Yom HaShoah Prayers and Poems
This is a set of six prayers for Yom HaShoah. They can be used as private meditations or in a communal commemoration. Together they serve as a Yom HaShoah liturgy, listed below in suggested order. There are two memorial prayers: a general prayer evoking the unity of Israel, followed by a Shoah memorial prayer. The liturgy ends with our eternal bond to the land of Israel and an affirmation in our faith in the G-d of Israel. Each of the links below includes a brief description followed by a quote from the prayer. To read the full prayer, click on the title.
- “Tears of Crystal, Tears of Broken Glass” – Using the metaphor of Kristallnacht, this poem reminds us that G-d cries together with us over the suffering of the Jewish people. “My tears are crystal and broken glass. They sparkle, they cut. They heal, they wound. They are daybreak and midnight, hymn and dirge…”
- “For the Bereaved” – A general prayer of mourning that evokes the unity of Israel. “We the mourners of Zion and Israel comfort each other. We console the lonely and embrace the lost…”
- “Shoah Memorial Prayer” – A Yom HaShoah memorial prayer that echoes the traditional Yizkor prayer. “Creator of all, Source and shelter, grant a perfect rest under your tabernacle of peace to those who perished in the Holocaust…”
- “After the Horror” – A meditation about reclaiming life in the shadow of unthinkable atrocity. “Hold fast to the breath of life. Hold fast to the song of life. Hold fast to the soul of life. This is my sacred duty…”
- “Israel: A Meditation” – On the love for the people and the State of Israel. “Israel, you are my brother in history, my sister in fortune, the mother of my spirit, the father of my heart, the child of my longing and the light of generations. To you…”
- “Affirmation of Faith” – An affirmation of faith built around the sine qua non of Jewish affirmations: the Shema. “Hear O Israel, the covenant we made together on Sinai ts a pledge for all time, a vow for the ages…”
© 2013 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.
Postscript: See also “At the Hand of Anti-Semitism: A Yizkor Prayer” and a prayer “For the Jews of France.”
Please check out my ELItalk “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 Credit: Highland Park Conservative Temple