Posts Tagged ‘attack’

 

20 Years: A Liturgy for 9-11

Posted on: September 9th, 2021 by Alden No Comments

National_Park_Service_9-11_Statue_of_Liberty_and_WTCIt’s been 20 years, and this anniversary of 9-11 falls on Shabbat Shuvah. Part of this liturgy was composed for the 10th anniversary of the attacks, and now includes newer prayers written to deepen the liturgy. Here’s a link to a video of “For 9-11 Survivors.”

                                                          

For 9-11 Survivors
G-d of the survivor,
G-d of the mourner and the witness,
Grant solace and peace to those still held by physical, emotional and spiritual distress from the attacks of 9-11. Release them from visions of death and destruction, from guilt or shame, from fear or anger. Bind their wounds with Your steadfast love. Lift them on Your wings of kindness and grace.

Blessed are those who have found peace.
Blessed are those without tranquility.

Blessed are those who speak.
Blessed are those who stay silent.

Blessed are those who have healed.
Blessed are those who suffer.

Blessed are those who forgive.
Blessed are those who cannot forgive.

Blessed are You, Adonai our G-d, Source of strength for survivors of violence and tragedy in every land and in every age. Blessed are You, Rock of Israel, Source of hope and comfort.

                                                      

To the Terrorist
You who would hold the sky captive,
The sea prisoner,
The land in chains…

You who hide in caves,
Retreat to the wilderness,
Disappear behind false names and forged papers…

You who smuggle guns and arms,
Hide rockets in cities and bombs in homes,
Build weapons against the innocent and the bystander…

You whose designs are destruction,
Whose plans are fear,
Whose joy is hate…

You who harden your hearts
And wrap yourselves in death…

What evil has robbed you of your love,
Your compassion,
Your goodness,
Your humanity?
What lies have invaded your minds
So that you choose to die in order to kill?

We who love our lives and liberty
Stand firm and strong against terror.
We will defend our nation and our people.
We will protect our land and our homes.
And we pray for you to find hope and comfort
In lives of peace.

                                                   

At the Hand of Terror: A 9-11 Yizkor Prayer
Creator of all,
Source and shelter,
Grant a perfect rest under your tabernacle of peace
To ______________________ (name),
My [ father / mother / sister / brother / child / wife / dear one/ friend ]
Who died [ in / during / because of ]
The 9-11 attacks on the United States.
Remember the works of his/her hands
And the message of his/her heart
Remember all those who were lost in the terror of that day.
Grant their families peace and comfort for Your name’s sake
And for the sake of those who perished.
Bring an end to violence and terror,
Speedily, in our days.
May the memory of _____________________ be sanctified with joy and love.
May his/her soul be bound up in the bond of life,
A living blessing in our midst.

____________________

At the Hand of Terror II: A 9-11 Memorial Prayer
Creator of all,
Source and shelter,
Grant a perfect rest under your tabernacle of peace
To those who died in the 9/11 attacks on the United States.
Remember the works of their hands
And the message of their hearts.
Grant their families peace and comfort for Your name’s sake
And for the sake of those who perished.
Bring an end to violence and terror,
Speedily, in our days.
May their memories be sanctified with joy and love.
May their souls be bound up in the bond of life,
A living blessing in our midst.

                                                      
Memorial Prayer for 9-11 First Responders
G-d of the selfless,
G-d of the strong and the brave,
Grant a perfect rest among the souls of the righteous
To those who died in service to others because of
The 9/11 attacks on the Unites States.
May their dedication to protecting life serve as a shining lamp of love
And the works of their hands bring us all merit in heaven.
Bless the souls of all who have died to save others,
Civilians and professionals,
The trained and the untrained,
In every age and in every land,
Men and women who answered the call of honor, duty and service.
May their memories be sanctified with joy and love.
May their souls be bound up in the bond of life,
A living blessing in our midst.
____________________

