This post contains footnotes because the additional explanations seemed to detract from the piece.
This morning I did my meditation and journal practices.
As I arrived at the last page of my journal¹, I felt a strong need to say a prayer to mark that final page, a symbolic closing of one book before opening another, the end of one cycle and the beginning of another.
I googled “Jewish prayer for ending” and related terms. Not much came up. Judaism is big on celebrating cycles, but “life cycles,” “cycles in Judaism,” and other search terms related to “cycles” seemed too broad.
I did find Hadran Alach. On Ohr Somayach’s website, Rabbi Reuven Lauffer explains²,
There is a beautiful custom that when a person finishes an entire tractate of the Talmud he recites a series of prayers that are generically referred to as Hadran.
Lauffer further shares,
The first section begins with the words Hadran Alach, which, according to most opinions, is Aramaic for “we will return to you”. It underlines the concept that when completing a tractate we do not regard that tractate as having been learned in its entirety, because the Torah is infinite. Therefore, the Hadran opens with the declaration “Hadran Alach” — that we intend to return to it. In effect, it is not farewell, but, rather, it is au-revoir!
Another meaning of the word hadran is “glory” (from the word hadar in Hebrew). We are stating that any glory we may have achieved comes from the Torah, and we are requesting from G-d that the Torah pour down its glory upon us.
Although I’m Jewish — completely, having attended full-time Hebrew school from kindergarten through grade 6 and celebrating holidays — spiritually, I’m more fluid and more new agey.
I was riding the wave of a full moon meditation this morning. I felt like I was floating. I wrote the following, which I still want to edit a bit because I think it could be better:
Thank you, journal, for being here with me.
Spirit, Source, Angels, Archangels,
those of you who have
spoken through me.
Thank you for guiding me through rebirth.
There is more to write and more to learn
My love grows, my connection grows, my spirit grows and rises.
The journey doesn’t end; it continues with one blissful step after another.
In challenging times, you help guide me.
When you speak to me away from the pages, writing
your words when I return to the page helps me learn
and to see
Dear Journal, you have been my outlet.
You lead me.
My words are magic.
My words are miracles.
My words are powerful grains that make up the whole beach.
They are the waves of the water, the heart pumping blood through
Baruch haba b’shem adonai. /
Blessed is The One who comes in the name of the Lord.
Do you know the correct Hebrew prayer?
Do you know the “right” prayer for an ending such a finishing writing in a journal or writing a book? Please direct me to it. I can read Hebrew with vowels, but not well, so English and/or transliteration would be ideal. Thanks.
¹ When I got to the final page and was finished my diary-style journaling for the day I still had my morning journaling prompts to complete. I wrote these on a separate piece of paper and slipped it into the completed notebook.
²Quick lesson: In Judaism, the term “tractate” refers to the sections of The Mishnah. The Mishna is the first significant work of rabbinic literature, the first major written collection of Jewish oral traditions. Learn more.
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