Rosh Hashanah Amidah 5780

The following original prayers were offered by Ner Shalom members to form our Amidah for Erev Rosh Hashanah 5780. We are grateful for the deep insights and creativity of this community.


Avot v’Imahot

To the grandmothers and grandfathers I never knew:
The little girl in me missed your hugs and kisses and stories of how I came to be. The little girl in me missed the stories of how you came to be, how you overcame your hardships and struggles, how you celebrated your joys and grieved your losses. Thank you, ancestors, for the sacrifices you had to have made which helped my life be better. I receive little gems of wisdom from you when I listen closely. I hear you often, and your words keep me moving toward community, peace, and love.
May the whispers of our ancestors touch us in the ways we need, to help us continue to move forward toward peace, love, and understanding. Amen

(Sheridan Gold)


Kadosh kadosh kadosh
We are prompted, urged, to sanctify.
But how does one sanctify?
In my search, it dawned on me that in order to sanctify,
“to set apart as to declare holy,”
I need to set myself apart:
apart from the outrage and frustrations of daily news,
to separate myself from my tightly knit story of me,
so that I soften, I loosen my grip.
Then, all my brick and mortar formations
fall away, the walls tumble down,
and the presence of divine glory becomes evident.
Kadosh - may we all be present to the divine glory that fills our world and our hearts.

(Linda Pantoskey)


I built my house from goat hair on poles.
Opened a flap and offered you bread
With milk to drink down your promises
And plant them for later. 

I built a house from mud, sweat, and straw.
For one frightening night
You sheltered with me
Then led me to a place without bricks.

I built you a house from acacia and gold.
Be-jeweled and be-wildered
You stayed
And wandered the desert with me. 

I built you a house of stone
To stand for a thousand years.
I catch glimpses of you
In the rubble. 

Now I build you houses of pine and oak
Beaten metal and gypsum
Spires to catch the sun
Shingles to roll the rain. 

In this house I built, may the work of my breath
Fill you with longing
To plant your feet in the dust of a thousand prayers
And dwell. 

(Cyndi Norwitz)



Oh, God!
I’m so grateful for my place in this heartbreakingly beautiful dance of life - orchestrated through your all-wise order.
I give deep bows of loving gratitude for the way all the details of my life seem to work out… for your unseen hand taking care of me, all that I cherish, all my loved ones - human and not human, living and not living.
I’ve learned the secret is to get quiet, and willing... and ask, and listen for your guidance, and drop into your flow. Life is so, so sweet when I can feel the truth of me as a player in this great, grand game of consciousness.
We THANK YOU God - Life, Universe, Beloved Oneness - and REJOICE for our lives, our places in the order of things.

(Alison Marks)

Shalom Rav

Shalom Rav – grant us peace. As you all may have, I have often heard that peace begins with me. What is Peace, what does it look and feel like? It appears I need to discover, dig to uncover, this place of being, for myself, and for all our selves looking outside yes, by essentially looking inside. 

The dictionary defines peace as a state of harmony, concord, tranquility. I have found this feeling within at times, which gives me hope and the faith that I may allow, receive and create it more frequently, embrace and maintain it by whatever ways necessary.

In these tumultuous times, not the first of such, but feeling very dangerous personally and for the world, I have hope for how a state of peacefulness of my own might contribute to a larger effect on us, the collective us. My prayers are not for me alone, and yet where else to begin? 

The granting of peace begins with me. My actions, peace/making actions, that stem from this beginning place may have and can have a larger resonance, by calling out to and having faith in other's abilities to do the same.

I think of Greta Thunberg sitting alone for weeks in front of the Swedish Parliament with a sign stating intent for action, and with conviction that her careful and lengthy self-examination has a meaning and possibility for others and for the world, the Earth and all its life.

May we, each of us, find and heed our own passion and desire for that personal peace only we can grant to ourselves, and move into the world around and among us from this holy place. I give thanks and due praise to the divinity we each carry in our deepest selves, the inherent divinity which we were given and must own.  Namaste.

(Robin Birdfeather)

Elohai N’tzor

Oremus: Let us pray.
May the river of my thoughts and words and deeds flow in beds of goodness and truth and kindness. Infuse my spirit with light enough to see through curved and darkened glass to experience the height of love and the deepest of peace. 
And let us say  Amen!

(Mac McCaffry)

Image by Susie Stonefield Miller

Image by Susie Stonefield Miller