Religious : : Thoughts from Our Rabbi

After six months of sheltering in place, I thought sharing the words of a prayer from our healing service on Tisha B’Av would be a chance to realize all the ways each of us needs healing at this time.

Teach us to count our days rightly, that we may obtain a wise heart.

The psalmist is requesting the blessing of
being able to see life in frames of 24 hours, to be able to “count each day rightly.” We all know that even when we are feeling dejected about the brevity and toil of life, we can still see individual days as possessing genuinely meaningful potential. On any given day, we can surprise another person with a gesture of friendship. On any given day we can choose to engage a problem that on previous days we had simply chosen to ignore. On any given day, we can finally locate a sort of compassion, patience, or tolerance that we had never succeeded in locating before. The fact is, any of the fulfilling things that we do in life stem from a decision we made on one given day. A day when we let the sometimes painful and futile-seeming nature of existence be superseded by the recognition of the genuine potential of the day we’re in. The capacity to do this, this kindness that God bestows, is the blessing upon which the psalmist hangs hope — and even the possibility of joy.

Satisfy us at daybreak with Your steadfast love that we may sing for joy all our days. Give us joy for long as You have afflicted us, for the years we have suffered misfortune.

Mother/Father God, God of the broken-hearted, God of the strong and the weak, God of the angry and the grieving: I stand before You today in pain, in doubt, in fear. Many blessings have you taken from me; I hesitate even to call out to You and yet I must, with every breath, try to speak Your praise, try to be mindful of being alive. O God, thank You for the gift of this breath. Hallelujah.

I awake in pain, misery, and utter confusion; but still I awake. My life is sacred. My life has purpose and my soul houses holy spirit. I pray for healing and to heal others. I gratefully acknowledge today with its infinite possibilities and opportunities.

Thank you, God, for allowing me to imagine You, to see You, again today. Blessed are You, Source of all creation, who sustains me this day.

Please, God, You are the One who heals people, Rofeh Cholim (Healer of the sick); please heal me, too. Give direction to the doctor. Give direction to me. Let me know what I can do to get better. Give me support and strength to do whatever I need to do to heal. I will be able to do Your mitzvot more fully and lead a complete life.

Blessed be God, who holds me to Her breast when I am broken and cradles me when my body and spirit ache.

Thank you God for giving me all the special, precious things in my life. Please grant me my health and my strength so I can continue to praise You and walk in Your footsteps.

Spirit of the Universe, Breath of Life in all forms, with thankfulness I am in Your presence, and You are in me, this body that is failing yet still lives. With you I greet this new day in praise for the wondrousness of all life.

The earth is here and I, yes, I am.

Dear God, heal my spirit, salve my pain, help to make me whole again. And let us say, Amen ~ adapted from ritualwell.org

B’vrachot, blessings, Rabbi Dennis