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Boosting Our Spiritual Immune System

This week of uncertainty about the coronavirus has impacted everyone. At KI, we have given lots of thought to the best ways to help our community be safe and healthy, while at the same time allowing for everyone’s best judgement.

We are currently receiving the message of maintaining distance and caution from each other at all of our usual places we attend (including KI), and at the same time in uncertain times, we really need closeness and reassurance. As your clergy, I am sending all of you, our synagogue community, prayers for physical immunity and strength, and I want to encourage each of you to think about what we can do to boost our spiritual immune system.

Our tradition holds strong beliefs around spiritual protection and guidance. I am going to share with you a few prayers that you can say for yourself and your family and friends. They are thoughts of love for any time you are feeling in need of a spiritual boost.

Our prayers for protection use such verbs as “spread over us, protect us, bless us, and guide us.” We turn worry into an umbrella of protection from anxiety and fear. Our prayers are filled with asking for strength from God, and our ancestors.

One of my favorite prayers for reassurance is this bedtime prayer. We ask angels to surround us:

In the name of Adonai the God of Israel:

May the angel Michael be at my right,

and the angel Gabriel be at my left;

and in front of me the angel Uriel,

and behind me the angel Raphael…

and above my head the Sh’khinah (Divine Presence).

A regular prayer we chant, Hashkiveinu, which is a beautiful prayer, asking God to spread over us a “Sukkah of Peace.” Envision a Sukkah over of us in times of fragility:

Let there be love and understanding among us

Let peace and friendship be our shelter from lifes storms.

Adonai, help us to walk with good companions,

to live with hope in our hearts and eternity in

our thoughts, that we may lie down in peace and rise up waiting

to do your will.

 Baruch Ata Adonai Haporeis sukat shalom aleinu

val kol amo Yisrael val Yerushalayim.

If our travel plans are not yet canceled, we can also offer this beautiful travel prayer, T’filat Haderech/Never Walk Alone. My husband, Ross M. Levy, composed a beautiful version of this as well (click here to listen), and you could also say or sing composer Debbie Friedman’s version:

May we be blessed as we go on our way

May we be guided in peace

May we be blessed with health and joy

May this be our blessing, amen.

May we be sheltered by the wings of peace

May we be kept in safety and in love

May grace and compassion find their

way to every soul

May this be our blessing, amen.

Amen, may this be our blessing, amen.

Boosting our spiritual immune system is an opportunity for us to achieve a positive mindset even in the toughest of times. If you are looking for more prayers or practices in this realm, please feel free to reach out to me at cantorael@kenesethisrael.org

Stay strong in body, mind and spirit!

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