TEACHINGS OF THE ECOKOSHER REBBE
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PATIENT'S PRAYERBOOK

Bikhur Cholim (Visiting the Sick)

This Page is an expression of the extraordinary humanity and love that the Infinite Holy One has for those who are ill and who hears their prayers.

The material below was originally a pamphlet that the Rebbe, Rabbi Gershon Caudill, used to give to patients at hospitals.

The intent of this "Page of Prayers for those who are ill" is so that the ill person can have a simple "Prayer Book" to use to give them comfort and connectedness to both the God of the Jewish people and to the Prayers of the Jewish people. Please feel free to copy this Page if you are going into hospital, and use it as you are felt inspired. Do not worry about whether you agree with the wording or not. Find what you can agree with and meditate on that, whether it be a whole article or just a simple phrase. Meanwhile, let Rabbi Caudill know that you desire healing prayers to be said for yourself or for your loved one. Just click on the "Contact Us" link above and send him the information.

THE TWENTY-THIRD PSALM

Adonai (YHVH) is my shepherd; I shall not want for anything.
I am given green pastures to lie down in;
I am led beside still waters.
My soul is restored to me;
I am guided in the straight paths for the sake of THE NAME.
Even though I walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Death,
I will not fear evil,
For You are by my side;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a festive table for me in the presence of those who despise me;
You have anointed my head with oil (You have made me Your messiah);
my cup is overfull.
Goodness and mercy shall surely follow me
as long as I live;
And I shall dwell in the House of Adonai (the Temple)
for ever.

PRAYER OF CONSECRATION

Merciful Creator, as I lie on my sick bed, my thoughts turn from myself and my suffering in order that I might consecrate the coming day to Your service. Although, due to my illness, I am at present denied the opportunity of serving my fellow-creatures, I recognize that through prayer, meditation and reciting the Psalms, I may still serve you in the sanctuary of my heart. Grant me the strength to withstand my pain and my discomfort and to turn my spirit to prayer to You that through my sincere petitions others who also suffer may find a quick and perfect healing.

**A PRAYER FOR THE HEALING OF OTHERS**

You, O Creative Force, are the Fountain of Life, the Source of all strength. You are an ever-present help in times of trouble. You are near to all who call upon You in truth. With anxious heart I turn my prayer to You on behalf of (So and So, the son/daughter of mother's name) who is on their sick bed. My sympathies go out to his/her family in this hour of trial. Accept my plea for his/her recovery. May his/her pain be allayed and may he/she be restored to health and renewed usefulness in the midst of those who love him/her and in the community of his/her people. Endow (So and So, the son/daughter of mother's name) with power to turn his/her sufferings into a means of enoblement of the soul. Grant him/her strength to always bear his/her trials courageously. Guide those who minister unto him/her and give them wisdom, trust and patience in large measure. May You be praised, O merciful Creator, who heals the sick. Amen.

**PRAYER FOR MY OWN RECOVERY**

O my Creator, Who is ever mindful of Your children, make my heart glad, I beseech You, with the awareness of Your great mercy. Be with me in my affliction and deliver me through Your healing power. Give me patience to endure this suffering, and cheerfulness towards those who minister unto me. May it be Your holy will to restore me to health and strength. Let me complete the ordained number of my years in happiness and well-being. Permit me to return to my family and to my tasks, and give me strength and wisdom to serve You with a perfect heart. Heal me and I shall be healed; save me and I shall be saved, for You are the one I praise. Amen.

**A PRAYER FOR THE PHYSICIAN**

You who is the Healer of all, impart of Your spirit of wisdom to the physician unto whose care I am entrusted. May it be Your will that he/she be the human instrument of Your mercy, and may he/she effect for me a speedy and complete cure. Amen.

*A REB ZALMAN HEALING PRAYER FOR SURGERY*

Please dear God, heal (name of person); may he/she have the energy, strength, fortitude, faith and good humor to receive the medical ministrations in the most healing way. And may our prayers open the gates allowing the divine light to shine more brightly upon him/her as he/she undergoes surgery and the great challenge he/she is confronting.

