Jewish Prayers From the Heart and Pen of Alden Solovy

Prayer after Abuse by Clergy

Clergy Abuse Healing GardenADDENDUM: 18 Feb 2022 – First written in 2015 as a result of the sexual abuse scandals in the Catholic Church, with sadness I’ve slightly modified the prayer in the wake of the ethics report just released by the Union for Reform Judaism on sexual harassment, abuse, and misconduct in URJ institutions, offered as a step toward tikkun, repair, and refuah, healing. May the work continue.

[Original Introduction] This is a difficult prayer addressing the abuse of power by clergy that — once hidden and disregarded — has become painfully obvious. Such revelations may offer a first needed step to healing. The prayer is written to be flexible, employing optional lines [in brackets] with which individuals may tailor the prayer.

Prayer after Abuse by Clergy
You had no right.
You had no right.
You abused your power.
You abused my trust
You abused our time together, [with manipulation] [and with force].
You abused G-d’s word.
You abused my hopes,
My heart,
My joy, my body, my self.
[I loved you. Damn, I loved you.]

[G-d of Old,
How could you let this happen?
How can this exist in Your world?
How can this happen in Your house?
How could this be perpetrated in Your name?
Damn, I loved You, too.]

In the shadow of this grief,
This yearning and despair,
I turn to You,
Ancient One,
To show me the path
To wholeness and consolation.
Teach me to trust,
To love [again] with fullness of heart.
Teach me willingness to surrender to awe and beauty.
Teach me to treat myself with patience and kindness.
Bless me that I may live fully, with zest and zeal.

G-d of compassion,
Heal all who have suffered abuse by clergy.
Bring us from darkness to light.
Bring justice to those who commit these crimes.
Heal the holy congregations who pray in Your name.
Make us all, now and forever, whole again.

© 2015 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

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