Songs of the Siddur

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The siddur (prayer book) that inspired the Songs of the Siddur is the siddur of the Reconstructionist Press, which is the siddur used at Temple Beth Israel of Eugene, Oregon. The siddurs used by the different branches of Judaism (from Orthodox to Renewal) vary greatly from one another. The Reconstructionist Siddur contains not only prayers and psalms but also non-biblical poetry and prose, commentary and transliterations and English translations of many of the (Hebrew) prayers.  

 

With the exception of "Bedtime Shema," which is sung, as it's title suggests, at bedtime, Songs of the Siddur was inspired by the psalms, poems and prayers that are part of Shabbat morning service. They are presented here in the order they appear in the service.  

 

Ten percent of the proceeds from the sale of these songs will be donated toTemple Beth Israel of Eugene, Oregon.

 

Drawn by Your Love (Mah Tovu)

 

This song is based on the words of "Mah Tovu" the prayer 

that is the first of several blessings (Birhot Hashahar) that 

open services on Shabbat morning. the house it speaks 

of is the synagogue.

 

Drawn by your love

I come into your house.

Drawn by your love                                                                        

I lay me down.

Drawn by your love 

I fall in prayer.

Drawn by your love

My body I bend down. 

 

Repeat.

 

I greet, I bless, I bend the knee, 

Before the one who fashions me.

I greet, I bless, I bend the knee, 

Before the one who fashions me.

 

Drawn by your love....

 

And as for me, my prayer is for you

Gentle one, oh gentle one.

And as for me, my prayer is for you.

May it be for you a time of desire.  

 

Drawn by your love...

My body I bend down.

My body I bend down. 

 

Blessed is the One

 

The morning blessings are followed by verses of praise

(Pesukey Dezimrah). These verses go on for many pages 

in the siddur and the verses selected  by the rabbi for the 

congregation to either sing or recite varies from service to 

sevice. I have yet however to attend a service that didn't include

Baruh She'amar (Blessed is the One) as the opening song

and Hallelujah as a final expression of exuberant gratitude

before the more contemplative Nishat Kol Hay

(Oceans of Song) that follows.

 

Blessed is the one                                                                                          

who spoke and all things came to be                                                              

Blessed is the one.                                                                                          

Blessed are you.                                                                                                

                                                                                                                          

Repeat.                                                                                                            

                                                                                                                         

Blessed who created all in the beginning.                                                               

Blessed who created.                                                                                                             

Blessed is your name. 

 

Blessed is the one who determines and fulfills.

Blessed is the one. 

Blessed are you.

 

Blessed is the one deals kindly with the world.

Blessed is the one. 

Blessed are you. 

 

Blessed who created...

 

Blessed is the one who responds with good to those in awe.

Blessed is the one. 

Blessed are you. 

 

Blessed who created...

 

Blessed is the one who lieves eternally and lasts forever.

Blessed is the one.

Blessed are you.

 

Blessed is the one who delivers and redeems. 

Blessed is the one. 

Blessed are you. 

 

Blessed who created...

 

Blessed is the one

who spoke...

Repeat.

Blessed are you. Blessed are you.

 

Halleluyah  (Psalm 150)

 

Call out to Yah in Heaven's holy place!

Boom out to Yah across the firmament!

 

Let every living thing, Yah's great praises sing.

Hallelu, Halleluyah!

 

Repeat. 

 

Blast out for Yah, with piercing shofar note!

Pluck ou for Yah with lute and violin!

 

Let every living thing...

 

Throb out for Yah with drum and writhing dance!

Sing out for Yah with strings and husky flute!

 

Let every living thing...

 

Ring out for Yah with cymbals that resound!

Clang out for Yah wih cymbals that rebound!

 

Let every living thing...

Hallelu, Hallelujah!

 

Oceans of Song

 

This song was inspired by a summer morning spent  

picking blueberries on a beautiful organic farm near my home. 

 

Were our mouths oceans of song.

Were our tongues alive with exultation

like the waters waves.

 

Baruch ata adonai

Baruch ata adonai

Baruch, Baruch

Baruch ata

Baruch ata adonai

Baruch ata adonai

 

Repeat.

 

Were our lips filled full of praises

like the heavens dome.

Were our eyes lit up like the sun and moon.

 

Baruch...

 

Were our hands spread out like eagle's wings.

Were our feet as light as those of the gazelle.

 

We would never have sufficient praise for you.

Nor could we bless your name enough,

For even one small measure of the thousands upon thousands of the 

Times of goodness when you acted for our ancestors and us. 

For our ancestors and us.  

 

Baruch....

Baruch, baruch, baruch atah. (Repeat two more times.)

Baruh atah adonai. Baruch atah adonai.

 

Hatzi Kaddish

 

The Hatzi Kaddish (short prayer) marks the transition between 

the verses of praise and the Shema (and the blessings that 

accompany it). As it name suggests, the Hatzi Kaddish is the

shortest of the many versions of this prayer thatare recited in 

the morning service. The text that is used in my song is thus 

part of all these other prayers as well including the most 

well-known of them, the Mourner's Kaddish.

 

May God complete the holy realm                                                                                   

in your own lifetime.                                                                                                       

In your days, and in the days                                                                                            

of all he house of Israel.                                                                                                  

                                                                                                                                         

Repeat.                                                                                                                            

                                                                                                                                          

May God's great name be blessed forever.                                                                     

May God's great name be blessed forever.                                                                                    

Forever and as long as worlds endure.