Yizkor for First Responders
G-d of the selfless,
G-d of the strong and the brave,
Grant a perfect rest among the souls of the righteous
To ______________________ (name),
My [ father / mother / sister / brother / child / wife / dear one/ friend ]
Who died in service to others [ in / during / because of ]
_________________________________________________ [name of event such as:
[the 9/11 attacks on the Unites States, the Mount Carmel forest fire, etc.].
May his/her  dedication to protecting life serve as a shining lamp of  love
And the works of his/her  hands bring us all merit in heaven.
Bless the souls of all who have died to save others,
Civilians and professionals,
The trained and the untrained,
In every age and in every land,
Men and women who answered the call of honor, duty and service.
May the memory of _____________________ be sanctified with joy and love.
May his/her soul be bound up in the bond of life,
A living blessing in our midst.

                                                      

Other prayers that may be useful in tailoring a 9-11 commemoration to your community are:

All of these works are © 2011 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: They original liturgy written at the request of Rabbi Ruth Abusch-Magder, Ph.D., for the HUC-JIR publication Tzeh U’limad. Thanks to my sister Mara Lund for her insightful comments on drafts of these prayers.

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.


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Photo Source: WikiMedia Commons

15 Years: A Liturgy for 9-11

Posted on: September 7th, 2016 by Alden No Comments

National_Park_Service_9-11_Statue_of_Liberty_and_WTCIt’s been 15 years. This is a 9-11 liturgy composed for the 10th anniversary of the attacks, including newer prayers written to deepen the liturgy. They were written at the request of HUC-JIR’s Tzeh U’limad editor Rabbi Ruth Abusch-Magder, Ph.D. Here’s a link to a video of “For 9-11 Survivors.”

                                                          

For 9-11 Survivors
G-d of the survivor,
G-d of the mourner and the witness,
Grant solace and peace to those still held by physical, emotional and spiritual distress from the attacks of 9-11. Release them from visions of death and destruction, from guilt or shame, from fear or anger. Bind their wounds with Your steadfast love. Lift them on Your wings of kindness and grace.

Blessed are those who have found peace.
Blessed are those without tranquility.

Blessed are those who speak.
Blessed are those who stay silent.

Blessed are those who have healed.
Blessed are those who suffer.

Blessed are those who forgive.
Blessed are those who cannot forgive.

Blessed are You, Adonai our G-d, Source of strength for survivors of violence and tragedy in every land and in every age. Blessed are You, Rock of Israel, Source of hope and comfort.

                                                      

To the Terrorist
You who would hold the sky captive,
The sea prisoner,
The land in chains…

You who hide in caves,
Retreat to the wilderness,
Disappear behind false names and forged papers…

You who smuggle guns and arms,
Hide rockets in cities and bombs in homes,
Build weapons against the innocent and the bystander…

You whose designs are destruction,
Whose plans are fear,
Whose joy is hate…

You who harden your hearts
And wrap yourselves in death…

What evil has robbed you of your love,
Your compassion,
Your goodness,
Your humanity?
What lies have invaded your minds
So that you choose to die in order to kill?

We who love our lives and liberty
Stand firm and strong against terror.
We will defend our nation and our people.
We will protect our land and our homes.
And we pray for you to find hope and comfort
In lives of peace.

                                                   

At the Hand of Terror: A 9-11 Yizkor Prayer
Creator of all,
Source and shelter,
Grant a perfect rest under your tabernacle of peace
To ______________________ (name in Hebrew or your native tongue),
My [ father / mother / sister / brother / child / wife / dear one/ friend ]
Who died [ in / during / because of ]
The 9-11 attacks on the United States.
Remember the works of his/her hands
And the message of his/her heart
Remember all those who were lost in the terror of that day.
Grant their families peace and comfort for Your name’s sake
And for the sake of those who perished.
Bring an end to violence and terror,
Speedily, in our days.
May the memory of _____________________ be sanctified with joy and love.
May his/her soul be bound up in the bond of life,
A living blessing in our midst.

