photos for the next two lines

Continuing with the next two lines from the prayer Ashrei that I started here in one photo for every line, here is a little introduction from Rabbi Avraham Cohen about the essence of the prayer itself.

There are those who agree that G-d is Master of the world in the sense the He is the Creator Who brought everything into existence – the Prime Mover, according to the Aristotelian model. However, they are adamant that He does not bother with the particulars of running the world on a day-to-day basis; He is much too important and ‘G-dlike’ for such mundane tasks.

But, not so the believing Jew; we believe with a firm and unshakable faith that G-d is intimately involved with the myriad goings-on of our world; this is the core Jewish belief of hashgachah p’ratis – personal Providence. “He is the healer of the broken hearted, and the one Who binds up their sorrows. He counts the number of the stars (and every single person!) and He calls them all by name” [Psalms 147:3]. And “(He) opens up (His) hand and satisfies the desire of every living thing” (from our Psalm, 145:16)! Someone who believes with firm faith that G-d is Master and Creator and He is intimately involved in our lives – that soul is destined to have a place in Olam Haba. These two features together make this psalm a powerful prayer.

תְּהִלָּה לְדָוִד. אֲרומִמְךָ אֱלוהַי הַמֶּלֶךְ. וַאֲבָרְכָה שִׁמְךָ לְעולָם וָעֶד

A poem of David: I will raise You, My G-d, the King. And I will bless your name forever.

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I took this photo during the holiday of Hanukkah. Having the menorah outside is the preferred way of lighting candles and is very prevalent in Israel, raising G-d up and illuminating His miracles.

בְּכָל יום אֲבָרְכֶךָּ. וַאֲהַלְלָה שִׁמְךָ לְעולָם וָעֶד

With every day I will bless You. And I will extol your name forever.

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Some explanation of this photo is warranted. This was a swearing-in ceremony for these young soldiers, taking place in the Old City of Jerusalem, by the Cardo. This soldier was reciting the prayer for travel, which meant to me that they were embarking on a particular journey and that this was something to show them to put G-d into their equation.

יְהִי רָצוֹן מִלְפָנֶיךָ ה אֱלֹהֵינוּ וֵאלֹקי אֲבוֹתֵינוּ, שֶתּוֹלִיכֵנוּ לְשָלוֹם וְתַצְעִידֵנוּ לְשָלוֹם. וְתִסְמְכֵנוּ לְשָלוֹם. וְתַדְרִיכֵנוּ לְשָלוֹם. וְתַגִיעֵנוּ לִמְחוֹז חֶפְצֵנוּ לְחַיִּים וּלְשִמְחָה וּלְשָלוֹם (ואם דעתו לחזור מיד אומר וְתַחְזִירֵנוּ לְשָלוֹם) וְתַצִּילֵנוּ מִכַּף כָּל אוֹיֵב וְאוֹרֵב וְלִסְטִים וְחַיּוֹת רָעוֹת בַדֶּרֶךְ וּמִכָּל מִינֵי פּוּרְעָנִיּוֹת הַמִתְרַגְּשוֹת לָבוֹא לָעוֹלָם וְתִשְלַח בְּרָכָה בְּכל מַעֲשֵה יָדֵינוּ, וְתִתְּנֵנוּ לְחֵן וּלְחֶסֶד וּלְרַחֲמִים בְעֵינֶיךָ וּבְעֵינֵי כָל רוֹאֵינוּ וְתִשְמַע קוֹל תַּחֲנוּנֵינוּ. כִּי אֵל שוֹמֵעַ תְּפִלָּה וְתַחֲנוּן אתה: בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה, שוֹמֵעַ תְּפִלָּה:

May the will be before You, G-d, our G-d and the G-d of our ancestors, that You lead us towards peace (full circle!!!), support us in peace, guide our footsteps toward peace, and make us reach our desired destination for life, gladness, and peace (If one intends to return immediately, one adds: and return us in peace). May You save us from the hand of every foe, ambush, and thieves and wild animals along the way, and from all manner of punishments that assemble to come to earth. May You send blessing in our handiwork, and grant us grace, kindness, and mercy in Your eyes and in the eyes of all who see us. May You hear the sound of our pleading, because You are God Who hears prayer requests. Blessed are You, our Lord, Who hears prayer.

I was very moved.

For there is no guarantee where they are going, but they should be a blessing.

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