Daily Life

A Blessing for Going Off to Summer Camp

By: 
Rabbi Phyllis Sommer

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From the URJ Olin Sang Ruby Union Institute (OSRUI) Camp Song:

Every year we venture back to the place we were before
And though our lives may differ we share a bond forever more
All year we sit in classrooms and we have to wonder why
Our summers are so special at OSRUI.

May it be Your will, Lord our God, that you depart on your way to camp in peace and may your steps be guided in the way of peace. May you find learning and growth along the way, may you make new friends, renew old friendships, and learn more about yourself. May the mosquitoes be guided away from you, and may the raindrops not fall into your cabin or tent. May the food be delicious and the pool the right temperature, and may you seek out new experiences and try new things. May you return home in one piece with all your belongings, and may you ever yearn to return to the land of OSRUI. And let us say: Amen.

A Time of Anxiety

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Eternal God, You abide though all things change. We are anxious and fearful, and we turn our hearts to You, looking to You and leaning on Your strength.

It is written (Psalm 84:5): Blessed is the one whose strength is in You.

Bless us now with faith and courage. Help us to feel that You are with us, steadying and sustaining us with the assurance that we are loved.

Be with us and bring us hope, that in the days to come, our aspirations may be fulfilled for our good and the good of those we love who depend on us.

Banish our fears with the sense that you are always present, to uphold and sustain us, as it is written (Isaish 41:10) Heave no fear, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with the power of My righteousness. Amen.

In Illness

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In sickness I turn to You, O God, for comfort and help. Strengthen within me the wondrous power of healing that You have implanted in Your children. Guide my doctors and nurses that they may speed my recovery. Let my dear ones find comfort and courage in the knowledge that You are with us at all times, in sickness as in health.

May my sickness not weaken my faith in You, nor diminish my love for others. From my illness may I gain a fuller sympathy for all who suffer.

Baruch atah, Adonai, rofei hacholim.

Baruch atah, Adonai, rofei hacholim.

Blessed are You, Adonai, who heals the sick.

A Time of Disappointment

Chizku v’imzu; al tiru. . . kee Adonai Elohehecha hu haholaech imach, lo yarpecha v’lo ya’azvecha.

Chizku v’imzu; al tiru. . . kee Adonai Elohehecha hu haholaech imach, lo yarpecha v’lo ya’azvecha.

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Be strong and of good courage; have no fear . . . for Adonai your God is the One who goes with you, never failing you or forsaking you.

My high hopes have been brought low, and in place of contentment I feel pain and distress. O God of life, even as You renew the work of creation day by day, so, now, help me find renewal in my time of sadness and disappointment. Now, especially, I need the healing touch of Your love. It is written, "God is my refuge and my strength, a very present help in time of trouble." Help me to feel that help. Let Your presence be a light within to dispel the darkness. Let your nearness, Your silent speech within my heart, be a comfort to me.

I pray for courage to carry on in the face of disappointment, for the wisdom to learn from adversity, for the strength to build a new and better life. Your spirit can transform affliction into salvation; enlighten me, therefore, that I may look to the dawn of a new day with confidence and trust. May hope abide beyond the moment's loss. For You, O God of hope, are my sustaining power, even when I have fallen. Keep me from self-recrimination. Give me peace of mind and contentment of spirit. Amen.

On Beginning a New Enterprise

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Such as a new business, profession, or other endeavor.

 

Unless Adonai builds the house, its builders labor in vain.

Creator of the universe, by whose goodness the world is renewed day by day, You have implanted in us a spark of Your creative will. You have made us Your partners in the building of the world.

My heart is full--how wonderful to open my eyes, my life, to new vistas. I give thanks for the opportunities that lie ahead and pray for strength and skill. May I gain my living honorably, and as I strive for myself, let me add to the contentment and well-being of others.

In this enterprise I need a clear vision and  wise judgment, and the wisdom not to neglect my dear ones or injure my health or close myself off from You, O God. May I walk with those I love in the light of Your presence and use all my powers for blessing. Amen.