____________________

At the Hand of Terror II: A 9-11 Memorial Prayer
Creator of all,
Source and shelter,
Grant a perfect rest under your tabernacle of peace
To those who died in the 9/11 attacks on the United States.
Remember the works of their hands
And the message of their hearts.
Grant their families peace and comfort for Your name’s sake
And for the sake of those who perished.
Bring an end to violence and terror,
Speedily, in our days.
May their memories be sanctified with joy and love.
May their souls be bound up in the bond of life,
A living blessing in our midst.

                                                      
Memorial Prayer for 9-11 First Responders
G-d of the selfless,
G-d of the strong and the brave,
Grant a perfect rest among the souls of the righteous
To those who died in service to others because of
The 9/11 attacks on the Unites States.
May their dedication to protecting life serve as a shining lamp of love
And the works of their hands bring us all merit in heaven.
Bless the souls of all who have died to save others,
Civilians and professionals,
The trained and the untrained,
In every age and in every land,
Men and women who answered the call of honor, duty and service.
May their memories be sanctified with joy and love.
May their souls be bound up in the bond of life,
A living blessing in our midst.
____________________

Yizkor for First Responders
G-d of the selfless,
G-d of the strong and the brave,
Grant a perfect rest among the souls of the righteous
To ______________________ (name in Hebrew or your native tongue),
My [ father / mother / sister / brother / child / wife / dear one/ friend ]
Who died in service to others [ in / during / because of ]
_________________________________________________ [name of event such as:
[the 9/11 attacks on the Unites States, the Mount Carmel forest fire, etc.].
May his/her  dedication to protecting life serve as a shining lamp of  love
And the works of his/her  hands bring us all merit in heaven.
Bless the souls of all who have died to save others,
Civilians and professionals,
The trained and the untrained,
In every age and in every land,
Men and women who answered the call of honor, duty and service.
May the memory of _____________________ be sanctified with joy and love.
May his/her soul be bound up in the bond of life,
A living blessing in our midst.

                                                      

Other prayers that may be useful in developing a 9-11 commemoration are:

All of these works are © 2011 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: Special thanks to my sister Mara Lund for her insightful comments on drafts of these prayers. Thanks also to Rabbi Ruth for the invitation to write.

Please consider making a contribution to support this site and my writing. For usage guidelines and reprint permissions, see “Share the Prayer!” For notices of new prayers, please subscribe. Connect with To Bend Light on Facebook and on Twitter.

Photo Source: WikiMedia Commons

Remembering 9-11 Survivors

Posted on: September 10th, 2013 by tobendlight No Comments

Sept11StreetSurvivorTWOTo honor their journey, here’s my prayer “For 9-11 Survivors.” Looking for a photo to go with this prayer was painful. I can’t imagine what the anniversary is like for survivors, their families and friends. I selected this photo after finding it on a site called “The Prayer Circle Leader” illustrating this prayer, which will appear in my forthcoming book, Jewish Prayers of Hope and Healing. To listen, click on the triangle below. The text follows.

 

For 9-11 Survivors
G-d of the survivor,
G-d of the mourner and the witness,
Grant solace and peace to those still held by physical, emotional and spiritual distress from the attacks of 9-11. Release them from visions of death and destruction, from guilt or shame, from fear or anger. Bind their wounds with Your steadfast
love. Lift them on Your wings of kindness and grace.

Blessed are those who have found peace.

Blessed are those without tranquility.

Blessed are those who speak.

Blessed are those who stay silent.

Blessed are those who have healed.

Blessed are those who suffer.

Blessed are those who forgive.

Blessed are those who cannot forgive.

Blessed are You, Adonai our G-d, Source of strength for survivors of violence and tragedy in every land and in every age. Blessed are You, Rock of Israel, Source of hope and comfort.

© 2011 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: It was first posted as part of “A Liturgy for 9-11” written for the HUC-JIR continuing education blog Tzeh U’limad to provide clergy with resources for the upcoming 10th anniversary of the attack. That post includes an overview the concerns I felt while developing the liturgy. Here are links to individual 9-11 prayers: “For 9-11 Survivors,” “To the Terrorist,” “At the Hand of Terror II: A 9-11 Memorial Prayer” and “Memorial Prayer for 9-11 First Responders.” This is an annotated list of prayers suitable for public and private memorials, including links to prayers specifically written about 9-11 and others that are fitting for a commemoration.

