Kavanah for Laying Tefillin

Found In: Morning Service

Tags: tefillin

By Elana Story Rabinowitz | Poem

As humans we struggle to comprehend
The great Mystery of the Universe.

God, with Your power, with Your wisdom
You made the earth, made the sea, made the sky.

Maybe this is all we can do as humans:
spread out a tallit like the heavens
to wrap ourselves in prayer
wind straps of noble leather around our arms, our heads,
leaving blessings in our palms,
the crook of our elbows,
between our eyes.

Binding myself to the everlasting flow of life,
I see how small I am,
how insignificant,
a grain of sand in these living, raging waters

but I am the kind of small
that is not powerless.

I have offered myself to
the all, to the One, my Creator

in wonder, in blessing, in praise,
in service to the divine.

V’erostich li l’olam, I bind myself to You forever,
V’erostich li b’tzedek I give myself to You in righteousness,
u-v’mishpat, u-v’chesed u-v’rachamim,
that I may remember to follow Your ways
of justice, kindness, and compassion,
V’erostich li b’emunah, and I love You, my God, with perfect faith
V’yadat et HaShem,
May I know you, my God.

Let me wrap myself in You,
Source of Life,
Let me feel you holding me,
O Breath-In-my-Nostrils, Oh Pulse-Of-My-Heart.
Bless me, Shekhinah,
lead us toward life, toward wisdom,
toward a world of great and lasting peace.