Song by Batya Diamond (lyrics below).
Lit. Intention Refers both to one’s intention when performing a mitzvah or when focusing for prayer. Kavanah also refers to specific readings to help focus one's attention prior to performing an act. (Intention)
In recognition of the sacredness of water, in Jewish practice and beyond, this ritual invites us to cultivate mindfulness of water’s essential presence in our lives. We were inspired by the traditional Jewish ritual of washing hands upon rising in the morning (connected to traditional understandings of purifying ourselves through water, as was done by the priests in the ancient Temple). In this contemporary moment, we seek to bring our attention to conserving water in our daily consumption and use. This ritual of awareness can be practiced before our first use of water of the day. Every small action matters, strengthening our sacred relationship with water.
1. As you prepare to use/encounter water: pause, inhale to receive the breath, and exhale to release. Take a few slow breaths. You may recite:
Breath that moves over waters
A river flows from Eden to water the garden
2. Close your eyes and imagine the different ways you will use water throughout the day (e.g., showering, doing dishes, doing laundry, washing hands, etc.). Set your intention to use less water in all these activities (e.g., turning off water while brushing teeth etc.). You can also imagine ways to reuse any extra water for other uses (e.g., using leftover water from a water bottle to water plants or give to your pets, etc.).
3. As you are about the draw the water, say:
הנני שואב/ת ממים חיים להשקות ולשמור לחיים עתידיים
Hineni shoeve/t mi’mayyim hayyim le’hashkot u’lishmor le’hayyim atidiyyim.
Here I am
Drawing from Living Waters
May I use these waters wisely
To sustain life
4. After using the water, say this blessing (masculine and feminine God-language versions below):
ברוך מקור החיים שנותן לנו מחזור מים חיים
Barukh mekor ha’hayyim she’notein lanu The siddur (prayerbook) used for the High Holidays. Other major holidays also have their own makhzor. mayyim hayyim.
ברוכה מקור החיים שנותנת לנו מחזור מים חיים
Berukhah mekor ha’hayyim she’notenet lanu makhzor mayyim hayyim.
Blessed is the Source of Life who gives us the cycle of Living Waters