A Prayer Before Knitting

Recently, Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg challenged us all to engage in a spiritual practice - any spiritual practice - whatever made sense to us, to keep us engaged and sane during this time of pandemic.

My spiritual practice is knitting - and so I decided to record the prayer that I try to say when I'm knitting for someone in need.

When I began this practice of knitting-as-healing-prayer, I looked for prayers written by others. Everything I could find was written from a Christian perspective, which is fine...except I'm Jewish.

So I wrote my own, and when I'm knitting for someone in need I make sure to exchange my usual media for something a little less...extreme, and I make sure I have comfy clothing and some hot tea and I forbid myself to doomscroll.

I take a few minutes to breathe and make sure I'm calm, and then I pray and begin to knit.

When I engage in gemilut chasadim - this act of lovingkindness - I reap the benefits of mindfulness and meditation for myself even as I create a tangible piece of love for another.

I sit and
I breathe and
I reach for my yarn and
I move my hands with intent.

Yarn flows around my needles
Like the winding of tefillin -
like a ritual before prayer
that in itself becomes the sacred.

Holy One of Blessing,
witness every stitch that I create.
May each one count as a petition
that You grant (____) r'fuah sh'leimah.

May You knit up (____)'s body
As I knit this (____).
May you comfort (____)'s soul
Through the warmth of this gift.

Blessed are You, Eternal our God, Sovereign of the universe, 
who gives us the ability to create as an act of loving-kindness.

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