Interpretive Translation of Tefilat HaDerekh

This interpretive translation of Tefilat HaDerekh (The Traveler’s Prayer) comes from an intention to be whole, as we go about our lives. It was inspired by the teaching, from Rabbi Arthur Waskow and others, that we can understand the sound of yud-hey-vav-hey as breathing.

It is so important to breathe—and to breathe well! In our busy lives, in our travels near and far, we can become disconnected from our breath, and from our sense of presence and the Divine.

Shalom—repeated four times in the traditional Tefilat HaDerekh text—has to do with wholeness (shleimut) as well as peace. Breathing is a form of shalom/shleimut. I took the verb of each phrase from t’filat ha’derechsh’tolicheinu l’shalom, v’tatzideinu l’shalom, v’tadricheinu l’shalom, v’tagiyeinu… l’shalom—and rearranged the concepts in each phrase into this new formulation. 

This new text can be said along with, or in place of, a traditional Tefilat HaDerekh text, when beginning a journey. It can also be used as a closing for davenning, as an intention for walking meditation, or simply in the course of the day.

 

may i breathe as i go

may i breathe with each step

may breath guide me

may i arrive more with each breath

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