Bedtime Shema Writing Project

silhouette of woman praying at beach sunset

1) Bedtime Shema
Merciful One,
this day is ending.
Thank you for today
and its lessons.
As I surrender myself to sleep,
help me cleanse myself
of striving and struggle.
Help me find rest and renewal.
Help me release the day’s pain.
Give me this night your perfect gift of sleep.
Here, poised between waking and sleep,
I give up strife and contention.
Help me forgive those who have wounded me today
and those I have failed to forgive for past hurts.
May they too have a night of rest and restoration.
I release myself from the bonds of grudges and envy
and my body from stress and contraction.
I close my eyes,
trusting in your forgiveness
where I have fallen short today.
Merciful One,
Watch and keep me throughout this night.
Count my every breath as prayer.
Let me rise tomorrow restored,
to walk in unity with you.

2) Bedtime Shema
I lie down
wrapped in the warmth of this day.
Unseen one,
thank you for a day
in which I saw
hints of your presence -
if - when I turned my eyes up and out.
Ineffable one,
this ordinary day
was tinged with mystery
because I trusted I could take new paths.
Thank you, Truthful one,
who today helped me see
I must struggle toward truth
but will never know all truths.

3) Bedtime Shema 
Lech lecha Abraham was told –
Get out, leave this place
and go to a land I will show you
and you will be a blessing.
Or is the better translation –
Go into yourself,
you are the land I will show you,
you are the land you do not know -
this is the journeying toward becoming a blessing.
Which journey did I take today?

4) Bedtime Shema 
Where were my eyes today?
Was this a day
when I actually looked at the people
who came through my life?
when I actually looked at who the people were?
who came through my life?
when people actually came into my life?

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As we watch with despair the news from Israel/Palestine, we invite you to join us for an event that will offer some hope. Join us on Thursday May 20th for a talk with Rabbi Haviva Ner-David about her debut novel, Hope Valley, which offers hope for a real and lasting peace in the region, through human connection. Author Amy Gottlieb will interview Haviva about the book. It promises to be an eye-opening and uplifting discussion. Register here.

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