Posts Tagged ‘against terror’

 

For the Sufis of the Sinai

Posted on: November 26th, 2017 by Alden No Comments

At least 300 are dead after an attack on a Sufi mosque in the Northern Sinai on Friday, including at least 27 children. More than 125 people were also injured in this coordinated assault that began with a bomb blast and continued as terrorist militants gunned down fleeing worshipers from a packed mosque.

For the Sufis of the Sinai
Oh people of conscience,
Cry out.
For man has again turned violent,
Murdering and maiming the innocent,
Worshipers in the act of prayer.

Source and Creator,
Grant a perfect rest under your tabernacle of peace
To the victims of terror in the Northern Sinai,
Sufi innocents,
The hundreds murdered and wounded
By the hand of wickedness,
The hand of malevolence,
As they praised Your Name.
Each one a human.
Each one a life.
Each one enough to cry out to heaven.

Remember the survivors of this horror,
The injured, the witnesses, the mourners,
The new widow and the new orphan,
Those in shock and those in trauma.
Grant them shelter and solace,
Comfort and consolation,
Blessing and renewal.

Heavenly guide,
G-d of refuge,
Hand of love and shelter,
Grant the Sufis of the Sinai,
And all the people of Egypt,
Your protection,
Your wholeness and Your healing.
Let violence, hatred and terror vanish,
Let comfort descend from heaven,
And let the righteous rest in peace.

© 2017 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: This new prayer combines elements of three other prayers written in the wake of violence: “One is Everything: A Meditation on Terror and Numbers,” “Racist Violence against Houses of Worship” and “For Paris.”

Please check out my ELItalk video, “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 Source: Business Insider

One is Everything

Posted on: December 21st, 2016 by Alden No Comments

We’re surrounded by violence. Orlando. Nice. Tel Aviv. Pittsburgh. Innocents dead at the hand of terror. In Saint-Étienne-du-Rouvray, France, an 84-year-old priest was murdered in his church, Fr. Jacques Hamel. It made instant world news and faded just as fast. There are so many other terror attacks. Larger attacks. More than one dead.

ADDENDUM, April 28, 2019: In memory of Lori Gilbert-Kaye, z”l, who was murdered at the Chabad center outside San Diego during services, I’ve added a new line: “A woman in prayer.” Also, in the opening stanza, I’ve added references to that attack and the Tree of Life massacre.

One is Everything: A Meditation on Numbers and Terror
Orlando, 16 June 2016, 49 souls
Kabul, 23 July 2016, 80 souls
Nice, 14 July 2016, 84 souls
Baghdad, 3 July 2016, 325+ souls
Pittsburgh, 27 October, 2018, 11 souls
Dallas, 7 July 2016, 5 souls
Tel Aviv, 3 July 2016, 4 souls
Rouen, 26 July 2016, 1 soul
Poway, 27 April 2019, 1 soul

One soul.
Just one soul and the world moves on.
We are shocked by the scale of terror.
The 49 and the 84 and the 325
With a plus sign next to it because, well,
It’s just tough to get an accurate count
In so much death.

One is everything.
Each one a human.
Each one a life.
One is enough to cry out to heaven.

When we count the scope of terror,
The range of death,
Remember, too,
The injured and the wounded,
The witness and the bystander,
The first responder and the families.

One is 100 witnesses.
One is 1,000 mourners.
One is 10,000 traumas.
One is a soul G-d sent to this earth.
One is everything.
A priest doing holy work.
A boy studying Torah.
A girl sleeping in her bed.
A woman in prayer.
One soul. One heartbeat.
One more, too soon.

G-d of Consolation,
Every soul is Yours,
A world, unique and holy.
Let Your peace reign quickly among us.
Let violence, hatred and terror vanish.
Let Your comfort descend from heaven,
And let the righteous rest in peace.

© 2016 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: The list of terror attacks maintained on Wikipedia is astounding. Hundreds dead each month all over the world. One and one and one. The Talmud says that saving a life is equal to saving the world; taking a life is the equivalent of destroying the world. One is everything.

This is a modified version of an essay that first appeared on RitualWell. See also a prayer “To the Terrorist,” which is part of my “Liturgy after Terror Attacks,” originally written for my “Liturgy for 9-11.”

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Photo Source: WikiMedia Commons

Mothers of Jerusalem

Posted on: November 19th, 2014 by Alden No Comments

SONY DSCThis is a new prayer for peace in Jerusalem. I wrote it in a cab and finished it at O’hare Airport moments ago, as I begin my journey back to my hometown, the City of Peace, the City of Gold.

Mothers of Jerusalem
Mothers of Jerusalem,
Your wail echoes in the hills,
Your grief resounds in the valleys,
Your prayer rises up into the luminous sky.
More fathers and brothers,
More sisters and mothers,
More children and innocent,
Lost to the hand of violence,
Lost to the hand of hatred.

How long, oh my G-d,
How long before cruelty ends
And peace reigns within these borders,
Within these walls,
Within our hearts?
How long, oh my G-d,
Must we open graves for the lost?

G-d of generations,
G-d of millennia,
Spread Your tabernacle
Of safety and shelter
Over this holy city.
Guard our sons and our daughters.
Protect all who dwell within these gates.
Let courage and hope ease this fear.
Let compassion open the souls of the hard-hearted.
Let joy and gladness return,
In song and prayer,
To Your steps of holiness.

© 2014 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: Here is my piece called “Jerusalem: A Meditation,” as well as a link to other prayers for Israel and for peace. I took special care in writing this prayer so that any mother of Jerusalem – Jew, Christian, Moslem, Catholic, Arab, Druze, any mother – could say this prayer. Perhaps, one day, we will all pray together in peace. Today, my heart is with the victims of terror in Jerusalem.

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Photo Source: Alden Solovy

For the Yazidi People

Posted on: August 10th, 2014 by Alden No Comments

protect_iraqi_christiansThe nightmare in Iraq continues to worsen. Thousands of Yazidis have died and face genocide. Here is the impassioned plea of Yazidi Iraqi Member of Parliament Vian Dakhil. One stanza of this prayer is adapted from Bring Back Our Girls,” another prayer against the assault of terror against innocents.

For the Yazidi People
On a mountain,
Isolated
And left to die
While the world watches,
A slaughter of innocents.

Barren,
Desolate,
A landscape of death,
A heartbreak of hunger and thirst,
A graveyard of children.

Oh Yazidi people,
We pray for the hand of G-d’s mercy
To come to your aid,
To relieve your suffering,
To drive away the evil
That has pursued you
To the top of the world.

Oh people of conscience,
Cry out.
Cry out against holocaust.
Cry out against genocide.
Cry out against hatred.
For G-d requires us to stand
In the name of justice and freedom:
To oppose terror,
To muster our power and energy
To save the persecuted and oppressed.

Oh G-d,
We implore You,
Look down upon the suffering
Perpetrated in so many lands
By the hand of wickedness,
By the hand of malevolence,
By the hand of ignorance and sin.
Save the Yaidi.
Rescue all in need.
Bring the light of salvation
And healing
To the four corners of the earth.

© 2014 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: Please also see: “Bring Back Our Girls” and “For the Women of Congo and Sudan.” More prayers for social justice prayers appear in Haggadah Companion: Meditations and Readings.

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Photo Source: The Deacon’s Bench

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