Please consider making a contribution to support this site and my writing. 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.

Photo Source: The Prayer Circle Leader

Resources for 9/11

Posted on: September 7th, 2013 by tobendlight No Comments

Tribute in LightIndividuals and clergy members continue to look for meaningful prayers and meditations to use to commemorate the attacks of September 11, 2001. Here’s an annotated list of prayers suitable for public and private memorials, including “A Liturgy for 9-11,” written for the 10th anniversary of the attacks on the U.S. Please email this page to anyone who may be in need of a memorial prayer or a prayer for healing.

Memorial Prayers

For Survivors

Prayers for a Better World

The original four prayers in “A Liturgy for 9-11” were written to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the attack. See that post to read the story of how and why I wrote these prayers. The response to the original post was overwhelming. Here’s a link to an overview of some of the ways these prayers were used as part of 10th commemoration activities.

All of these works are © 2011-2013 Alden Solovy and www.tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

For usage guidelines and reprint permissions, see “Share the Prayer!” For notices of new prayers, please subscribe. Connect with To Bend Light on Facebook and on Twitter.

Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons, the “Tribute in Light” memorial is composed of two banks of high wattage spotlights that point straight up from a lot next to Ground Zero. The photo was taken from Liberty State Park, N.J., on the five-year anniversary of 9/11.

Memorial Prayer for First Responders

Posted on: July 1st, 2013 by tobendlight No Comments

fire_smallThis is a memorial prayer for first responders, posted today for the fire fighters who lost their lives battling the Yarnell Hill fire. It’s group prayer for those who have lost their lives responding to specific emergencies. It’s modified from “Yizkor for First Responders,” a prayer for individual first responders that I first posted as part of “A Liturgy for 9-11.” I previously posted a specific version of this prayer for 9/11 first responders. For those of you with family and friends who serve in this capacity, here’s a prayer “For First Responders” as they head off into service to others.

Memorial Prayer for First Responders
G-d of the selfless,
G-d of the strong and the brave,
Grant a perfect rest among the souls of the righteous
To those who died in service to others during the
_________________________________________________ [ add name of event such as: the 9/11 attacks, the Mount Carmel fire, the Yarnell fire, etc.].
May their dedication to protecting life serve as a shining lamp of love
And the works of their hands bring us all merit in heaven.
Bless the souls of all who have died to save others,
Civilians and professionals,
The trained and the untrained,
In every age and in every land,
Men and women who answered the call of honor, duty and service.
May their memories be sanctified with joy and love.
May their souls be bound up in the bond of life,
A living blessing in our midst.

© 2011 Alden Solovy and www.tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: Here’s a link to “A Liturgy for 9-11” and a prayer “For First Responders” as they head off into service to others.

For usage guidelines and reprint permissions, see “Share the Prayer!” For notices of new prayers, please subscribe. Connect with To Bend Light on Facebook and on Twitter.

Photo Source: NOAA

For the People of the United States, From Israel

Posted on: April 19th, 2013 by tobendlight No Comments

Breaking News BostonAs events unfold in Greater Boston, here’s a new prayer for the people of the United States, written from Israel. Although this prayer is aimed at the immediate wound of the Boston Marathon bombings, it carries a sensitivity toward other violence and tragedy. Here are two prayers which I previously posted in the wake of the bombings: Bombing at the Boston Marathonand For Terror Survivors.

For the People of the United States, From Israel
Ancient One,
Source and Creator,
Grant the people of the United States,
The citizens of Massachusetts,
And the greater community of Boston
Safety and shelter,
In these hours and days of fear and dread.
We, too, know the sound of gun fire,
The echo of explosions,
The terror and pain,
The loss and dismay,
The long wait for news
And long journey to heal.

As we remember the victims and survivors of this horror,
We also remember the suffering and despair that has
Wounded the nation:
School shootings,
Factory explosions,
Coal mine disasters,
Domestic terror,
Family violence and
International terror.

