For the Women of Congo and Sudan

JWW Congo and SudanThis prayer is the result of a collaboration with my friend Rabbi Paul Kipnes. When Jewish World Watch asked Paul to write a prayer “For the Women of Congo and Sudan,” he asked me if he could adapt language from two of my prayers. Paul used pieces of both prayers and added his own words and a line of Hebrew. Then, we tweaked it together. The entire High Holiday booklet is available on the JWW site. It’s a lovely piece.

For the Women of Congo and Sudan
G-d of the survivors, mourners and witnesses,

Grant strength to those still held by physical, emotional and spiritual distress from the continuing violence in Congo and Sudan. Release them from visions of rape and death, from guilt or shame, from fear or anger. Bind their wounds with Your steadfast love.

Grant them shelter and solace,
Comfort and consolation.
Grant them endurance to survive,
Faith to mourn,
Courage to heal,
Devotion to each other.

Bless those who have healed.
Bless those who suffer.

Bless those who forgive.
Bless those who cannot forgive.

Bless those who speak.
Bless those who stay silent.

Baruch Atah, Tzur Yisrael, Oseh tikvah v’nechamah.
Blessed are You, Rock of Israel, Source of hope and comfort.

The prayer is adapted with permission by Rabbi Paul Kipnes from two prayers by Alden Solovy: For the People of Norway and For 9-11 Survivors, which are © 2011 Alden Solovy and All rights reserved.

Postscript: As a writer, I’m honored that Paul sees something in my words that resonates for him. I am also pleased that he respected my copyright, asked for permission to both adapt my work and to publish the resulting prayer. It also appears on his blog Or Am I? See also, “Against Human Trafficking,” “Against TyrannyandAgainst Poverty.”

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“Alden has become one of Reform Judaism’s master poet-liturgists…" - Religion News Service, Dec. 23, 2020

“Mesmerizing, spiritual, provocative, and thoughtful, Alden was everything you would want in a guest scholar and teacher.” – Rabbi Denise L. Eger, Congregation Kol Ami, Los Angeles, and Past President, CCAR

"Alden Solovy has become one of the most revered liturgists of the last decade…" - Jewish Post & Opinion, March 29, 2023

“Alden left everyone feeling inspired.” – Cantor Jeri Robins, Shabbat Chair, NewCAJE6