PLACE YOURSELF, by Trisha Arlin, with a Foreword by Rabbi Jill Hammer and original artwork by Mike Cockrill, is a book of original prayer, kavannot and liturgical poems. Written in clear language that is meant to be understood in real time as part of a service or ritual event, or to share personal spiritual explorations, Arlin’s work is fresh,challenging, useful and very modern.
“How does a contemporary person engage Jewish prayer and make any sense of the words? How do we reconcile what we know about the messy, uncertain, often painful and unjust world with the God the prayerbook describes? Conversely, how do we express the awe we feel at the beauty of the universe when we are immersed in a culture of cynicism, materialism, and doubt? In her by turns whimsical, incisive, and vulnerable prayer-poetry, Trisha Arlin offers a bold answer to these questions…
[Trisha Arlin’s) prayers make space for the things we thought we couldn’t say. If you want prayers for the Sabbath, holidays, and other occasions that speak to the heart and don’t discount your head, Arlin’s work is for you. If you’re ready to be honest and vulnerable, reverent and heretical, mystical and down-to-earth, you’ve come to the right place. You can use these words as a resource for enhancing your Jewish prayer practice, or you can use them to re-enter Jewish prayers you left behind forever. However you place yourself, may you find this book to be a blessing.” –Rabbi Jill Hammer
“Trisha Arlin’s Place Yourself invites us to experience prayer with powerful metaphor, a modern sensitivity and a deep love that at once refreshes the act of prayer and simultaneously invites us back into the Siddur to explore the texts of generations past.” — Alden Solovy, Liturgist and Author, This Grateful Heart and This Joyous Soul
“Thanks to Trisha Arlin we observe Rosh Hodesh Elul with prayers and blessings for animals. Her extended blessing focusing on the smallest of animals – the bugs and even smaller – was astonishing: funny, deep, thought-provoking. It connected us all to the Divine in a completely new way.” –Rabbi Ellen Lippmann, Kolot Chayeinu/Voices of Our Lives
“Trisha Arlin’s prayers create worlds of spiritual space that invoke a worshipful tone. Then they puncture complacency and boldly ask, badger, and provoke. They awaken us. And then they restore the spiritual space, but we’re a bit more comfortable in it because like us, the prayers are faithful and faithless, hopeful and hopeless, serious and playful. The overall affect is a prayer spot wherein moderns who yearn may find comfort, solace, and a smile.” –Rabbi Jeff Hoffman, D.H.L., Rabbi-In-Residence and Director of Institutional Assessment, The Academy for Jewish Religion
“In my congregation are published authors and readers of professional quality as well as students and just plain folk. They relish the opportunity to read one of Trisha’s kavvanot aloud during services. The rhythms of her poetry awaken our hearts on the High Holy Days and her words, real, alive and down to earth enhance our Shabbat worship experience throughout the rest of the Jewish calendar year.” –Rabbi Peg Kershenbaum, Congregation B’nai Harim, Pocono Pines, PA.
“Trisha Arlin’s liturgical poetry breathes with authenticity, honesty, and a spiritual sensibility informed by the dissonance of real life. Her contemporary theology offers a necessary respite from the lofty and flowery, and we have much to learn from her wisdom.” –Amy Gottlieb, author of The Beautiful Possible
About the Author
Trisha Arlin is a liturgist and very part-time rabbinic student at the Academy of Jewish religion; 2014 Liturgist-In-Residence at the National Havurah Summer Institute; the editor of RAISING MY VOICE, The Selected Writings of Rabbi Ellen Lippmann and VOICES, the Kolot Chayeinu Journal; and creator of the Writing Personal Prayer workshops.
Individual prayers and kavannot have been or will soon be published in the JOURNAL OF FEMINIST STUDIES IN RELGION (2019); RENEW OUR HEARTS: A SIDDUR FOR SHABBAT DAY, Bayit and Ben Yehuda Press, (2019); BESIDE STILL WATERS, A JOURNAL OF COMFORT AND RENEWAL, 2018, Bayit and Ben Yehuda Press; A POET’S SIDDUR, Ain’t Got No Press, 2017; and STUDIES IN JUDAISM AND PLURALISM, Ben Yehuda Press 2016 and her work can be found online on Ritualwell.org, the OpenSiddur.org and on her blog, Trisha Arlin: Words of Prayer and Intention www.triganza.blogspot.com.
Trisha’s liturgy has been used at services and ritual occasions at venues of many denominations around the country, including Kolot Chayeinu and Union Temple (Brooklyn, NY) , Makor (Long Island, NY), Bnai Keshet (Montclair, NJ), Lev Matanot (Toronto, CA), Beth Israel-West Temple (Cleveland, OH), NHI Summer Institute, Adath Shalom (Morris Plains, NJ), Temple Chai (Phoenix, AZ), Moishe House website, Sinai Free Synagogue (Mt. Vernon, NY), Congregation Ner Shalom (Woodbridge, VA), Temple Emanuel (Franklin Lakes, NJ), Temple Isaiah (Palm Springs, CA), Addison County Jewish Congregation (Middlebury, VT), Columbus OH JCC, First Unitarian Church (Wilmington, DL), Kol Hai (New Paltz, NY), Congregation Kol HaNeshema (Sarasota, FL)
About the Artist
Mike Cockrill is an artist whose diverse body of work has been widely exhibited in both the US and abroad. After decades of participation in Jewish life, Mike, who was raised Catholic, completed his conversion to Judaism in 2017. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife and daughter.