Make Your Own Kind of Tefillah

I’ve been remembering Mama Cass’s song “Make Your Own Kind of Music,” thinking about this anthem of the early ’70s for doing your own thing.
This year, in conjunction with teaching the traditional prayers, we have been asking our fifth graders to create their own prayers.  For every “Please God give me an X Box,” there were thoughtful contributions praising God for the gifts our students have been given.

Blessed are you, Adonai our God, ruler of the universe, that gives us siblings to play with.

…who gives us friends

…who gives us fun deeds to do.

Thank you God for my friends, family, home, and food and cookies, and cupcakes.

…for the 10 Commandments, and for my parents because I respect them (mostly).

I am happy for life.

I am happy for a nice family.

…for letting us have chocolate.

…for letting me win in basketball

…for honoring us with the awesomeness of brownies

…for letting us have an XBox60

…for letting me win my first Fastbreak game

Thanks for everything, you created it.

Thanking God for freedom

Thank you God for my family, food, water, and life.

I am grateful for my home, friends, family, and education.

Thank you God for everything I have and helping us get the world to what it is today.

Thank you for the Torah and the prayers and we should follow most if not all of them.

Baruch Atah Adonai, who invented the aspect of friends.

…thank you for friends and family.

…I go to school and Hebrew school.

Blessed are you Adonai for giving me great parents.

…for giving me new days everyday.

Thanks God for the human ability to move forward.

Blessed are you Adonai, for school because a lot of people in other countries don’t have school.

Thank you God for bringing enjoyment.

Blessed are you God for making cats.

…for being God.

…we enjoy your might against our enemies. Amen

Thank you for giving me chocolate.

Thank you for commanding us to have a Bar Mitzvah.

I have friends, pets are cool!  We love them.

Thank you, thank you for everything.

The  commandments that I follow makes me holy.

Shabbat is my favorite time of week.  Thank you for making it a commandment.

Blessed are you Adonai, who commands us to help other people with loss.

…who commands to be thankful.

…commanding to not waste energy.

And thank God for such remarkable children who can stretch their minds to really create some wonderful prayer.  Amen!

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About Gail F. Nalven

Jewish Educator, Rabbi, Tefillah Leader, Songleader, Teacher, and Freelance Jew
This entry was posted in Spirituality, Teaching/Education, Tefillah (prayer) and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Make Your Own Kind of Tefillah

  1. Shelly Koy says:

    This is a fabulous idea to give the kids a chance to express themselves in their own prayers. I’m going to ask our tefillah class to do this. Thanks for the inspiration Gail! I am thankful to you for this:))

  2. Lynn Lancaster says:

    really nice.

  3. Gary Greene says:

    very nice. As an aside- as a rabbi in Spfld, MA I buried Mama Cass’ mother. Her sister was living in Northampton and needed a rabbi. The local funeral director called me to do the job.

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