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A Prayer for Salvation

A Prayer for Salvation

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Dear Reader,

Our daily prayers have just gotten a little bit longer.

From the first day of Rosh Chodesh Elul until Hoshana Rabbah on the holiday of Sukkot, we’ve begun reciting an extra Psalm at the end of our prayers.

This Psalm (Chapter 27) begins with the words “G‑d is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear? The L-d is the strength of my life, whom shall I dread? . . . For He will hide me in His tabernacle on a day of adversity . . . ”

This prayer is appropriate for this time of year since it hints to the upcoming holidays. “Light” refers to Rosh Hashanah, which like light wakes us from our slumber to remind us to return to G‑d. “Salvation” refers to the holy day of Yom Kippur, when we take leave of all our wrongs from the past year through forgiveness and atonement. And “tabernacle” (sukkah in Hebrew) refers to the holiday of Sukkot.

In this Psalm, King David eloquently begs G‑d to save him from his many enemies. As his adversaries pursue him, he enumerates three stages of deliverance.

  1. G‑d illuminates his path so he can flee.
  2. G‑d protects him and removes the danger.
  3. G‑d brings him to a place of refuge.

Whether we find ourselves in the throes of a terrible illness, a financial crisis or a severe emotional problem, these are the three stages of deliverance we all seek.

Worry, sadness and despair associated with a challenge can be overwhelming. Darkness haunts and immobilizes us, blocking our path so we cannot see. The first step to recovery is finding a ray of light or hope to illuminate the enveloping darkness.

Next we need a path—a real solution for our problem so that the severity of the danger or difficulty is eased.

And finally, even after a solution is in place, we need to learn how to find serenity—a calm state of mind, a place of refuge from which to handle the inevitable struggles.

As the year draws to a close and a new one full of promise peeks around the corner, we ask G‑d to help us through our personal trials. The concluding words of the prayer are the foundation for improving our mindset. “Hope in the L‑rd, be strong and let your heart be valiant, hope in the L‑rd.”

May the coming year be a year of blessing for us all, where we find salvation from our challenges, as well as a year of deliverance and redemption for our nation and our entire world.

Chana Weisberg

Editor, TJW


Chana Weisberg is the editor of TheJewishWoman.org. She lectures internationally on issues relating to women, relationships, meaning, self-esteem and the Jewish soul. She is the author of five popular books.
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lenore asheville nc August 30, 2017

This is a wonderful article! Reply

Anonymous Chicago August 29, 2017

Hi Chana:
Thank you for your post. I am a reformed Jew. I question everything. I found your blog when looking for my fathers yartzeit date. I do enjoy reading your posts. For the first time, someone has made sense of all of this in human terms. Thanks again and Shana Tova. Reply

Chana Weisberg August 30, 2017
in response to Anonymous:

I'm so glad you enjoyed! I believe that Judaism encourages questions. That's how we find the deepest answers. Reply

Often we need a break from our daily routine. A pause from life to help us appreciate life.

A little pat on the back to let us know when we're on track. A word of encouragement to help us through those bleak moments and difficult days.

Sometimes, we just yearn for some friendship and camaraderie, someone to share our heart with. And sometimes we need a little direction from someone who's been there.

So, take a short pause from the busyness of your day and join Chana Weisberg for a cup of coffee.

Chana Weisberg is the author of Tending the Garden: The Unique Gifts of the Jewish Woman and four other books. Weisberg is a noted educator and columnist and lectures worldwide on issues relating to women, faith, relationships and the Jewish soul.
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