Prayer Musings

Pray

Ata Chonen: A Prayer for Wisdom

If we lack powers of wisdom and discernment, no other request of God really matters.

Prayer Musings

Birkot Hashachar: Giving Thanks Each Morning

This series of blessings are a beautiful expression of gratitude for the opportunity of experiencing another day.

Prayer Musings

Mechayeh Hameitim: Reimagining the Resurrection Blessing

One of the most daring prayers in the daily Jewish liturgy has been frequently rewritten to reflect modern sensibilities. Here's another approach.

Elohai Neshama: Breathing the Soul Alive

The simple words of this traditional morning blessing draw us back to the dawn of our mythic creation.

Netilat Yadayim: Sanctifying Our Primary Moral Instrument

Jewish tradition calls for the washing of hands every morning, which serves as a reminder to use them for holy purposes.

Modeh Ani: Beginning the Day with Gratitude

Starting the day with gratefulness opens the heart to the blessing of wonder.

How to Pray for Happiness

The prayer Eilu Devarim reflects the seeming paradox that focusing on others more than ourselves makes us happier.

Shehechiyanu: A Meditation on this Moment

This blessing, traditionally recited for firsts, can be said anytime -- since every moment is new and unprecedented.

The Shema: How Listening Leads to Oneness

Judaism's foundational prayer calls on us not merely to listen, but to remember that there is one force of connection uniting us all.

The Traveler’s Prayer: What You Say Along the Way

In Judaism, it is the journey, not the destination, that matters.

Al Hanisim: A Holiday Prayer of Thanks for Everyday Miracles

Why does the prayer recited on Hanukkah fail to make any mention of the holiday's central miracle?

Aleinu: A Call to Divine Service

This prayer calls on us to discover where the brokenness of the world overlaps with our particular human gifts.

The Shema: A Model of Moral Development

The prayer's three paragraphs seem unrelated, but they lead us on the steps of a spiritual journey.

Min Ha-meitzar: Calling to God From the Depths

From the constriction of our places of pain, Psalm 118 invites us into the wide expanse of the divine presence.

Al Hanisim: Remembering Our Partnership in God’s Miracles

Both the holidays when this prayer is recited are marked by courageous human action in making space for the miraculous.