Shecheyanu: Fully Present to Life


Shehechiyanu, v’kiymanu, v’higiyanu lazman haZeh

You’ve given me life and You sustain me and
You have brought me, right here and now.

The intention of this chant is to help us become fully present to each moment of our lives; not only to take in the high -lights in life when this prayer is traditionally recited: holidays, life cycle events, the first time you are doing something, but as my teacher Rabbi Shefa Gold says, each moment in our lives is a shecheyanu ,life right in front of us. This chant came to me on the 5th day of a wonderful trip to Africa. I had been caring for my mother who was stricken with an intense illness and she urged us to go on the trip she had planned for the family. On the 5th day (Friday morning) as I stared out at Lake Manyara in Tanzania, one of the most beautiful spots I have ever seen- these words and chant came to me. It was in this moment that I realized parts of me had not been present to the experience. Chanting the shecheyanu enabled more of me to be present to the beauty in front of me, and the gift not only of this incredible trip but of the journey of each moment of life.

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