Blessing for a Time of Achievement

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I have aspired, and labored, and achieved! My heart is filled with joy, for I said:

"God, give me hills to climb, and strength to climb them."

My prayer was granted.

You have given me so much, have given me the strength of will to achieve. Give me one thing more, O God--a grateful heart. And give me a wise and constant spirit, one aware of my debt to others for what I have achieved. You are the strength of my hands, O God, and the light of my life. All that I am and all that I may yet be, I owe to the creative power that You have implanted within me.

Even as I exult in the success of my labors, so may I glory to be kind in thought, gentle in word, and generous in deed, that others may have cause to rejoice in my accomplishments. Give me a grateful heart and a loving disposition, that I may be Your messenger of blessing for the poor, the helpless, and the sick. Thus would I give thanks for the blessings that have come to me. Amen.

Daily Blessings: T'filat Haderech (Prayer for a Journey)

Upon setting forth on a journey

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Y'hi ratzon milfanecha Adonai Eloheinu  v'Elohei avoteinu v'imoteinu,  shetolicheinu l'shalom  v'taazreinu l'hagia limchoz cheftzeinu  l'chayim ul'simchah ul'shalom.  Ushmor tzeiteinu uvo-einu  v'tatzileinu mikol tzarah  v'tishlach b'rachah b'chol maasei yadeinu,  umaaseinu y'chabdu et sh'mecha.  Baruch atah, Adonai, shomeir Yisrael laad.

Y'hi ratzon milfanecha Adonai Eloheinu
v'Elohei avoteinu v'imoteinu,
shetolicheinu l'shalom
v'taazreinu l'hagia limchoz cheftzeinu
l'chayim ul'simchah ul'shalom.
Ushmor tzeiteinu uvo-einu
v'tatzileinu mikol tzarah
v'tishlach b'rachah b'chol maasei yadeinu,
umaaseinu y'chabdu et sh'mecha.
Baruch atah, Adonai, shomeir Yisrael laad.

May it be Your will, our God and God of our ancestors,
that You lead us in peace and help us reach our destination
safely, joyfully and peacefully.
May You protect us on our leaving and on our return,
and rescue us from any harm,
and may You bless the work of our hands,
and may our deeds merit honor for You.
Praise to You, Adonai, Protector of Israel.

Blessing of Praise (Shehecheyanu)

Recite this blessing the first time you do something each Jewish calendar year (e.g., the first night of Hanukkah when you light the menorah), and to mark joyous occasions.

Baruch atah Adonai, Eloheinu Melech haolam, shehecheyanu, v'kiy'manu, v'higianu laz'man hazeh.

Baruch atah Adonai, Eloheinu Melech haolam,
shehecheyanu, v'kiy'manu, v'higianu laz'man hazeh.

Our praise to You, Eternal our God, Sovereign of all:
for giving us life, sustaining us, and enabling us to reach this season.

Daily Blessings: Birkat HaMazon (Grace After Meals) - Long Version

Leader:
Chaverim vachaveirot nvareich!

Chaverim vachaveirot n'vareich!

Let us praise God!

Group:

Y'hi shem Adonai m'vorach mei-atah v'ad olam

Praised be the name of God, now and forever

Leader:

Y'hi shem Adonai m'vorach mei-atah v'ad olam.
Birshut hachevrah, n'vareich Elohinu she-achalnu mishelo.

Praised be the name of God, now and forever.
Praised be our God, of whose abundance we have eaten.

Group:

Baruch Eloheinu she-achalnu mishelo uv'tuvo chayinu.

Praised be our God, of whose abundance we have eaten, and by whose goodness we live.

Leader:

Baruch Eloheinu she-achalnu mishelo uv'tuvo chayinu.
Baruch hu uvaruch sh'mo.

Praised be our God, of whose abundance we have eaten, and by whose goodness we live. Praised be the Eternal God.

All:

Baruch atah Adonai, Eloheinu Melech haolam,
hazan et haolam kulo b'tuvo, b'chein b'chesed uv'rachamim.
Hu notein lechem l'chol basar ki l'olam chasdo.
Uv'tuvo hagadol tamid lo chasar lanu,
v'al yechsar lanu, mazon l'olam va-ed,
baavur sh'mo hagadol.
Ki hu El zan um'farneis lakol umeitiv lakol,
umeichin mazon l'chol b'riyotav asher bara.
Baruch atah Adonai, hazan et hakol.

