lulav and etrog illustrator

I understand “kavannah” to mean, at least partly, what we think about while we’re praying.  Along those lines, I (years ago) prepared a chart of what we could think, affirm, or say to ourselves silently or aloud, during the six steps of waving the lulav on Sukkot (front, right, back, left, up, down). Looking at it now, it seems very much in the spirit of Rabbi Levi Yitzhak’s “A Dudele,”  Tehillim/Psalm 139, and Rabbi Yehudah Ha-Levi’s poem, “Lord, Where Shall I Find You?” G-d is everywhere and in everything.
While these thoughts can be done on Sukkot, they’re meant to be internalized and thought about all year.
Actually saying them is only a first step.
Repeating them could be a second step.
Affirming them whenever needed could be a third.
It would be very appropriate to memorize them beforehand, so that they can be said silently while doing “n’tilat lulav.”
It would also be appropriate to affirm Ha-Shem’s presence with regard to a personal issue or one being faced by the entire country or world.



Ha-Shem is before me.
Before me in all things,
as the Existence that is the Source of their existence;
in every atom of the universe, in all of Space itself,
in every instant of time:
Ha-Shem is present.



Ha-Shem is on my right.
In every success, every victory, every achievement,
in every creative inspiration, every good idea;
in every thing that brings me happiness:
Ha-Shem is present.


Ha-Shem is behind me.
In everything that has happened to me,
in every moment that has brought me to this moment,
in every event, in every “coincidence,”
in every unexpected turn of life that has resulted in the life I’m living now:
Ha-Shem is present.



Ha-Shem is on my left.
In every failure, every defeat, every disappointment,
in every time of emotional dryness, every experience of emptiness,
in every thing that brings me sadness:
Ha-Shem is present.



Ha-Shem is above me.
Knowing G-d is in all things, all moments, all places,
ignoring them all, never denying them,
I’m attracted by the perfect peace, purity and joy of where G-d Alone is,
and know now with my heart and soul:
Ha-Shem is present.


I’m in Ha-Shem and Ha-Shem is in me.
I’m filled with Heaven.
Heaven surrounds me and fills me.
I’m the same peace, the same purity and joy, as Heaven is.
All the things I see, living and seemingly non-living;
all the people, those who love me and those who don’t,
those who are kind to me and those who aren’t,
are as filled with Heaven,
at every moment, in every place,
as I am.

lulav and etrog illustrator