Thursday, October 7, 2010

my little siddur

cover with google eyes
Being a mom with a small child, I have struggled with making the time to pray throughout the day. So a few nights ago, I had a very late night idea (I call it creative insomnia, as I was trying to go to sleep at the time) to make my (almost) two year old daughter a siddur, so that we can pray together each day. Although it is still "over her head," she will certainly grow to understand it more and more. In going through my own siddur, I chose some important prayers and attempted to simplify them for a child's mind. The full text is below for you to use (and change/add to) for your own children. I added clip art to mine, but it did not paste here on the blog. If you would like me to email you the original word document, just send me an email:

Hebrew from
I used a glue stick (and will probably use some clear tape as well, so that it survives toddlerhood!) to attach the sheets to a blank board book that I ordered from If you have older children, they will probably be more respectful towards a paper book. I printed the siddur on colorful paper to get my daughter's attention, and personalized it with stickers and scrapbook paper to make it more fun and to add interest.  Older children would enjoy decorating their own siddur.

Feel free to change the words to the prayers. I took out a lot of the "Blessed are You" portions because I just thought it best considering a child's attention span. I also added "Yeshua" because this is a messianic children's siddur, and because my daughter loves to hear His name! :) I began using it today with her, although we didn't do the morning prayers very early. I read the afternoon prayers with her while she ate her lunch, because she was already sitting still! Those are quite long and difficult for small children, but they can be further shortened. We already recite the Shema with her before naptime and before bedtime, so tonight we will add the evening prayers and the bedtime shema to her book-reading-before-bed time.

last page, decorated with stickers
I added the special blessings at the end because they seemed very beneficial for small children in learning that G-d created everything, even scary things like thunder and lightning. Hopefully blessing G-d for these things will lessen the fear they may have of them. Also, blessing G-d for the variety in His creation will hopefully lessen the need to draw attention to, dislike, or even tease different or disabled people.

The Shema
I certainly enjoyed making this first siddur for my daughter. As she and I grow together, I pray that this siddur will enable us to share very special times of prayer together. Make one for your little wineskin, too!

*by Joanna Walter

Upon Arising (Modeh Ani)
I gratefully thank You, O living and eternal King,
For You have awakened my soul within me with compassion—
Great is Your faithfulness!

Morning Prayers (Shacharit)
The beginning of wisdom is the fear of HaShem; His praise lasts forever.
Blessed is the name of His glorious kingdom forever and ever.
The Torah that HaShem gave to Moshe is our heritage. I will listen when Abba and Ima discipline me, and I will pay attention when they teach me. HaShem, help me to believe what the Torah says because it is true. I will love HaShem my G-d for giving me life. I long for Your salvation,
O HaShem.
How Good (Mah Tovu)
Your tents are lovely, Ya’akov, and your dwelling places, Israel.
As for me, I will enter Your house because of Your kindness, HaShem.
I will bow towards Your holy sanctuary in awe of You. I love the place where You and Your glory live. I will bow before You because You made me. Hear my prayers, HaShem, and show me Your kindness. Answer me with the truth of Your salvation.

The Morning Blessings
Blessed are You, HaShem our G-d, King of the universe, for teaching me the difference between day and night.
Thank You for making me who I am.
Thank You for making me a (boy/girl).
Thank You for my eyes and ears.
Thank You for my clothes.
Thank You for freedom.
Thank You for creating the earth and the seas.
Thank You for giving me everything that I need.
Thank You for my arms and legs.
Thank You for helping me grow big and strong.
Thank You for all the blessings in my life.
Thank You for giving me the strength to get out of bed today.
Blessed are You, HaShem our G-d, King of the universe, for opening my eyes and helping me wake up. Help me to study Your Torah and to keep Your commandments. Help me be good to myself and others today. Give me grace, kindness, and mercy in Your eyes and in the eyes of all who see me today. Thank You, HaShem, for Your kindness to me and to Israel.
The Shema
Hear, O Israel
The L-rd our G-d
The L-rd is One.
Blessed is the name of His glorious kingdom forever and ever.

Afternoon Prayers (Minchah)
(Shemoneh Esrei (18 benedictions)- Amidah)
1.Blessed are You, HaShem, our G-d and the G-d of our
forefathers, G-d of Avraham, G-d of Yitzhak,
and G-d of Ya’akov. You are the great, mighty,
awesome, and only G-d. You created everything.
You remember everyone’s kindness, and you have provided
a Redeemer for Your name’s sake, with love.
O King, Helper, Savior, and Shield. Blessed are You,
HaShem, shield of Avraham.
2.You will be mighty forever, my L-rd. You are able
to bring the dead back to life. You are abundantly
able to save. [You make wind and rain.] You are kind to the living, and merciful to sick people. You give us freedom. You are
still faithful to people who have died. There is no one like You, Master
of mighty deeds. No one even comes close! You are the King
who rules over death and life. You provide salvation!

