Jewish Prayers From the Heart and Pen of Alden Solovy

Prayers for Shira and Pride

Here are two prayers posted for Jerusalem Pride, Thursday, August 3. “Pride Wins” is in memory of 16-year-old Shira Banki, murdered at Jerusalem’s 2015 Pride Parade by an ultra-Orthodox Jewish extremist who stabbed six participants. “Love Wins” envisions a time when love celebrated by all.

Love Wins
One day, the words ‘coming out’ will sound strange,
Oppression based on gender or orientation will be a memory,
History to honor and remember,
The pain of hiding, repressing, denying,
Honoring the triumphs of those who fought to be free,
Remembering the violence and vitriol that cost lives.

When love wins,
When love wins at long last,
ואהבת לרעך כמוך,
‘Love your neighbor as yourself’
Will be as natural as breathing.
ואהבת לרעך כמוך!

One day, love will win every heart,
Love will win every soul,
Fear will vanish like smoke,
And tenderness for all will fill our hearts.
ואהבת לרעך כמוך!

Love wins. In the end,
Love wins.
Man for man,
Woman for woman,
Woman for man,
Man for women,
All genders,
All orientations,
All true expressions of heart.
ואהבת לרעך כמוך!

Let this come speedily,
In our day,
A tribute to the many
And the diverse
Gifts from heaven.
A tribute to love deep and true,
Each of us for one another.
ואהבת לרעך כמוך!

Shira Banki

Pride Wins: A Prayer after Homophobic Brutality
Pride will not be crushed by violence.
Pride will not be crushed by hatred.
Pride wins. Love wins.
Beauty and joy win.

G-d of healing,
Bless the LBGTQ community
With Your comfort and care
In the anguish and pain after yet another
Senseless and vicious attack against the innocent,
An act of calculated violence against Your children.
Bless the victims with healing and strength.
Bless their families with solace and support.
Bless the community with resolve and well-being.

Let the day be near when
Gender and sexual orientation
Are no longer used an excuse for brutality or cruelty.
Let the day be near when
Justice and righteousness prevail,
Guiding us all to delight fully in each other,
Our similarities and our differences,
A tribute to the vast wonder of Your creation.

“Love Wins” and “Pride Wins” are © 2016 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: Thank you to my friend and fellow Jerusalem resident Cantor Evan Kent for his suggestions on “Love Wins.”

Please check out my ELItalk video, “Falling in Love with Prayer,” and This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day. For reprint permissions and usage guidelines and reprint permissions, see “Share the Prayer!” To receive my latest prayers via email, please subscribe (on the home page). You can also connect on Facebook and Twitter.

Photo Source: Tufts Hillel, JQUEST (Jewish Queer Students at Tufts), flag; Facebook, via JTA, Shira Banki

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