Seekers of Meaning 4/14/2023: Alden Solovy discusses his latest book, a poetic midrash on Torah

On this week’s episode of the Seekers of Meaning TV Show and Podcast, liturgist, poet and author Alden Solovy joins Rabbi Address from his office in Jerusalem to discuss his latest book, These Words: Poetic Midrash on the Language of Torah.

In These Words, liturgist Alden Solovy distills the Torah into its very essence: the individual words it contains. Echoing the midrash that the Torah has seventy faces, Solovy selects seventy of its Hebrew words that are pregnant with meaning. For each word, he delves into the etymology, translation, and usage, providing deeper insights into familiar texts. Then Solovy presents a beautiful poem–what he calls “poetic midrash”–inspired by and interpreting each word. From b’reishit (“in beginning”) to shamayim (“heavens”) to zachor (“remember”), These Words will change the way you look at the language of the Torah.

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About the Guest

(Michele Chabin Photo)

Alden Solovy

Alden Solovy is a modern day piytan, a traveling poet/preacher/teacher who uses Torah and verse to engage and inspire.

Alden embodies the intersection of scholarship and heart. A new voice for ancient yearnings, his writings resonate with the soul and his presence is sought after in Jewish spiritual spaces around the world.

A liturgist, lyricist, and educator, Alden offers a fresh Jewish voice, challenging the boundaries between poetry, meditation, personal growth, and prayer. His writing was transformed by multiple tragedies, marked in 2009 by the sudden death of his wife from catastrophic brain injury.

Solovy’s teaching spans from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Jerusalem to Limmud and Leo Baeck College in the UK, and synagogues throughout North America.

He is the author of four volumes from CCAR Press: These Words: Poetic Midrash on the Language of Torah (2023), This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day (2017), This Joyous Soul: A New Voice for Ancient Yearnings (2019), and This Precious Life: Encountering the Divine with Poetry and Prayer (2021).

The Jerusalem Post called his writing “soulful, meticulously crafted.” Huffington Post Religion said “…the prayers reflect age-old yearnings in modern-day situations.”

Solovy made Aliyah to Israel in 2012, where he hikes, writes, teaches, and learns. His work has appeared more than 25 collections, including Prophetic Voices: Renewing and Reimagining Haftorah (CCAR Press, 2023), Mishkan R’Fuah: Where Healing Resides (CCAR Press, 2012), L’chol Z’man v’Eit: For Sacred Moments (CCAR Press, 2015), Mishkan HaNefesh: Machzor for the Days of Awe (CCAR Press, 2015), and Gates of Shabbat, Revised Edition (CCAR Press, 2016).

He is a three-time winner of the Peter Lisagor Award for Exemplary Journalism. His writing appears on,,, and Alden is also the founder of ManKind Project Israel.

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