Renew this land, G-d of Old.
Protect the residents from physical harm.

Restore this people, G-d of Justice.
Shield them from emotional pain.

Heal this nation, G-d of Mercy.
Bind these wounds with your steadfast love.

Heavenly Guide,
Hand of consolation and shelter,
Grant the people of the United States Your protection
Your wholeness and peace.

© 2013 Alden Solovy and www.tobendlight.com All rights reserved.

Postscript: Click here to read the entire Liturgy for 9-11, including an overview of concerns that emerged in developing these prayers. It also includes suggestions for other prayers that fit with the themes of 9-11. Here are links to “To the Terrorist” and “Memorial Prayer for 9-11 First Responders.”

If you use this prayer, please click “like” on this page and subscribe. Please take a moment to post a link to your Facebook page, your blog or mention it in a tweet. Thanks. For usage guidelines and reprint permissions, see “Share the Prayer!

Photo Credit: TV image from a Facebook post

For Terror Survivors

Posted on: April 17th, 2013 by tobendlight No Comments

Boston-candleIn the wake of the bombings at the Boston Marathon, I’ve taken a prayer published as part of A Liturgy for 9-11and generalized it for all terror victims. A new optional line is shown in [brackets] includes the opportunity to name one or more specific acts of terror. This prayer was originally written for the HUC-JIR continuing education blog Tzeh U’limad to provide clergy with resources for 10th anniversary of the 9-11 attacks. Click here to read the prayer Bombing at the Boston Marathon and one For the People of the United States, From Israel.

For Terror Survivors
G-d of the survivor,
G-d of the mourner and the witness,
Grant solace and peace to those still held by physical, emotional and spiritual distress from acts of terror.
Remember now those who are suffering from trauma after the ___________ (add name of event, such as Boston Marathon bombings, 9-11 attacks, Sbarro restaurant suicide bombing, Sandy Hook massacre).
Release them from visions of death and destruction. Release them from guilt or shame, from fear or anger. Bind their wounds with Your steadfast love. Lift them on Your wings of kindness and grace.

Blessed are those who have found peace.

Blessed are those without tranquility.

Blessed are those who speak.

Blessed are those who stay silent.

Blessed are those who have healed.

Blessed are those who suffer.

Blessed are those who forgive.

Blessed are those who cannot forgive.

Blessed are You, G-d of healing, Source of strength for survivors of violence and tragedy in every land and in every age. Blessed are You, Source of hope and comfort.

© 2013 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: Click here to read the entire Liturgy for 9-11, including an overview of concerns that emerged in developing these prayers. It also includes suggestions for other prayers that fit with the themes of 9-11. Here are links to “To the Terrorist” and “Memorial Prayer for 9-11 First Responders.”

For usage guidelines and reprint permissions, see “Share the Prayer!” For notices of new prayers, please subscribe. Connect with To Bend Light on Facebook and on Twitter.

Photo Credit: BostInno

Munich Massacre Memorial Prayer

Posted on: July 20th, 2012 by tobendlight No Comments

olympics-victims-at-munich-gamesHere is a memorial prayer for the 40th anniversary of the Munich massacre. The first stanza includes an allusion to the Eleh Ezkera, the liturgical poem that we will recite in just over a week on Tisha b’Av. The second and third stanzas are influenced strongly by this week’s attack on Israelis in Bourgas, Bulgaria. Also read this prayer “For Israel’s Olympic Athletes.”

Munich Massacre Memorial Prayer
Creator of all,
Source and shelter,
We remember as yesterday
The day of Olympic terror,
The day that our brothers,
Athletes and coaches,
Lost their lives to brutal violence
And our hearts are melting with sorrow.
We remember their joy and their dreams,
Their enthusiasm and their hope,
Their spirit and their valor,
Their love for each other
And their dedication to competition.
Grant them a perfect rest under Your tabernacle of peace.
Grant their families consolation and comfort
For Your Name’s sake
And for the sake of those who perished.

