Alden Solovy Speaking at Kol Ami

Alden Solovy is a voice of our age. His award-winning essays, writings, poetry and prayers infuse the daily routine of our faith with equal parts humanity and miraculous mystery. His gift of writing in such a familiar voice about one’s intimate thoughts, doubts, worries and dreams makes him a poet of the heart. His prayers reveal the universal experience we all share and it is the revelation of that universal truth that connects us and inspires us to have faith in a God so wise, so powerful and so “all.” He has written nearly 500 new liturgical pieces, has published numerous anthologies and the book, Jewish Prayers of Hope and Healing.

 The Jerusalem Post called his first book, Jewish Prayers of Hope and Healing, “soulful, meticulously crafted.” Huffington Post Religion said, “Inspired by real-life events, the prayers reflect age-old yearnings in modern-day situations.”  Alden was recently named the National Havurah Committee’s Liturgist-In-Residence for the 2015 Summer Institute and is a three-time winner of Chicago journalism’s top prize for essay writing. A native of Chicago and graduate of both the University of Illinois-Springfield and the University of Chicago, Alden now lives in Israel.

Hear the celebrated Alden Solovy speak at Congregation Kol Ami on February 20th, 2015 at 8 PM services. This event is free and open to public. All are welcome! He will be speaking on the theme "To Pray is to Remember." Below is a short excerpt of writing on this topic. 

To Pray is to Remember

By Alden Solovy

Once, in the midst of thunder and silence, I stood at Mount Sinai to hear the word of God. It was not a 

dream. Nor is this claim evidence that I’ve lost my mind. It’s a belief widely-held by Jews of faith around 

the world: all of our souls were present at Sinai when God gave Moses the Law. When we live and learn 

words of Torah – a term that includes not only the Five Books of Moses, but all of the Jewish sacred 

texts – we are living up to vows that we each personally made as we journeyed from slavery to freedom 

to nationhood. At the very moment of revelation, I made personal commitment to live God’s word.

To pray is to remember. Love. Hope. Joy. Peace. In the rush of daily life, sometimes I forget these things. 

Service. Gratitude. Kindness. Surrender. I forget that healing is available, right here, right now, for those 

who grieve. I forget that some people, no matter how hard they try, cannot find that healing. Sometimes 

I forget to forgive. I forget to forgive myself and I forget to forgive others. Yet, when I pray daily, I 

remember these things: compassion for self and others; care for the gift of this world.

This is the secret that those of us who pray understand, the secret that can only be learned in prayer. 

Our souls yearn for God, whether we know it or not. Prayer opens our hearts to the Presence around us. 

It makes holiness as real and alive and present as starlight and thunder.

To pray is to know in my soul that God’s word is true. To pray is to remember that God is present in this 

moment. Awe and wonder surround us. To pray is to remember that divine light is so close at hand, that 

this moment can be as powerful as the very moment on Sinai when God called my name. I pray so that I 

will remember who I am. I pray so that I will remember what God expects from me.


Alden Solovy spreads the joy of prayer. He blogs his new prayers at ToBendLight. 

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