Sovereign God of the universe, we praise You: Your goodness sustains the world. You are the God of grace, love, and compassion, the Source of bread for all who live; for Your love is everlasting. In Your great goodness we need never lack for food; You provide food enough for all. We praise You, O God, Source of food for all who live.

Nodeh l'cha, Adonai Eloheinu,
al shehinchalta laavoteinu ul'imoteinu
eretz chemdah tovuh ur'chavah;
v'al shehotzeitanu, Adonai Eloheinu mei-eretz Mitzrayim;
uf'ditanu mibeit avadim;
v'al b'rit'cha shechatamta bilvaveinu;
v'al Torat'cha shelimadtanu, v'al chukecha shehodatanu,
v'al chayim chein vachesed sheconantanu,
v'al achilat mazon shaatah zan um'farneis otanu tamid,
b'chol yom uv'chol eit uv'chol shaah.

For this good earth that You have entrusted to our mothers and fathers, and to us; for our deliverance from bondage; for the covenant You have sealed into our hearts; for Your life-giving love and grace; for Torah, our way of life, and for the food that sustains us day by day, we give You thanks.

V'al hakol, Adonai Eloheinu, anachnu modim lach
um'var'chim otach. Yitbarach simcha
b'fi chol chai tamid l'olam va-ed,
kakatuv: V'achalta v'savata, uveirachta et Adonai Elohecha
al haaretz hatovah asher natan lach.
Baruch atah Adonai, al haaretz v'al hamazon.

For all this we thank You. Let Your praise ever be on the lips of all who live, as it is written: "When you have eaten and are satisfied, give praise to your God who has given you this good earth." We praise You, O God, for the earth, and for its sustenance.

Racheim, Adonai Eloheinu, al Yisrael amecha,
v'al Y'rushalayim irecha, v'al Tziyon mishkan k'vodecha.
Eloheinu Avinu, r'einu zuneinu, parn'seinu v'chalk'leinu
v'harvicheinu, v'harvach lanu, Adonai Eloheinu,
m'heirah mikol tzaroteinu.
V'na al tatzricheinu, Adonai Eloheinu,
lo lidei mat'nat basar vadam v'lo lidei halvaatam,
ki im l'yad'cha ham'lei-ah hap'tuchah hak'doshah v'har'chavah,
shelo neivosh v'lo nikaleim l'olam va-ed.

Eternal God, Source of our being, show compassion for Israel Your people, Jerusalem Your city, and Zion, the ancient dwelling-place of Your glory. Guide and sustain us in all our habitations, and be a help to us in all our troubles. May we ever be able to help ourselves and one another, even as we rely on Your open and generous bounty.

On Shabbat:

R'tzeih v'hachalitzeinu, Adoani Eloheinu, b'mitzvotecha
uv'mitzvat yom hash'vi-i
haShabbat hagadol v'hakadosh hazeh,
ki yom zeh gadol v'kadosh hu l'fanecha,
lishbot bo v'lanuach bo b'ahavah k'mitvat r'tzonecha.
Uvir'tzon'cha haniach lanu, Adonai Eloheinu,
shelo t'hei tzarah v'yagon vaanachah b'yom m'nuchateinu.
V'hareinu, Adonai Eloheinu, b'nechamat Tziyon irecha
uv'vinyan Y'rushalayim ir kodshecha,
ki atah hu baal hay'shuot uvaal hanechamot.

Eternal God, strengthen our resolve to live by Your mitzvot, and especially the mitzvah of the seventh day, the great and holy Sabbath, the day of rest and serenity, of loving reflection upon Your will. Source of deliverance and of consolation, give us this day rest from sorrow, anguish, and pain, and renew our vision of a more beautiful world.

Uv'neih Y'rushalayim ir hakodesh bimheirah v'yameinu.
Baruch atah Adonai, boneh v'rachamav Y'rushalayim. Amen.

