Jewish Prayers From the Heart and Pen of Alden Solovy

To the Terrorist: A 9-11 Prayer

Is it possible to say a prayer on behalf of a terrorist? I asked that question as I wrote “A Liturgy for 9-11.” Here’s my answer. To listen, click on the triangle in the bar below. Here are links to “For 9-11 Survivors” and “Memorial Prayer for 9-11 First Responders” with audio.


To the Terrorist
You who would hold the sky captive,
The sea prisoner,
The land in chains…

You who hide in caves,
Retreat to the wilderness,
Disappear behind false names and forged papers…

You who smuggle guns and arms,
Hide rockets in cities and bombs in homes,
Build weapons against the innocent and the bystander…

You whose designs are destruction,
Whose plans are fear,
Whose joy is hate…

You who harden your hearts
And wrap yourselves in death…
What evil has robbed you of your love,
Your compassion,
Your goodness,
Your humanity?
What lies have invaded your minds
So that you choose to die in order to kill?

We who love our lives and liberty
Stand firm and strong against terror.
We will defend our nation and our people.
We will protect our land and our homes.
And we pray for you to find hope and comfort
In lives of peace.

© 2011 Alden Solovy and All rights reserved.

Postscript: Read the entire “Liturgy for 9-11,” including an overview of concerns that emerged in developing these prayers. It includes suggestions for other prayers that fit well with the themes of 9-11. It was written for the HUC-JIR continuing education blog Tzeh U’limad. Here are links to individual posts of “For 9-11 Survivors” and “Memorial Prayer for 9-11 First Responders,” including audio.

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