About Me

...is a teacher of Torah, literary scholar,and writer whose books include "Psalms of the Jewish Liturgy:A Guide to their Beauty, Power, and Meaning"; "Dancing on the Edge of the World: Jewish Stories of Faith, Inspiration, and Love";"Dreaming the Actual," a collection of stories and poetry by Israel's leading women writers. Her Her love of festival lore & healthy, international Jewish food led to "The Essential Book of Jewish Festival Cooking: 200 Seasonal Recipes and their Traditions," with her sister, food journalist Phyllis Glazer. A professor of literature at American Jewish University and chair of its Communication Arts department, Rabbi Glazer lectures and teaches throughout the United States, Israel, and Europe, and her Torah commentaries have been translated into French, Spanish, Russian, Dutch, and Hebrew. For a complete bio, visit www. miriyamglazer.com

Welcome to my Blog!

Ah, this new medium! It's a joy for me to launch this blog to share ways of richly experiencing aspects of Jewish life from the psalms and prayers of the liturgy, to new prayers, the world of literature, and the festivals of the Jewish year.

For the launching, I'd like to share a new ceremony I wrote in response to our Board of Rabbis wishing to encourage synagogues to honor those who have returned from a pilgrimage to Israel. Sorry I can't figure out how to include the original Hebrew:

A Ceremony for those Returning from a Pilgrimage to Israel:

All those who have returned from a pilgrimage to Israel are called up to the bimah. The rabbi leads them in the following prayer:

Barukh atah Adonai, eloheynu chai ha'olamim, asher nahtan et Eretz Yisrael l'dor dorim, eretz hemdah, tovah, oo'rikha'vah, la'ha'lote l'tokhah, liv'note bah, oo'li sahmay'akh b'vinyahnah.

Blessed are You, Adonai our God, Life of all the worlds, who gave Eretz Yisrael, an ample, good, delightful land, to the generations forever, so that we may make pilgrimages there, and build the land, and rejoice in its continued prosperity.

Responsively with the congregation:

Let Mount Zion rejoice in the Torah! let the towns of Judah exult!

Let us walk around Zion, walk all around her, tell her story to generations to come!

May there be peace in her ramparts, serenity in her citadels.

For the sake of our comrades and friends, we pray for the peace of Jerusalem.

For the sake of the house of Adonai our God, we seek Jerusalem's good. [adapted from Psalms 48 & 122)

Rabbi says:

Yivarkhekhakha Adonai m'Tsiyon, v'roeh b'tov Yerusalem kol y'mai khayekhah. May the Holy One bless you from Zion, and may you see the good of Jerusalem all the days of your life.


Friday, June 27, 2008

A Prayer for Israel's Sixtieth Birthday

For so many years, as warmly as I felt toward Israel, I was more critical than appreciative. This year though, as Israel prepared to celebrate its sixtieth birthday, it finally hit me: A tiny land and only sixty years old -- and look what it has managed to achieve: the settlement of Jewish refugees, many of them traumatized and poverty-stricken -- from countries as disparate as Yemen, Russia, Latvia, Estonia, Morocco, Germany, Italy, Tunisia, Ethiopia, South Africa, Argentina, Greece, Turkey, Romania, and all the "stans" -- as in Kazakhstan; the building of towns and cities; brilliantlyinternational leadership in so many fields, from medicine to computers; astoundingly creative art, drama, music, film of the finest caliber....the list goes on and on.

And so...I hope you'll join me this year in this prayerI felt moved to write for Israel's 60th birthday:

A Prayer for Israel on her Sixtieth Birthday
Adonai our God,
Bless the skies over our beloved state of Israel,
that sunlight will pour from them in its season,
and rain will pour from them in its season.
Bless the hills, where wildflowers flourish
among ancient rocks, pillars, and relics of thousands-of-year-old
memories of civilizations past.
Bless the springs of water, whose underground
streams nourish the oases of the Negev.
Bless the marshy valleys, where birds from all over the world
flock as they journey every year
from one continent to another, pausing like pilgrims
when they arrive in our land. Bless the rivers, the canyons, the beaches, the coastline
of our new-old land of Israel. But above all, our loving God,
bless the people who dwell in our precious homeland,
bless their villages and towns, their farms and their cities.
Let life be good for them, and let life be safe for them, O God,
let it be bountiful and infused with joy.
May the ancient wisdom of our people
dance with the most amazing visions of today
and on this, our state’s sixtieth birthday
dear God, let the nation of Israel glow
with peace and lovingkindness,
compassion and understanding,
courage, health, glory and truth.
--Rabbi Miriyam Glazer