The Tanakh has many references to the hand of God (yadLit. Hand. The pointer used when reading the Torah, usually shaped like a tiny hand at its point. ha’Elohim). This meditation was inspired by this imagery as well as by the writings of Rebbe Nachman of Breslov. May it remind us of how we are comforted, guided, and empowered by the hand of God as we cross the narrow bridges that we encounter in our lives.
Rebbe Nachman of Breslov:
“Know a person walks in life on a very narrow bridge, and the important thing is not to be afraid.”
“Your guiding Hand directs and empowers me in everything I do.”
Psalm 139:9–10: “If I take wing with the dawn to come to rest on the western horizon, even there Your hand will be guiding me, Your right hand will be holding me fast.”
Psalm 91:11–12: “He will order His angels to care for you and guard you wherever you go. They will carry you in their hands.”
Sit quietly. Relax. Close your eyes. Take a few deep breaths, inhaling and exhaling slowly. As you inhale, imagine that you are breathing in waves of healing energy. Feel these waves flow through your entire body. Feel this energy embrace your soul force and your spirit. As you exhale, envision any negative energy—any pain, tension, stress, fatigue—being released from your body, carried away on the soft wind of your breath, carried away on the wings of angels. With every breath, feel the narrow places within you opening, expanding, becoming filled with waves of deep relaxation and healing energy. Feel this happening in your feet, your legs, your hips, your hands, your arms, your shoulders, your abdomen, your spine, your chest, your neck, your head, your face.
Imagine you are walking in the wilderness. The landscape is barren, desolate. You come to a body of water. You look across the water, and, on the other side, you see a garden filled with beautiful trees and flowers, filled with flowing streams and waterfalls. You long to enter into this beautiful garden. You continue walking and you come to a bridge. The bridge is very narrow. You want to cross this bridge, but you are fearful, anxious, uncertain. You look up to the sky and you see a hand made of pure light reaching down to you from above. This Hand of Light wraps around your hand and holds it—gently yet firmly. This glowing hand holds you, guides you, leads you across the narrow bridge. This is the Hand of God, yad ha’Elohim.
As you cross the bridge, the light grows bigger and brighter, until it surrounds you completely and you become filled with light and warmth. Now feel this light extending inward, flowing through your bloodstream. Feel this light flow through every part of your body, permeating every organ, every cell. Now you step off the bridge and enter into the garden. Angels of Healing Light are there to greet you. They welcome you. They embrace you. They lift you up and carry you in their hands. You feel safe and protected as you are cradled by this Hand of Light, as you are lifted by the hands of the angels. All your fears, your anxieties, your uncertainties, your pain vanish as you become filled with peace, joy, serenity.
Know that any time you are afraid, anxious, uncertain, all you need to do is reach out your hand, and you will find the Hand the God, yad ha’Elohim, waiting to hold you, waiting to empower you in everything you do, waiting to guide you safely across the narrow bridge. Know that wherever you are God sends His angels to guard you, to uplift you, to carry you in their hands.
Hold on to these images as you now become aware once more of your breath and the boundaries of your body. As you take a few deep breaths, become aware of the gentle rise and fall of your chest. Become aware once more of your physical presence. Then—whenever you are ready—slowly, gently open your eyes.
JPS Tanakh (1999) Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society
Nachman of Breslov. (1999). The Gentle Weapon: Prayers for Everyday and Not-So-Everyday Moments. Timeless Wisdom from the Teachings of the Hasidic Master. Adapted by: Mykhoff, M., and Mizrahi, S.C., together with the Breslov Research Institute. Woodstock, VT: Jewish Lights.
Nachman of Breslov. (1994). The Empty Chair: Finding Hope and Joy. Timeless Wisdom from a Hasidic Master. Adapted by: Mykhoff, M., and the Breslov Research Institute. Woodstock, VT: Jewish Lights.