Bring Back Our Girls: A Prayer

Bring Back Our Girls FB PageNearly 300 teenage girls were abducted from their school in Nigeria more than three weeks ago. Their supposed crime: advancing themselves through education, dreaming of becoming doctors, teachers, lawyers, women who would better society and the world. Some reports say they are being sold as brides to militants. This prayer is an adaptation of “Against Human Trafficking” including some language from “For the Missing.” For those who know any of the victims by name, the prayer includes two optional lines [in brackets] to add a name to the prayer.

ADDENDUM, Oct. 18, 2016: 21 girls abducted from Chibok have been reunited with their families after an apparent prisoner swap.

Bring Back Our Girls: A Prayer
G-d of the prisoner,
G-d of the slave and the captive,
The voice of anguish echoes across the land.
Our daughters,
Kidnapped from their school,
Hijacked from their lives,
Torn from their dreams,
Are held captive by violence and hatred.

Source of comfort,
Rock of love and truth,
You call upon us to stand
In the name of justice and freedom:
To free the captive,
To stand up to terror,
To fight misogyny,
To cry out against human bondage,
To muster our power and energy
Against this force of evil.

Bless those who have dedicated themselves to saving our girls.
Bless their work.
Let success be close at hand.

[Return ___________________________ (name)
To the cradle of her/our family’s arms,
And the refuge of her/our home,
Speedily, in life and in health.]

This dismay and dread are almost too much to bear.
Grant their families endurance, hope and faith
That they will soon be reunited in the fullness of joy.

Bless our girls, in their captivity,
With hope and courage.
They are daughters of truth,
And children of wisdom.
They are our future.
Grant them the strength and fortitude
To face, G-d forbid, any shames or tyrannies forced upon them.
Hasten their release.
Grant them lives of education and prosperity,
Health and happiness,
Joy and peace.
Let rescue be near.

Blessed are You, G-d of All Being,
Who summons us to liberate the oppressed.

© 2014 Alden Solovy and All rights reserved.

Postscript: Please also see: “For the Women of Congo and Sudan.” “Against Human Trafficking” and other prayers for social justice prayers appear in Haggadah Companion: Meditations and Readings. “For the Missing” will appear in my forthcoming book, Prayers from the Heart of Darkness.

For usage guidelines and reprint permissions, see “Share the Prayer!” For notices of new prayers, please subscribe. You can also connect on Facebook and Twitter. If you like this prayer, please post a link to Facebook, your blog or mention it in a tweet.

Photo Source: Bring Back Our Girls Facebook Page

Tags: , , , , , , ,

“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