Prayer For Opening The Ark
Praised are You, Lord our God, ruler of the universe, who has given us the Torah of truth, planting within us life eternal. Praised are You, Adonai, who gives the Torah. Amen
Lord, may you dwell among the myriad families of the people of Israel (Numbers 10:36). Return, O Lord, to Your sanctuary, You and Your glorious ark. Let Your priests be clothed in triumph and let Your faithful sing for joy (Psalm 132:8-10). Amen
Father of mercies, do good in Thy good pleasure unto Zion, build thou the walls of Jerusalem. For in you alone do we trust, O King, God exalted and uplifted, Master of the universe. Amen
An Eternal Light (called Ner Tamid) hangs above the Ark.
This light is always burning, as a symbol of God's presence.
It also represents the pillar of fire that guided the Jewish people on their early journey.
As the ark is closed, the congregation sings, It is a tree of life to those who hold fast to it, and all of its supporters are happy (Proverbs 3:18) and Help us turn to You, and we shall return. Renew our lives as in days of old (Lamentations 5:21). This conclusion of the service, however, provides a reality check. As much as the life of the synagogue and the Torah service create a sense of Israel's history existing in the present, the Temple in Jerusalem and the unity of the people that it symbolized is still absent, and Israel awaits its restoration.
Lord, may you dwell among the myriad families of the people of Israel (Numbers 10:36). The verses continue, Return, O Lord, to Your sanctuary, You and Your glorious ark. Let Your priests be clothed in triumph and let Your faithful sing for joy (Psalm 132:8-10). Once again, the biblical language referring to the ark of the covenant in the Torah and the Temple in Jerusalem is dramatically appropriated by the Rabbis to refer to the ark of the Torah, continually reinforcing the image that the life of Torah and synagogue is a continuous fulfillment of the revelation at Sinai, the march through the wilderness, the conquest of the land, and the worship at the Temple in Jerusalem.
Master of the universe. Just as the Holy Ark is opened here, so may a window be opened in heaven: the gates of mercy. May my prayer be accepted among the other pure prayers that are surely accepted before You, and may it be a crown for Your head.Remember me, my husband, my beloved children, and dear ones, at the time that is called a time of favor and a time of success, so that our lives may be called lives of joy, lives of sustenance, lives of blessing, lives of peace, lives of mercy, and of Your good teachings. Bless us with the three keys that have never been handed over to any emissary, but come about only through Your own blessing. With this I conclude; hurry to my aid, God of my deliverance.
R. Johanan said: Three keys the Holy One blessed be He has retained in His own hands and not entrusted to the hand of any messenger, namely, the Key of Rain, the Key of Childbirth, and the Key of the Revival of the Dead. The Key of Rain, for It is written, The Lord will open unto thee His good treasure, the heaven to give the rain of thy land in its season,' (Deut 28:12) The Key of Childbirth, for it is written, And God remembered Rachel, and God hearkened to her, and opened her womb.'(Gen 30:22) The Key of the Revival of the Dead, for it is written, And ye shall know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your graves.' (Ezek 37:13). In Palestine they said: Also the Key of Sustenance, for it is said, Thou openest thy hand etc. (Ps 145:16) Why does not R. Johanan include also this [key]? Because in his view sustenance is [included in] Rain.