Customized New Year Prayers - One Size Does Not Fit All

Thursday, 8 September, 2022 - 1:37 pm

As the High Holidays are just around the corner, we are taught that it is prudent to start getting our thoughts in order so that Rosh Hashana does not become Rush Hashana. There are many themes on Rosh Hashana. One of them is that it is a propitious time to ask G-d for help and guidance in the upcoming New Year. 

While it is true that there is a special High Holiday Prayer book called a Machzor, which arrange our prayers for us, nothing can compare, however, to our own individualized and customized prayer that we lay out for ourselves and our own particular and specific needs. Just as there are no two fingerprints alike, so too there are different and definite needs that we all have.

Once Labor Day passes, I begin reflecting on what I would ask for and what assistance I need. The following is my preliminary contemplation, and I am sharing this to help you get your own Soul searching happening.

Almighty G-d,
Thank you for sustaining me for yet another year. While this past year has been a difficult one personally, communally and globally, I will not dwell on it as it is past, over, gone and finished. You gave us eyes only in the front of our head and not also in the back, to teach us that we must only look forward and not live in the past. I do hope that having said this, I would have learned from my past mistakes in order to recognize what not to repeat in the future.

I pray that this coming year my children are happy and healthy and that they struggle with only small obstacles. Please fulfill their positive wishes and aspirations and guide them on their respective paths to maturity and stability. I ask that my wife and I be given the strength and wisdom to be able to be there for them, undistracted, and that pride and joy be in abundance. Please give us the tools to be able to help them when needed. Please bless our respective siblings and their extended families.

I ask that you once again provide a modest living so that my family and I do not become a burden on anyone. I request that any monies I do earn be through dignified means.  I do affirm that I believe that I cannot earn a penny more than you have blessed me with. At the same time, I do understand that I need to make myself a receptacle for blessings by doing my part.

Please endow all branches of government with a positive disposition towards the Jewish people. Do not allow a few anti-Semites to poison the other lawmakers. Bestow on the three branches of government the ability to make right and moral decisions so that this country can truly remain these blessed United States. Heal our divisions and allow all its citizens and residents to come together for the common good. Protect these shores from those who seek to destroy. Help our government through the challenge of accepting immigrants, while at the same time keeping us safe. Guide them toward peace and never war.

As a Rabbi, I am responsible for the community I reside in and serve. I urge G-d’s blessing to rest on all of us to be healed from our wounds, whether physical, mental or spiritual. Help them with clarity of thought and peace of mind. Give them what they need and free them from nonsense burdens so that they can be free to devote time to doing acts of kindness and caring. Inspire them to continue making good decisions.

Please protect her from her multiple enemies from within and beyond her borders. Keep her morally strong and do not allow her agitators to weaken her integrity. Allow Israel to spread her goodness and ingenuity to all the world. Give her leaders the wisdom to be able to communicate effectively with her neighbors. Protect the citizens from murdering thugs who have been misguided and manipulated by evil people.

These are just some of my general thoughts that I have started to put together.

Feel free to share.   

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