3.You are holy, Your name is holy, and holy ones praise You
every day. Blessed are You, HaShem, the holy G-d.
4.You give wisdom and teach insight to human beings.
You are the gracious giver of wisdom.
5.Keep us close to You, Father, and close to Your Torah.
When we do something wrong, help us to return to You.
6.Forgive us, Father, when we sin and do something wrong.
Thank You for Your forgiveness.
7.Redeem us for Your name’s sake, because You
are a powerful Redeemer. Blessed are You, HaShem,
Redeemer of Israel.
8.Heal us when we are sick, HaShem, and help us
to recover quickly. Thank You for being a faithful
and compassionate Healer.
9.Bless this year for us, HaShem, and send rain for the earth.
10.Sound the great shofar of freedom and raise the
banners to gather Your people from all over the world.
Blessed are You, HaShem, who brings Israel back together.
11.Help people who don’t know you and love You, HaShem.
12.Show compassion to Your people, HaShem. Reward all
people who believe in Your name.
13.Return in love to Your city, Jerusalem, and rest there,
as You said You would. Rebuild it soon, and return the
throne of David to it. Blessed are You, HaShem, the
builder of Jerusalem.
14.Make the offspring of Your servant, David, flourish.
We thank You for Your salvation all day long. Blessed are You,
HaShem, who has given us Yeshua for salvation.
15.Listen to our voice when we pray, HaShem. We know
that You hear our prayers. Thank You for everything
that You will do or give to us.

16.Show favor to Your people, Israel, and restore the Temple.
17.Thank You for everything. We will always thank You
forever. Our lives and souls belong to You.
You do miracles every day. You are good all the time and in
every season. We will thank You every morning, afternoon,
and evening. Your kindness will never end. We can never
say thank You enough!
18.Bring eternal peace to Your people, Israel. You are the
King and Master of all peace. As You make peace
in the heavens, please make peace for us and for all Israel.

Evening Prayers (Maariv)
Blessed are You, HaShem, our G-d,
King of the universe, who speaks and makes
night come. With wisdom, You created the seasons and
put the moon and stars in their places. You created day
and night, and darkness and light. Thank You for
loving us with an eternal love. We are happy
that You have taught us Torah and mitzvot.
We will think about them day and night. Blessed
are You, HaShem, who loves His nation Israel.

Bedtime Shema
Master of the universe, I forgive anyone
who did anything wrong to me today. I also forgive them
 if they only thought about doing something wrong. Help
everyone to also forgive me if I did, or thought about doing,
something wrong today. Forgive me, HaShem. Please
don’t punish me for doing wrong, but help me to do what
is right. Let the words that I say and the thoughts
that I think be pleasing to You, HaShem.
Help me to get a good night’s sleep. Wake me up tomorrow
feeling refreshed. If I have bad dreams, help me to not
be afraid, because I know that You are with me. Open my
eyes again tomorrow so that I can praise You for
another day. Blessed are You, HaShem, who
lights up the whole world with Your Glory!
(recite The Shema)

Special Blessings
For seeing lightning: Blessed are You, HaShem our G-d,
King of the universe, who makes the work of Creation.

For hearing thunder: Blessed are You, HaShem our G-d,
King of the universe, for Your strength and power fill the world!

For seeing a rainbow: Blessed are You, HaShem our G-d,
King of the universe, because You remember Your
covenant and fulfill Your word.

For seeing the ocean: Blessed are You, HaShem our G-d,
King of the universe, who makes the great sea.

For seeing a tree in bloom: Blessed are You, HaShem
Our G-d, King of the universe, for nothing is missing
in Your creation. You created good creatures and good
trees that give people pleasure. 

For seeing very beautiful trees, animals, or people:
Blessed are You, HaShem our G-d,
King of the universe,
who has made such beauty in His world.

For seeing strange-looking or different animals or people:
Blessed are You, HaShem our G-d,
King of the universe,
who has made such variety in His world.

For any new season or experience:
Blessed are You, HaShem our G-d,
King of the Universe, who has kept us alive,
sustained us, and brought us to this season.


1 comment:

  1. What a wonderful idea, Joanna! I just started saying the siddur prayers with Sofie as well.:)