One of my favorite prayers occurs at the end of the prayer service. When we sing the Aleinu and bow and give thanks to the Creator of All, and he who frees us from the bondage of Egypt.
Saul Kaye’s album Tefillah/Prayer contains several of our most intimate prayers (including the Shema, Oseh Shalom, Adon Olan, and many others). I have created a montage of photos from the Kotel (Western Wall) set to Mr. Kayes Aleinu.
It is our duty to praise the Master of all, to acclaim the greatness of the One who forms all creation. For God did not make us like the nations of other lands, and did not make us the same as other families of the Earth. God did not place us in the same situations as others, and our destiny is not the same as anyone else’s.
And we bend our knees, and bow down, and give thanks, before the Ruler, the Ruler of Rulers, the Holy One, Blessed is God. The One who spread out the heavens, and made the foundations of the Earth, and whose precious dwelling is in the heavens above, and whose powerful Presence is in the highest heights. Adonai is our God, there is none else.
Our God is truth, and nothing else compares. As it is written in Your Torah: “And you shall know today, and take to heart, that Adonai is the only God, in the heavens above and on Earth below. There is no other.”
Therefore we put our hope in You, Adonai our God, to soon see the glory of Your strength, to remove all idols from the Earth, and to completely cut off all false gods; to repair the world, Your holy empire. And for all living flesh to call Your name, and for all the wicked of the Earth to turn to You. May all the world’s inhabitants recognize and know that to You every knee must bend and every tongue must swear loyalty. Before You, Adonai, our God, may all bow down, and give honor to Your precious name, and may all take upon themselves the yoke of Your rule. And may You reign over them soon and forever and always. Because all rule is Yours alone, and You will rule in honor forever and ever.
As it is written in Your Torah:
“Adonai will reign forever and ever.”
And it is said: “Adonai will be Ruler over the whole Earth, and on that day, God will be One, and God’s name will be One.
Aleinu le’shabeiach la’adon hakol,
lateit gedulah leyotzeir bereshit,
she’lo asanu ke’goyei ha’aratzot,
ve’lo samanu ke’mishpechot ha’adamah,
she’lo sam chelkeinu kahem,
ve’goraleinu ke’chol hamonam.
Va’anachnu korim, u’mishtachavim, u’modim,
lifnei melech, malchei ham’lachim,
hakadosh baruch Hu.
She’hu noteh shamayim, ve’yoseid aretz,
u’moshav yikaro bashamayim mi-ma’al,
u’sh’chinat u-zo be’gavhei me’romim.
Hu Eloheinu, ein od. Emet malkeinu, efes zulato.
Kakatuv be’torato, ve’yadata hayom, ve’hashevota Eil le’vavecha.
Ki Adonai, Hu ha-Elohim, bashamayim mi-ma’al,
ve’al ha’aretz mi-tachat. Ein od.
Kakatuv be’toratecha: “Adonai yimloch le’olam va’ed.”
Ve’ne’emar: “Ve’haya Adonai le’melech al kol ha’aretz,
bayom hahu yihiyeh Adonai echad, u’shemo echad.”
I pray for the peace of Jerusalem every day. Considering how delicate the situation is in Eretz Yisrael I cannot fathom how we survive each day without the divine protection of our heavenly father, HaKadosh Baruch Hu. I firmly believe that his eye is on Jerusalem and our actions decide whether we will remain, or be exiled.
We just started the period known as the Three-Weeks. This is the time when our Holy Temple was in the process of being destroyed by the Roman conquerors who defiled the Holy of Holies. It is a period of mourning and reflecting on what we did and did not do to avoid this ‘decree’.