Tradition & Innovation

Humanistic Modeh Ani and Morning Prayers

By Zohara Shir'el
middle aged woman standing in brightly lit room with eyes closed, slight smile, and her two hands placed on her heart

In October 2020, I almost died in a house fire. Less than 45 minutes before the fire, I was on a video call with Rabbi Dr. Haviva Ner-David, whom I met through Ritualwell's Rabbi Connect service. We discussed trauma, healing, and gratitude. One of the goals I mentioned during my spiritual work was how much I wanted to submit poetry and liturgy to Ritualwell. During the fire, my stay on earth seemed imminently short—there simply was no time. After what felt like my unlikely rescue, I finally took the time to write these morning prayers.

Humanistic Modeh Ani and Morning Prayers

Gratefully I acknowledge
The Source of Life,
Reawaken my connection
To all that breathes.
This new day I bless
With an open heart,
And embrace the Oneness
That endures embracing me.

Blessed is the caress that removes the slumber from my eyes.
Blessed is the still small voice inside that guides me when I allow myself to listen.
Blessed is the empathy drawing me to help those in need. And the humility that lets me ask for help when I need it.
Blessed is strength fortifying me to face the challenges ahead.
Blessed is the grace that lets me accept the lovingkindness of others, and spurs me, too, toward hesed.
Blessed are the hands that heal me. Blessed is the hope that helps me heal myself and others.
Blessed is the knowledge that my life depends upon divine grace, revealed in the generosity and good works of humankind.
Blessed is all that enlightens me to the beauty of the universe – and to my own beauty and worth.

Source of Life, the soul that dwells inside of me is pure.
May my waking up and my going out into this world always be for peace.

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