“If I Let It” – Poem Preceding Shabbat Candle Lighting

“If I Let It” – Poem Preceding Shabbat Candle Lighting

This short poem by Trisha Arlin provides a “kavanah,” – a direction in which to focus one’s attention – to be utilized when welcoming Shabbat. The poem mentions many ways in which Shabbat can be wonderfully different from all the other days of the week, but stipulates that in order for this transformation to take place, one must willingly and actively welcome the change. Arlin is a writer/performer of kavanot and a rabbinic student at the Academy of Jewish Religion (AJR), a pluralistic institution for rabbinic and cantorial training. This piece was submitted to The Open Siddur Project, an initiative that aims to liberate the creative content of Jewish spiritual practice as a collectively shared resource for students, scholars, artists, and educators to adopt, adapt, and redistribute.

“If I Let It: A Kavanah for Kabbalat Shabbat”

It grows dark.
I light two candles and drink a sip of wine
And the world changes for one day,
If I let it.

There will be music
And friendship
And food,
If I allow it.

There will be Torah
And wisdom
And God-ness,
If I permit it.

There will be quiet
And napping
And deep rest,
If I open up to it

There will be study
And expansion
And new ideas,
If I consent to it.

There will prayer
And blessings
And meditation,
If I give in to it.

There will be hope
And renewal
And clarity,
If I walk toward it.

If I let it
If I allow it
If I permit it
If I open up to it
If I consent to it.
If I give in to it.
If I walk toward it
The world changes for one day.

Shabbat happens,
If I let it.

“If I Let It: A Kavanah for Kabbalat Shabbat” is shared by Trisha Arlin with a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International copyleft license.

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