 

May it be blessed and praised and glorified.

Held in honor, viewed with awe, embellished and revered.

 

And May he blessed name of holiness be hailed

Though it be higher than all the blessings

Though it be higher than all the songs

Though it be higher than all the praises

and consolations that we utter in this world.

And say, Amen.

 

May God complete the holy realm

in your own lifetime.

In your days, and in the days

of all he house of Israel.

 

Every Day

 

The siddur of the Reconstructionist Press includes

commentary, teachings, notes and poetry. "Every Day"

is based on a poem by Rabbi Sheila Peltz Weinberg

that appears in the section of the service devoted to

the Shema. (The poem is used with her permission.)

 

Every day, every day, every day                                                                                  

Creation is renewed.                                                                                                   

Repeat                                                                                                                           

                                                                                                                                      

Wake up and see, wake up and see                                                                                

Unfolding in the spreading light of dawn.

Wake up and see, wake up and see

The world and all it contains.

 

Coming into being new, fresh

Filled with goodness and love

Repeat

 

Wake up and see...

 

Every day....

 

Reflected in the great lights

We see a new day

Repeat

 

One precious day, one precious day

Eternity

Repeat

 

Every day...

 

Wake up...

Wake up and see, wake up and see the world and all it contains.

 

Shema

 

Shema yisrael adonay eloheynu

Shema yisrael adonay ehad

Repeat.

 

Ve'ahavta et adonay eloheha

Ve'ahavta et adonay eloheha

Repeat

 

Behol levaveha uvhol nafsheha

Behol levaveha uvhol me'odeha

Repeat.

 

Repeat entire song.

 

Shema yisrael adonay eloheynu

Shema yisrael adonay ehad

Repeat.

 

Listen 

 

Listen. Listen. Shema.

Listen. Listen.  Shema.

 

Yisrael, yisrael adonay eloheynu. 

 

Listen. Listen.  Shema!

Listen. Listen.  Shema!

 

Yisrael, yisrael adonay ehad.

Adonay ehad.

Adonay ehad.

Adonay ehad. 

Listen.  Listen. 

 

Repeat entire song.  

 

Listen. Listen. Shema!

Listen. Listen. Shema!

Listen. Listen. Shema!

 

Open the Passageways

 

This song is based on yet another poem of Rabbi Weinberg 

that is offered in the siddur as an introduction to the Amidah, 

the prayer that follows the Shema in the morning service.

(The poem is used with her permission)

 

Dear God, dear God

Open the blocked passageways to you.

Repeat.

 

As you open the blossoms in spring

Even as you open the heavens in storm

Open us to feel your great awesome, wonderful presence. 

 

Repeat.

 

Roll away, roll away the heavy stone from the well

As your servant Jacob did when he beheld his Rachel.

 

As you open...

 

Help us, help us open the doors of trust

Open the doors that have been shut by fear, pair and rejection. 

 

As you open...

 

Dear God 

Repeat.

 

Amidah

 

Open my lips beloved one

and let my mouth declare your praise.

Open my lips beloved one 

and let my mouth delcare your praise. 

Repeat.

 

God of Abraham 

God of Issac

God of Jacob 

Blessed are you.

 

God of Sarah

God of Rebeccah

God of Rachel 

Blessed are you.

 

God of Leah

Blessed are you. 

 

Open my lips...

 

God of Leah

God of Rachel

God of Rebeccah

Blessed are you.

 

God of Sarah 

God of Jacob

God of Issac 

Blessed are you.

 

God of Abraham

Blessed are you.

 

God of Sarah 

Blessed are you.

 

Open my lips...

Let my mouth declare your praise.

Let my mouth declare your praise.

 

Hallow Creation

 

The Aleynu is one of the last prayers of the morning service. 

It follows the torah service during whih the rabbi and/or members 

of the congregaton read the parsha, the week's reading from the torah. 

"Hallow Creation" is based on a poem by Rabbi Rami M. Shapiro that is 

offered in the siddur as an alternative version to the traditional Aleynu. 

(The poem is used with his permission.) 

 

Aleynu, Aleynu, Aleynu, Aleynu

Repeat.

 

Hallow creation with our lives.

It is up to us.

Meet the world, embrace the whole.

It is up to us. 

Repair the world and bind our lives

to the truth.

Repair the world and bind our lives 

to the truth.

 

We bend the knee and shake off the stiffness

That keeps us from the subtle graces of Life 

And the supple gestures of Love.

Repeat.

 

Hallow creation...

 

Aleynu, Aleynu, Aleynu, Aleynu

Repeat.

Aleynu. Aleynu.

 

Bedtime Shema

 

In addition to being part of the morning Shabbat service, 

the Shema is a prayer that Jews are commanded (by God) 

to recite every morning and evening. The Bedtime Shema 

is an extended version of the traditional Shema prayer that is, 

as its name suggests, recited at bedtime. 

 

Blessed are you eternal one our God

the sovereign of all worlds.

Who makes the weight of sleep

to fall upon our eyes

and slumber on our eyelids

 

May it be your will eternal one our God

that you help me to lie down in peace

And you help me to arise in peace.

 

And do not let my thoughts 

make me afraid, nor my bad dreams

nor my worries

 

May my bed be safely guarded in your presence.

And may you give light to my eyes lest I should not wake.

 

I lie down.  I sleep.  I awake.

I lie down.  I sleep.  I awake. 

Blessed one.  Dear one.  My God

 

Blessed are you....

That you help me to lie down in peace.

And you help me, to arise in peace.