Let Jerusalem, the holy city, be renewed in our time. We praise You, Adonai , in compassion You rebuild Jerusalem. Amen.

Baruch atah Adonai, Eloheinu Melech haolam,
he-El Avinu Malkeinu Adireinu,
Bor'einu, Goaleinu, Yotz'reinu, K'dosheinu, K'dosh Yaakov,
Ro-einu Ro-eih Yisrael, HaMelech hatov v'hameitiv lakol,
sheb'chol yom vayom hu heitiv, hu meithiv, hu yeitiv lanu.
Hu g'malanu, hu gol'leinu, hu yigm'leinu laad,
l'chein ul'chesed ul'rachamim ul'revach, hatzalah v'hatzlachah,
b'rachah vishuah, nechamah, parnasah, v'chalkalah,
v'rachamim v'chayim v'shalom, v'chol tov,
umikol tov l'olam al y'chas'reinu.

We praise You, divine Parent of Israel, Source of liberating power and vision, of all that is holy and good. You have shown us love and kindness always; day by day You grant us grace and compassion, deliverance and freedom, prosperity and blessing, life and peace.

HaRachaman, hu yimloch aleinu l 'olam va-ed.
HaRachaman, hu yitbarach bashamayim uvaaretz.
HaRachaman, hu yishtabach l'dor dorim,
v'yitpaar banu laad ul'neitzach n'tzachim,
v'yit-hadar banu laad ul'ol'mei olamim.
HaRachaman, hu y'vareich et m'dinat Yisrael v'et acheinu v'achayoteinu b'rochvei haolam.
HaRachaman, hu y'farn'seinu b'chavod.
HaRachaman, hu yishbor uleinu mei-al tzavareinu,
v'hu yolicheinu kom'miyut l'artzeinu.
HaRachaman, hu yishlach b'rachah m'rubah babayit hazeh,
v'al shulchan zeh she-achalnu alav.
HaRachaman, hu yishlach lanu et Eliyahu HaNavi,
zachur latov, vivaser lanu b'sorot tovot, y'shuot v'nechamot.
HaRachaman, hu y'zakeinu limot hag'ulah
ul'chayei haolam haba.

Merciful One, be our God forever. Merciful One, heaven and earth alike are blessed by Your presence. Merciful One, let all generations proclaim Your glory. Merciful One, bless the State of Israel and our brothers and sisters throughout the world. Merciful One, help us to sustain ourselves in honor. Merciful One, break the yoke of oppression from off our necks. Merciful One, bless this house, this table at which we have eaten. Merciful One, send us tidings of Elijah, glimpses of good to come, redemption and consolation. Merciful One, find us worthy of witnessing a time of redemption and of attaining eternal life.

HaRachaman, hu y'vareich otanu v'et kol asher lanu,
k'mo shenitbar'chu avoteinu Avraham, Yitzchak, v'Yaakov,
v'imoteinu Sarah, Rivkah, Racheil v'Lei-ah, bakol mikol kol,
kein y'vareich otanu kulanu yachad,
bivrachah sh'leimah, v'nomar:Amen.

Merciful One, bless us and all our dear ones; as You blessed our ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; Sarah, Rebekah, Leah, and Rachel, so bless us, one and all; and let us say: Amen.

Bamaron y'lam'du aleinu z'chut shet'hei l'mishmeret shalom;
v'nisa v'rachah mei-eit Adonai utz'dakah meiElohei yisheinu,
v'nimtza chein v'seichel tov b'einei Elohim v'adam.

May we receive blessings from the Eternal One, kindness from God our help, and may we all find divine and human grace and favor.

HaRachaman, hu yanchileinu yom shekulo Shabbat
um'nuchah l'chayei haolamim.

Merciful One, help us to see the coming of a time when all is Shabbat.

Oseh shalom bimromav, hu yaaseh shalom,
aleinu v'al kol Yisrael, v'imru amen.

May the Source of peace grant peace to us, to all Israel, and to all the world. Amen.

