Is it possible to pray for the terrorist? This is my attempt, written to commemorate 9-11 and reposted in 2012 as Israel faces a missile barrage from Gaza. This prayer is from “A Liturgy for 9-11.” To listen, click on the triangle in the bar below.
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,
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 tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.
Postscript: This prayer was first posted on April 28, 2011, as part of my Liturgy for 9-11, which was written for the HUC-JIR continuing education blog Tzeh U’limad. It was reposted separately with audio on August 2, 2011. Here’s a prayer called “Israel: A Meditation” and one “For Peace in the Middle East.”
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