We are pleased to present this prayer in honor of Veteran's Day:
Jews around the world watch with an expectant heart as we anticipate reports about progress, at last, to free Sergeant Gilad Shalit.
In preparation for the moment of silence called by President Obama, our colleague Jeremy Kalmanofsky of Congregation Ansche Chesed in New York has written the kavannah below.
We pray for the recovery of Representative Gabrielle Giffords (Gavriela bat Gloria v'Spencer)
Kavannah for Moment of Silence
"Our tradition is that in the event of suffering, we fall silent and pray for mercy." - Bavli Berakhot 62a
May we fall silent now, and listen to these gunshots still reverberating, and hear these bullets ricochet through our society. Let us never make such a deafening noise. Let us add soft voices, instead, to human discourse, in which we seek to understand before we insist on being understood. Thus we may merit to be like the students of Hillel, esteeming the words of our adversaries.
On this Shabbat Shira, the Sabbath of Song,
We sing to God a song of grief
For innocent victims
Cut down too soon.
May their memories be a blessing,
May their lights shine brightly upon us.
Gather them into Your eternal shelter, God,
Your shelter of peace.
We sing to God a song of mourning
For the broken hearts,
The senseless loss, the shock, the emptiness.
Send comfort, God, to the grieving families,
Hear their cries.
Fill them with the courage
To carry on in the face of loss.
We sing to God a song of healing
For the wounded.
Lift them up God,
Ease their pain,
Restore them to strength, to hope, to life.
We sing to God a song of peace
For our nation.
Teach us how to rise above hatred
And cruelty and indifference.
Show us how to live up to the beauty You've planted within us.
Let us rise up from this tragedy,
Let us walk together hand in hand
United in hope
On a path of peace, Amen.
-by Rabbi Naomi Levy
Many, many images of God have been lost in earthquake and fire and mighty waters just yesterday. And so we turn to You, Adonai, and we ask for Your strength and comfort.
We open our hearts one to the other as brothers and sisters struggling in Your world. "Above the thunder of the mighty waters, more majestic than the breakers of the sea is Adonai (Ps. 93:4)." Be with us as we offer what we can, through prayer and action, to our sisters and brothers who are suffering in Japan and who stand on alert around the world.
We ask for You to be the still, small voice after the fire, allowing space for mourning and hope in the face of tragedy. We see Your sheltering Presence and Your holy tears in the receding waters of the Tsunami and in the rescue work being carried out by so many for the sake of a fragile world.
May it be Your will, Adonai our God and God of our ancestors, to send healing to the injured and comfort to those in mourning. May You be with those who are engaged in the sacred work of rescue. Be with us as we bring shelter, food, and water to those in need.
May we merit to save many lives.
May those effected by this disaster know Your comfort.
May we act when we learn how we can help.
May our world be blessed by peace.
-by Rabbi Menachem Creditor
Not one of us can feel your pain.
Not one of us knows what it means to have our heart shattered as yours. Your grief only point out to us how empty words can be in the face of tragedy and sorrow.
The tears of our pain are but a shadow of your pain. The hurt in our soul is only the smallest fraction of the hurt you bear. The ones you loved so deeply are gone, and the pain of loss ripples through the Jewish People. We cannot heal your heart, we can only offer you our own hearts and hands, to stand with you when you need support and to cry with you when you need to cry.
Haverim Kol Yisrael - All Israel, both near and far, are your brothers and sisters. We express our commitment to be with you, to strengthen you in the days ahead and to help to bring to justice those who have attacked you, and through you, all of us.
We do not speak in your name, nor can we give voice to the pain in your heart. We can only offer our compassion and our love and we pray to God that it will be enough to see you through the days, weeks, months and years ahead.
May God comfort you and may God comfort us all.
-by Rabbi Randall Konigsburg
God of mercy
מחזק ידי רופאי הפיגועים
Strengthen those who heal the wounded
Give courage to our defenders
Comfort the bereaved
מקיים אמונתך לכל דור ודור
Keep faith with this generation and the next
תן שלום על ישרשל
May there be peace for the people Israel
by Rabbi Lewis Warshauer-
This source sheet is based on a Prayer in a Time of Famine, which was written in response to the drought and famine in East Africa.
We pray for the opportunity in coming days to recite this tefillah created by our Masorti Movement in Israel: