Lit. Master of the Universe A term sometimes used in the Jewish liturgy to refer to God., God of Sara, The second Jewish matriarch, Isaac's wife, and mother to Jacob and Esau. Rebecca is an active parent, talking to God when she is pregnant and learning the fate of her children, then ultimately manipulating Isaac and the children to ensure Jacob's ascendancy. Her Hebrew name is Rivka., Lavan's younger daughter and Jacob's beloved wife second wife (after he is initially tricked into marrying her older sister, Leah). Rachel grieves throughout her life that she is barren while Leah is so fertile. Ultimately, Rachel gives birth to Joseph and dies in childbirth with Benjamin. Rachel is remembered as compassionate (she is said to still weep for her children), and infertile women often invoke Rachel as a kind of intercessor and visit her tomb on the road to Bethlehem. and Layeh, I stand before You as have countless generations of Jewish women, about to immerse in the waters of your holy presence.
Bless me, dear God, in body and in spirit. Keep me, and those I love, healthy, safe and strong. Protect and nurture me the way a mother does her child. Bind me and my beloved husband in a long, peaceful, harmonious marriage. Give my children easy lives without strain or struggle. [Give me children who will have lives without strain or struggle.] Grant me fulfillment and a generous sustenance from my livelihood.
Ribono shel olam, lead me in the path of righteousness and help me use my abilities to repair this broken world. Help me ease and gladden the lives of those I cherish. Give me the vision to recognize my unique capacity to make the world a better place, and the courage and stamina to do so.
Dear God, you created the world from a womb of water. You made me in your image, pure and holy, according to your will. I thank you for my miraculous body which keeps its own rhythms as do the sun and moon, the seasons, the Shabbos and the Holy Days. I bless your sacred name as I ask for your blessing upon me and those I love.
As I immerse in the The ritual bath. The waters of the mikveh symbolically purify – they are seen as waters of rebirth. A convert immerses in the mikveh as part of conversion. Many Orthodox married women go to the mikveh following their period and before resuming sexual relations. Couples go to the mikveh before being married. Many, including some men, immerse before Yom Kippur; some go every Friday before Shabbat. waters, I am ever more aware of my dependence upon you. I know that my life is sustained by your mercy.
Be kind and beneficent to me. Help me purify my life from pain and sorrow, from bad influences, from my own faults and inadequacies.
As these waters embrace me, dear God, may I embrace your presence in and around me at all times and in all space, Amen.
Copyright, 2003 – not to be reprinted without express permission of the author