NIGHT PRAYER: Saturday 9/16

NIGHT PRAYER: Saturday 9/16

On Rosh Hoshana, the Jewish New Year, I turn to Alden Solovy, 
Wildly Unimaginable Blessings 
Let us dream
Wildly unimaginable blessings…
Blessings so unexpected,
Blessings so beyond our hopes for this world,
Blessings so unbelievable in this era,
That their very existence
Uplifts our vision of creation,
Our relationships with each other,
And our yearning for life itself.

Let us dream
Wildly unimaginable blessings…
A complete healing of mind, body, and spirit,
A complete healing for all,
The end of suffering and strife,
The end of plague and disease,
When kindness flows from the river of love,
When goodness flows from the river of grace,
Awakened in the spirit of all beings,
When God’s light,
Radiating holiness,
Is seen by everyone.

Let us pray —
With all our hearts —
For wildly unimaginable blessings,
So that God will hear the call
To open the gates of the Garden,
Seeing that we haven’t waited,
That we’ve already begun to repair the world,
In testimony to our faith in life,
Our faith in each other,
And our faith in the Holy One,
Blessed be God’s Name.

© 2020 Alden Solovy and

In asking for « unimaginable blessings » does Alden’s prayer seem to ask for too much?  Of course not!  I’m reminded of the words Pope Francis spoke just a few days ago:

It is indeed necessary to press forward in order to surmount the wall of the impossible, constructed on the apparently irrefutable reasoning arising from the memory of such great sorrow and so many wounds suffered in the past. It is difficult, but not impossible. It is not impossible for believers, who live the audacity of a hopeful prayer. But it must not be impossible for politicians, leaders or diplomats either. Let us continue to pray for peace without losing heart, to knock with a humble and insistent spirit at the ever-open door of God’s heart and at the doors of humankind. Let us ask that ways to peace be opened, especially for beloved and war-torn Ukraine. Let us trust that the Lord always hears the anguished cry of his children. Hear us, Lord!

What « unimaginable blessings, » what « impossible » blessings might you be praying for this evening?
Tonight’s song is Rebecca Shwartz’s setting of Alden’s prayer, Pervasive Peace. The prayer uses a classic formulation—Y’hi ratzon mil’fanecha – « May it be Your will » – imploring God for specific blessings. This formula is typically used in the Rosh Hashana seder alongside dipping apples in honey, connecting the sweet ritual to the chain of traditional prayers for the New Year.

May it be Your will, God of our fathers and mothers,
That the year ahead brings a pervasive and complete peace
On all the inhabitants of the earth,
Beyond all the dreams of humanity.

,יְהִי רָצוֹן מִלְּפָנֶֽיךָ, אֱלֹהֵי אֲבוֹתֵֽינוּ וְאִמּוֹתֵֽינוּ
שֶׁהַשָּׁנָה הַבָּאָה תָּבִיא שָׁלוֹם מֻחְלָט וְשָׁלֵם
,עַל כָּל־יוֹשְׁבֵי תֵבֵל
.מֵעֵֽבֶר לְכָל־חֲלֹמוֹת־הָאֱנוֹשׁוּת

Y’hi ratzon mil’fanecha, Elohei avoteinu v’imoteinu,
Shehashanah haba-ah tavi shalom muchlat v’shaleim
Al kol yosh’vei teiveil,
Mei-ever l’chol chalomot ha-enoshut.