Hodu l'Adonai ki tov, ki l'olam chasdo.
Potei-ach et yadecha, umasbia l'chol chai ratzon.
Baruch hagever asher yivtach b'Adonai,
v'hayah Adonai mivtacho.

Give thanks to God, who is good, whose love is everlasting, whose hand is open to feed all that lives. Blessed are you who trust in God, who make God your stronghold.

Adonai oz l'amo yitein, Adonai y'vareich et amo vashalom.

Eternal God: give strength to Your people; Eternal God: bless Your people with peace.

Daily Blessings: Birkat HaMazon (Grace After Meals) - Short Version

Leader:
Chaverim vachaveirot nvareich!

Chaverim vachaveirot n'vareich!

Group:

Y'hi shem Adonai m'vorach mei-atah v'ad olam.

Praised be the name of God, now and forever.

Leader:

Y'hi shem Adonai m'vorach mei-atah v'ad olam.
Birshut hachevrah, n'vareich Eloheinu she-achalnu mishelo.

Praised be the name of God, now and forever.
Praised be our God, of whose abundance we have eaten.

Group:

Baruch Eloheinu she-achalnu mishelo uv'tuvo chayinu.

Praised be our God, of whose abundance we have eaten, and by whose goodness we live.

Leader:

Baruch Eloheinu she-achalnu mishelo uv'tuvo chayinu.
Baruch hu uvaruch sh'mo.

Praised be our God, of whose abundance we have eaten, and by whose goodness we live. Praised be the Eternal God.

All:

Baruch atah Adonai, Eloheinu Melech haolam,
hazan et haolam kulo b'tuvo, b'chein b'chesed uv'rachamim.
Hu notein lechem l'chol basar ki l'olam chasdo.
Uv'tuvo hagadol tamid lo chasar lanu,
v'al yechsar lanu, mazon l'olam va-ed,
baavur sh'mo hagadol.
Ki hu El zan um'farneis lakol umeitiv lakol,
umeichin mazon l'chol b'riyotav asher bara.
Baruch atah Adonai, hazan et hakol.

Sovereign God of the universe, we praise You: Your goodness sustains the world. You are the God of grace, love, and compassion, the Source of bread for all who live; for Your love is everlasting. In Your great goodness we need never lack for food; You provide food enough for all. We praise You, O God, Source of food for all who live.

 

Kakatuv: v'achalta v'savata, uveirachta et Adonai Elohecha al haaretz hatovah asher natan lach. Baruch atah Adonai, al haaretz v'al hamazon.

As it is written: When you have eaten and are satisfied, give praise to your God who has given you this good earth. We praise You, O God, for the earth and for its sustenance.

Uv'neih Y'rushalayim ir hakodesh bimheirah v'yameinu.
Baruch atah Adonai, boneh v'rachamav Y'rushalayim. Amen.

Let Jerusalem, the holy city, be renewed in our time. We praise You, Adonai, in compassion You rebuild Jerusalem. Amen.

HaRachaman, hu yimloch aleinu l'olam va-ed.
HaRachaman, hu yitbarach bashamayim uvaaretz.
HaRachaman, hu yishlach b'rachah m'rubah babayit hazeh,
v'al shulchan zeh she-achalnu alav.
HaRachaman, hu yishlach lanu et Eliyahu HaNavi,
zachur latov, vivaser lanu b'sorot tovot, y'shuot v'nechamot.

Merciful One, be our God forever. Merciful One, heaven and earth alike are blessed by Your presence. Merciful One, bless this house, this table at which we have eaten. Merciful One, send us tidings of Elijah, glimpses of good to come, redemption and consolation.

On Shabbat:

HaRachaman, hu yanchileinu yom shekulo Shabbat
um'nuchah l'chayei haolamim.

Merciful One, help us to see the coming of a time when all is Shabbat.

 

Oseh shalom bimromav, hu yaaseh shalom,
aleinu v'al kol Yisrael, v'imru amen.
Adonai oz l'amo yitein, Adonai y'vareich et amo vashalom.

May the Source of peace grant peace to us, to all Israel, and to all the world. Amen. May the Eternal grant strength to our people. May the Eternal bless our people with peace.

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