May Your design give all of us the gift of this great, wise and loving person for a long time to come.

May his/her family receive our prayers and strength and good humor to stay well and healthy and strong for themselves and for this sick person.

May our friend's whole family and community's be blessed with a sense of peace and confidence and surrender, so that their/our energies can focus on the support that our friend will need in the months ahead.

My his/her trial be a blessing for us all to sanctify and revere life, in all forms, and open our hearts and our consciousness a bit more as we proceed on our Holy journeys through life.

PRAYER OF THANKS AFTER SURGERY

Almighty Eternal One, how great are Your wonderous deeds that You have restored me to a full understanding of You and Your goodness. While my senses have been dulled, You have guided the fingers of my surgeon and have given him/her understanding in the art of healing. I have emerged from darkness into light, from despair into glowing hope, from fear into confidence because You have been at my side like in the days of our ancestors.

In a moment such as this, I understand the eternal values of life, the basic goods that You give freely to all mankind. I have often been blind to the true meaning of what has value. I have elevated the trivial to being important, the inconsequential to being basic. Today, as I have faced the issues of life and death, I understand that happiness springs out of the performance of Your Divine will.

May this experience mean for me a new awakening of an awareness of Your Holy Presence (The Holy Shekhina). May I reflect in my actions from now on an understanding of how You would want me to live life. May this be the ultimate meaning for me of the crisis that I have faced and survived.

A NEW MOTHER'S PRAYER

ADONAI, my Creator, my heart is filled with gratitude at the greatest of all gifts that You have bequeathed unto me. I have been granted a perfect likeness of You, filled with Your Divine Spirit. I have gone forth willingly through the Valley of the Shadow of Death to receive him/her from Your hands, and You have been gracious unto me and fulfilled my prayers.

I pray that I may be granted wisdom and patience to understand his/her Divine Nature and to guide him/her along Your path. I realize that I am undertaking a mighty responsibility to raise my infant child to mature adulthood. There will be many times when the task will seem too great, the difficulties insurmountable. I pray that You will guide me to choose the proper course and will grant me the strength to see that course through to its fulfillment.

I now beseech You to hover over this child, to guard him/her from all lurking foes, to grant him/her strength and wisdom so that he/she will reflect with pride upon Your great and glorious Name. May my child be granted a long and useful life filled with the joy of achievement. May he/she win the affection and admiration of all who gaze upon him/her, and above all, ADONAI, may he/she learn to do justice, to love mercy and to walk humbly in Your sight.

A ZEBED HABAT (Blessing and Naming of the Daughter) PRAYER

YONATEE - My dove, in the cliffs of the rock, in the crevices of the step, show me your countenance, let me hear your voice, for your voice is pleasant and your countanance is becoming.

If it is the mother's first child, the following is also said:

AKHAT - One is my perfect dove, the only one of her mother, pure to the one who bore her, daughters saw her and acclaimed her, queens and pelegsheem, they have praised her.

Una eya mi paloma mi prenizma, una eya a su madre, klara eya a la ke la paryo`, la vyeron ijas i la byen aventuraron, reynas i donzeyas i la alavaron.

May ADONAI who blessed our fore-mothers, Sarah, Rivkah, Rachel and Leah, Miriam, the prophetess and Avigayil, and Queen Esther, the daughter of Avikhayil, bless this delightful girl. May she be known forever in Israel and in the world by the name of (girl's Hebrew name - daughter of - mother's Hebrew name). May You bless her with good fortune at an auspicious moment. May she be brought up by her loving parents in health, peace and tranquility. May her father and mother merit to see her happiness and her wedding. May she have healthy children, wealth and honor, vigorous and fresh, fruitful in old age. And may it be the will of ADONAI, and let us say, Amen.

A MOTHER'S PRAYER BEFORE A BRITH MILAH (BRIS)

Almighty Creator, like Hannah of old I am now prepared to dedicate my infant son to Your Divine care. He will follow in the footsteps of his ancestors, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and enter into a divine conenant with You. I understand that the act of circumcision is symbolic of the unique relationship which he will enter with You. My heart overflows with joy at the realization that I am adding another vital link in the eternal chain of the people Israel.

