Archive 2011

Kavannah for Today's Moment of Silence

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.

A Prayer for Tucson

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.

A Prayer in Response to the Earthquake and Tsunami in Japan

Dear God, 

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.

A Prayer for the Fogel Family as they Rise from Shivah

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.

A Prayer After an Attack on our People

אב הרחמים
 God of mercy

מחזק ידי רופאי הפיגועים
 Strengthen those who heal the wounded 

עוזר לשומרים 
Give courage to our defenders

מנחם שכולים
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-