On some Friday nights, I make my way to Temple Beth Israel in Portland for Shabbat services. I fight the traffic and my end of the week tiredness to participate in a service in a language that I do not understand with people whom I do not know.
I find peace and I find comfort at these services. I enjoy that Hebrew is spoken, chanted and sung. Fortunately, the prayer book/hymnal is in English as well as Hebrew.
The faithful around me understand Hebrew from early language training as part of their culture. I am not Jewish and until recently had never set foot inside a synagogue. The Rabbi and the Cantor (his wife) always greet me with a hug and a warm welcome.
I am an active Episcopalian and participate in the life of my church. However, I enjoy learning about other faiths and traditions. I want to understand.
I share with you the Hebrew and English words to Mi Shebeirach that is sung every week as part of the Yahrzeit memorial to honor not only recent deaths but the anniversary of the deaths of parents of the members. It is beautiful to know that their names are read year after year. It is beautiful to hear the superb voice of the cantor, Ida Rae Cahana, lead the singing.
Here is a link to a version on You Tube.Mi Shebeirach
Mi Shebeirach Avoteinu, Avraham, Yitzchak v’Yaakov
Mi Shebeirach Imoteinu, Sarah, Rivkah, Leah v’Rachel
May the One who blessed our Mothers
May the One who blessed our Fathers
Hear our prayer, hear our prayer (2x)
And bless us as well
Bless us with the power of Your healing
Bless us with the power of Your hope
May our hearts be filled with understanding
And strengthened by the power of Your love.
(Please note that this song is used for other occasions within the Jewish faith. )