May this link prove to be as strong as his forbears. May he grow to be a fine upstanding Jew with whom all of us can glow with pride. The pain of the circumcision is symbolic of all the hardships around being Jewish, but which is more than compensated for by the Divine Spirit which You do now bestow upon him.

May it be Your will that in my lifetime, I shall fulfill the traditional blessing of this day; that I may raise him up to Torah, to Chuppah and to Ma'asim Tovim (to study and do Torah, to marry under the marriage canopy, and to be a doer of good deeds). Amen.

"A PRAYER"

O God, who healest the broken-hearted and bindest up their wounds, to Thee I turn in trust and submission in this dark hour

O teach me so that I may get insight, and knowledge, and healing from Thy correction

Send forth Thy light so that amid this shadow of death

I may see the path to Thee, to a better use of my powers, to a better understanding of life. I do not ask Thee to take this sorrow from me altogether, but to aid me in purging it from all taint of selfishness

May my own pain make me more heedful of human woe, more responsive to it, more resolute in my endeavor to assuage it!

Fix my thoughts not only on this lower life, but on life with Thee; not only on the things of Time, but on the joyous promise of Eternity

Strengthen my faith in my higher self

in my soul which

will unite me to Thee hereafter in blissful and endless communion. Then will all things be made plain. Then will the veil that hides Thee from me be torn away, and I shall see Thee clearly

Then shall love come by its own - my dear one's which has been my joy in the bygone years, Thine which has blessed me all my life long. Amen

MEDITATIONS & READINGS

THE MYSTERY OF PAIN

The mystery of pain is an old problem. The Rabbis were deeply impressed with its gravity and complexity. The sorrows of the universe and the agony of Israel; the suffering of the nation and the pain of the individual formed the inspiration of some of the noblest thoughts. They fully realized that suffering can chasten and heal and purify, even "as salt cleanses meat." And so they call God's chastisements the blessed scourges of love, and tell us that even as the olives only gives forth its sweet and perfumed oil on being crushed, so also Israel only reaches perfection through crushing sorrows.

They tell us that in the thick darkness of the world-problem is God - the "Light Behind"; that all things work together for good - even Death; they represent God as saying to mankind, "with thy very wounds I will heal thee"; they say that those whom God afflicts bear His name; that only through a "sorrow's crown of sorrows" cometh true life. Heaven is not to be won by rest and ease and quite. Only those who have suffered and endured greatly have achieved greatly. The world's greatest workers, thinkers and teachers have only reached the pinnacle of fame by surmounting obstacles which to ordinary men, content with the lower slopes, would have seemed insuperable. Man has ever risen nearer to God by the altar-stairs of pain and sorrow - those altar stairs which lead through darkness, for ever upwards, towards the very Throne of God. (Opinion of Rabbi Samuel A. Adler)

TIME AND ETERNITY

God, the Source of Life, has placed in our nature the blessed hope of immortality, by which we may console ourselves for the vanity of life, and overcome the dread of death. If thou art in truth of the higher sphere, why should the thought of leaving this lower region trouble thee? Especially since the very pleasures which thou seekest on earth are, in reality, but briars and thorns. Therefore seek them not. But what shouldest thou do? This: Use thy time as thou wouldst a doubtful companion; extract the good and avoid the evil. Avail thyself of the few opportunities of improvement in his company, and use thy discretion so that thou mayest suffer no injury from thy association with him. And remember that the companionship of time is but of short duration. It flies more quickly than the shades of evening. We are like a child that grasps in his hand a sunbeam. He opens his hand soon again, but to his amazement, finds it empty and the brightness gone. (Opinion of Yedaya Penini)

"HE GIVETH POWER TO THE FAINT"

Why sayest thou, O Jacob,

And speaketh, O Israel:

"My way is hid from the LORD,

And my right is passed over from my God?"

Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard

That the Everlasting God, the LORD,

The Creator of the ends of the earth,

Fainteth not, neither is weary?

His discernment is past searching out.

He giveth power to the faint;

And to him that hath no might He increaseth strength.

Even the youths shall faint and be weary,

And the young men shall utterly fall;

But they that wait for the LORD shall renew their strength;

They shall mount up with the wings of eagles;

They shall run, and not be weary;

They shall walk, and not be faint. (Prophet Isaiah)

"MY THOUGHTS ARE NOT YOUR THOUGHTS"

For My thoughts are not your thoughts,

Neither are your ways My ways, says ADONAI.

For as the heavens are higher than the earth,

So are My ways higher than your ways,

And My thoughts than your thoughts.

For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven,

And do not return again,

Except they water the earth,

And make it bring forth and bud,

And give seed to the one who sows and bread to the one who eats;

So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth:

It shall not return unto Me void,

Except it accomplish that which I desire,

And make the thing upon which I sent it prosper. (Prophet Isaiah)

"WHATEVER HEAVEN DOES IS FOR THE BEST"

One mode of reasoning is, "Whatever Heaven does is for the best." This means that even suffering and hardship are only apparently evil; in reality they are good. The surgeon amputates a muscle or a limb which has been injured in order to preserve the health of the rest of the body, and to save the person from death. Though this seems cruel, it is in reality an act of mercy, and meant for the good of the person upon whom it is performed. That patient does not love the surgeon any the less because of what he has done to him; on the contrary, he loves him all the more. In like manner, if a man were to realize that whatever the Holy Blessed One does to him, whether it affects his body or his possessions, is intended for his benefit, neither suffering nor hardship would lessen his love for God in any way, though he may little understand how he could be benefited. On the contrary, his love would even become more intense and fervent. (Moses Luzzato)

"DAILY BLESSINGS"

In the "Blessings on Various Occaisions" (in the Prayer Book) we find a very warm jubilation of life - a spontaneous lyric appreciation of earth; joy in the fruits of the tree, the vine and field; enchantment in the fragrant odours of barks, plants, fruits and spices; exaltation at the sight of stars, mountains, desert, sea and rainbow. Beautiful trees and animals, spring-blossoms equally with scholars and sages - all evoke their grace of appreciation. For storm and evil tidings, too, have their graces - in fortitude! The Hebrew genius could find growth through sorrow; and for the Hebrew, good tidings have their grace, no less than fair sights and experience. Everywhere the infiltration of Earth by Heaven. (Israel Zangwill)

**PRAYER ON RISING IN THE MORNING**

O my God, the soul with which You did endow me with is a pure soul. You did create it and fashion it; You did breath it into my body and You will preserve it within me. You will one day reclaim it from me but You will restore it to me in the Next Life.So long as the Breath of Life is within me, I will give You thanks, ADONAI my Creative Force and Creative Force of my ancestors, Force over all other forces and energies, Originator of all souls. Source of blessing are You, ADONAI, who restores life to all mortals.

May it be Your will, ADONAI, our Creative Force and Creative Force of our ancestors, to cause us to walk in the way of Your Torah and cleave to Your mitzvot (precepts). Help us not to fall into the power of error, transgression or iniquity, nor succumb to temptation or shame. Let not the Evil Inclination that you created within us hold sway over us. Keep us far from the influence of wicked people and corrupt friends. Make us to cleave to our Good Inclination and to perform good deeds. Give us the desire to do Your service (to say our prayers), and grant us today and every day, grace, kindness and mercy, both in Your sight and in the sight of our community, and bestow Your Loving Kindness upon us. Source of blessing are You, ADONAI, who bestows Your bountiful love upon all people who do Your will.

שמע ישראל י-ה-ו-ה אלהינו י-ה-ו-ה אחד
HEAR O ISRAEL, ADONAI OUR CREATIVE FORCE, ADONAI IS ALL THERE IS!

You shall love ADONAI your Creative Force with all of your heart, with all of your being, and with all of your intention. And these words which I command you this day shall be in your heart. You shall teach them with diligence to your children, speaking of them when you are sitting at home, when you are walking around, when you are getting ready for bed, and when you get up from your bed. And you shall bind (these words) for a symbol upon your arm, and you shall place (these words) as a phylactery on your forehead. And you shall write (these words as a mezuzzah) upon the door posts of your house and upon your gates.

**GRACE BEFORE AND AFTER MEALS**

(Recited over bread before eating) BARUKH ATAH ADONAI ELOHAYNU MELEKH HAOLAM, HAMOTZI LECHEM MIN HAARETZ (Source of blessing are You, ADONAI, our Creative Force and Sovereign of the universe, You bring forth bread from the earth).

PRAYER RECITED AFTER EATING

We thank You, O Creator, for the miracle of sustenance. Beyond our comprehension are the changes whereby the food we eat is transformed into the flesh and blood of our bodies, renewing our energies and enabling us to live, to feel, to think, to work, to love and to worship. We are grateful that the earth is stored with all that mankind needs for their maintainance, and that only generousness, goodwill, and co-operative labor are required to supply every human being with enough to eat. This is in accordance to the precepts of Your Torah. It is only because of the follies, greed, and sins of mankind that some go hungry while others have more than they need for food.

Endow Your children, then, with the sympathy and compassion, the wisdom and understanding to apportion to every person according to their need, a share of the bounty You would have all enjoy. Source of blessing are You, ADONAI, who provides enough for all.

**EVENING MEDITATIONS**

Source of blessing are You, ADONAI, our Creative Force, Sovereign of the universe, who with Your word brings on the evenings. With wisdom You open the gates of heaven, and with understanding You change the times and is the cause of the seasons alternating. You arrange the stars in their orbits in the sky according to Your will. You create day and night; You roll away light before the darkness, and the darkness before the light; You cause the day to pass and the night to come, and You make the distinction between day and night - ADONAI TZEVAOT is Your Name. Infinite Eternal, may You reign over us forever and ever. Source of blessing are You, ADONAI, who brings on the evening.

Grant, ADONAI, our Creative Force, that we lie down in PEACE, and that we rise up again, O our Sovereign, to life. Spread over us Your shelter of PEACE, and direct us with Your own good counsel. Save us for Your Name's sake; shield us, and remove from our midst every enemy and pestilence, sword and famine and grief; remove the adversary (HaSatan) from our way; shelter us in the shadow of Your wings; for You are our protecting and saving Creator; You are indeed a gracious and merciful Creator and Sovereign. Guard our going out and our coming in, for life and PEACE, henceforth and forever. Source of blessing are You, ADONAI, who guards Your people and Israel forever.

EVENING PRAYERS SAID PRIOR TO RETIRING

Source of blessing are You, ADONAI, our Creative Force, Sovereign of the universe, who closes my eyes in sleep, my eyelids in slumber. May it be Your will, ADONAI, my Creator and Creative Force of my ancestors, to grant that I lie down in peace and that I rise up in peace. Let not my thoughts upset me - nor evil dreams nor sinful fanticies. May my family ever be perfect in Your sight. Grant me light lest I sleep the sleep of death; for it is You who gives light to the eyes. Source of blessing are You, ADONAI, whose majesty gives light to all of the world.

Source of blessing be ADONAI by day; source of blessing be ADONAI by night; source of blessing be ADONAI when we lie down; source of blessing be ADONAI when we rise up. In Your hand are the souls of the living and of the dead, as it is written: "In God's hand is the soul of every living thing, and the spirit of every human being." Into Your hand I commit my spirit; ADONAI, faithful Creator, You are my Savior.

שמע ישראל י-ה-ו-ה אלהינו י-ה-ו-ה אחד
SHEMA YISRAEL ADONAI ELOHAYNU ADONAI ECHAD!

HEAR O ISRAEL, ADONAI OUR CREATIVE FORCE, ADONAI IS ALL THERE IS!

(Source of blessing be the Name of the glorious majestic One forever and ever).

You shall love ADONAI your Creative Force with all of your heart, with all of your being, and with all of your intention. And these words which I command you this day shall be in your heart. You shall teach them with diligence to your children, speaking of them when you are sitting at home, when you are walking around, when you are getting ready for bed, and when you get up from your bed. And you shall bind (these words) for a symbol upon your arm, and you shall place (these words) as a phylactery on your forehead. And you shall write (these words as a mezuzzah) upon the door posts of your house and upon your gates.

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