Saturday, August 24, 2019

Prayers and insight from “The Interfaith Prayer Book”, expanded 2nd edition, published in 2014.


The Interfaith Prayer Book was compiled by Lake Worth resident Ted Brownstein and the Lake Worth Interfaith Network (LWIN). Learn more about this organization at the end of this blog post.

From p. 31 by Siddur Avodas HaLev titled,
“A Jewish View of Prayer”:


“Prayer: Its Hebrew name is, tefillah, a word that gives us an insight into the Torah’s concept of prayer. The root of tefillah means to judge, to differentiate, to clarify, to decide. In life, we constantly sort out evidence from rumor, valid options from wild speculations, fact from fancy. Thus, prayer is the soul’s yearning to define what truly matters and to ignore the trivialities that often masquerade as essential.”


From p. 69, the “Hymn of the Good Samaritan”:


From every race and land,
The victim of our day,
Abused and hurt by human hands,
Are wounded on life’s way.

The priest and Levite* pass
And find not time to wait.
The pressing claims of living call;
They leave them to their fate.

But one of different faith
To care he felt compelled.
His active love like Jesus’ own
Uplifted, healed and held.

May this example lead,
Inspire and teach us all
That we may find in others’ faith
The God on whom we call.


From p. 23 in the chapter titled, “Native American Prayer” is the ancient reading from the Popul Vuh, a region in South America now called Guatemala:


Make my guilt vanish,
Heart of Sky, Heart of Earth;
Grant me a favor,
Give me strength, give me courage
In my heart, in my head,
Since you are my mountain and my plain;
May there be no falsehood and no stain,
And may this reading of the Popul Vuh
Come out clear as dawn,
And may the sifting of ancient times
Be complete in my heart, in my head;
And make my guilt vanish,
My grandmothers, grandfathers,
And however many souls of the dead there may be,
You who speak with the Heart of Sky and Earth,
May all of you together give strength
To the reading I have undertaken.


To learn more about the “Reading of Popul Vuh” in The Interfaith Prayer Book and the Ancient History Encyclopedia click on this link.

The Lake Worth Interfaith Network (LWIN) is “[A] group of individuals and faith-based communities dedicated to promoting acceptance and understanding among our diverse spiritual traditions through devotions, education and compassionate action. . . . LWIN hopes that sharing our experience will be helpful to other communities who desire to create similar local interfaith organizations.”


*Levite: “[M]ember of the tribe of Levi; descendant of Levi, especially one appointed to assist the priests in the temple or tabernacle.” Learn more at Wikipedia.