Jewish Prayers From the Heart and Pen of Alden Solovy

For Surfside: Signs of Life and Death

This is a tough one to write, and perhaps read, but necessary. We in Israel know all-too-well that having confirmation of a death — and some remains to bury — after trauma and loss is as important to healing as it is painful. As now-Tropical Storm Elsa moves toward Surfside, this is a prayer for miracles of survival and signs of death to help both the living and the souls of the deceased. This is my second prayer after the building collapse there. Here’s a link to the first, “For Surfside, Florida.”

For Surfside: Signs of Life and Death
G-d of mystery,
We pray for signs of life,
For reunion,
As the days pass, we pray for miracles of survival.
Yet a moment always comes,
Still praying to be wrong,
When we yearn for something real
To confirm what we already know in our hearts.
We turn to face our sorrows,
And we pray for any signs,
Signs of life or death,
Some remains to bury,
So that the souls of the lost
Can rest easier,
And the souls of the living
Can fully mourn.

G-d of mercy,
Isn’t it enough that the building collapsed?
Isn’t it too much for the victims, survivors,
And their families to bear,
To assault with a storm the unmarked graves of the lost,
And the entrapment of any – please God –
Remaining survivors,
Impeding the efforts of the responders and
Safety officials,
With wind and water?

G-d of heaven and earth,
Heavenly Guide,
Hand of love and shelter,
Grant the people of Surfside Florida
Respite from these traumas,
And let there be an abundance
Of survival and life,
As well as peace of heart and soul
For the yet unidentified victims
And their families.

© 2021 Alden Solovy and

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Postscript: The idea for this prayer came from my sister Blair Solovy commenting about the need for families of the deceased to find a path to closure, which might require some form of confirmation of the loss and some remains to bury.

Please check out my CCAR Press Grateful/Joyous/Precious trilogy. The individual books are: This Joyous Soul , This Grateful Heart, and This Precious Life. Here’s a link to my ELItalk, “Falling in Love with Prayer..” 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 Source: NOAA from Sarasota Magazine

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