,
For good, for life, and for peace.
and refers to the verbal declaration
made at the end of Shabbat or a
Jewish holiday, in which the holy day
is separated from the mundane period
that follows. Since Jewish days begin and
end with nightfall, havdalah may be said
only once darkness has fallen on Saturday night.]
Blessed are You, O Lord our God, king of the universe,
who distinguishes between holy and profane,
between light and darkness,
between Israel and the nations,
between the seventh day and the six days of activity.
Blessed are You, O Lord,
who distinguishes between the sacred and profane.
Praise the Lord, all your nations;
extol Him, all your peoples,
for great is His steadfast love toward us;
the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever.