Kitzur Shnei Luchot Habrit
To renew your faith in the morning, do not involve yourself in any worldly activity or speech when you get out of bed; just to go to the bathroom, wash, then meditate, thinking of the Creator of the world with full concentration--that God is one, Single and Unique.
Look through your window at the sky and the earth and recall the verse, "Lift up your eyes on high and see--who created all of this?" (Isa. 40:26), and think that God created it all out of absolute nothingness. And think, "How many are Your works, O Lord, with wisdom have you made them all; the earth is full of your creations (Ps.. 104:24). Think of how great God's works are, in the creation of the heaven and the earth and all that is in them--inanimate and animate--plants, animals, humans, creatures great and wonderful. "God created the ocean and all that is in it, the awesome whales, God formed the mountains and created winds and fire."
מוֹדֶה אֲנִי לְפָנֶיךָ מֶלֶךְ חַי וְקַיָּם, שֶׁהֶחֱזַרְתָּ בִּי נִשְׁמָתִי בְּחֶמְלָה. רַבָּה אֱמוּנָתֶךָ
Modeh ani lefanekha melekh chai ve-kayam she-hehezarta bi nishmati be-chemlah, rabbah emunatecha
I give thanks to You, Source of life and existence, that you have once again placed my soul within me, great is your faith in me.
הַמֵּאִיר לָאָרֶץ וְלַדָּרִים עָלֶיהָ בְּרַחֲמִים. וּבְטוּבו מְחַדֵּשׁ בְּכָל יום תָּמִיד מַעֲשה בְרֵאשִׁית. מָה רַבּוּ מַעֲשיךָ ה'. כֻּלָּם בְּחָכְמָה עָשיתָ.
From the daily liturgy:
You light up the earth and its creatures with compassion. And with goodness You renew each day, and always, all of Creation. How great are your deeds! You Created everything with wisdom.
Netilat Yadayim: 3 Times, 3 Reasons
Rabbi Nachman of Bratsalv, Prayer for Nature
Grant me the ability to be alone; may it be my custom to go outdoors each day among the trees and grass - among all growing things and there may I be alone, and enter into prayer, to talk with the One to whom I belong. May I express there everything in my heart, and may all the foliage of the field - all grasses, trees, and plants - awake at my coming, to send the powers of their life into the words of my prayer so that my prayer and speech are made whole through the life and spirit of all growing things, which are made as one by their transcendent Source. May I then pour out the words of my heart before your Presence like water, O L-rd, and lift up my hands to You in worship, on my behalf, and that of my children!
Suggested Discussion Questions
1. How do you understand Reb Nachman's prayer?
2. What is the relationship between solitude in nature and prayer? What does Reb Nachman's prayer imply about the need for environmentalism and sustaining nature?