Ancient One,
Remember the virtues all who have
Died at the hand of hatred.
May their memory become our resolve
To protect our land and our people.
Watch over the defenders of Israel.
Bless them with safety and strength.
May their courage never falter.
Grant Your protection and shelter
To all who travel under the flag of Israel
In the name of cooperation, understanding and goodwill –
Athletes, musicians, performers, artists and scholars.
May their spirit be a shining light of integrity and honor.
Grant the whole house of Israel safety throughout the earth
Free from aggression and violence.

G-d of Old,
Shine a light of compassion into the world.
Put an end to malice, anger and fear.
Lead us to a time when no one will suffer at the hand of another,
A time when our people can travel without the threat of terror.
May the memories of those murdered
In the Munich massacre
Be sanctified with joy and love.
May their souls be bound up in the bond of life,
A living blessing in our midst.

© 2012 Alden Solovy and  tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: See also “For Israel’s Olympic Athletes,” “At the Hand of Anti-Semitism,” a Yizkor prayer, and “To the Terrorist,” a prayer of personal resolve to defend ourselves and for healing the mind of the terrorist. Please also read “For the Jews of France,” a prayer for safety and healing. Thanks again to my friend Brenda Epstein who suggested that I write a prayer to mark this anniversary.

If you like this prayer, post a link to your Facebook page, your blog or as part of a tweet. And don’t forget to click “like” on this page. Thanks. Please subscribe. For usage guidelines and reprint permissions, see Share the Prayer!

Bulgaria: Funerals and Responses

Posted on: July 18th, 2012 by tobendlight No Comments

Funerals will soon begin here in Israel for the victims of yesterday’s terrorist attack on Israelis in Bourgas, Bulgaria. Meanwhile, our government has fixed blame on Iran and has pledged a response. Funerals and responses. Grief and courage. Mourning and self-defense.

Here are two prayers: one for funerals, one a response. The first is a Yizkor prayer for victims of anti-Semitism. It also memorializes victims in every generation and includes prayers for the defenders of Israel and for the righteous of all nations. I wrote it after a brutal anti-Semetic attack in Toulouse, France. The second is a prayer for the terrorist. This is tricky. What do we pray on behalf of those who hate, murder and destroy? “To the Terrorist” is from of “A Liturgy for 9-11.”

At the Hand of Anti-Semitism: A Yizkor Prayer
Creator of all,
Source and shelter,
Grant a perfect rest under your tabernacle of peace
To ______________________ (name in Hebrew or your native tongue),
My [father / mother / sister / brother / child / wife / dear one/ friend]
Whose life was [lives were] cut off by violence,
An act of witless aggression
And calculated anti-Semitism.
We remember his / her / their wisdom, talents and skills,
Joy, laughter and tears.
We remember the works of his / her / their hands
And the message of his / her / their heart[s].
Let these memories continue to bless us
Even as we pray for him / her / them to find peace
In the world to come.
Remember the virtues of those who’ve died
At the hand of malice
In every generation.
Bless the defenders of Israel
With safety and strength,
And the righteous of all nations who
Provide protection, shelter and comfort
To our people.
Put an end to anger, hatred and fear
And lead us to a time when no one will suffer at the hand of another,
Speedily, in our days.
May the memory [memories] of _____________________ be sanctified with joy and love.
May his / her / their soul[s] be bound up in the bond of life,
A living blessing in our midst.

© 2012 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

To the Terrorist
You who would hold the sky captive,
The sea prisoner,
The land in chains…

You who hide in caves,
Retreat to the wilderness,
Disappear behind false names and forged papers…

You who smuggle guns and arms,
Hide rockets in cities and bombs in homes,
Build weapons against the innocent and the bystander…

You whose designs are destruction,
Whose plans are fear,
Whose joy is hate…

You who harden your hearts
And wrap yourselves in death…

What evil has robbed you of your love,
Your compassion,
Your goodness,
Your humanity?
What lies have invaded your minds
So that you choose to die in order to kill?

We who love our lives and liberty
Stand firm and strong against terror.
We will defend our nation and our people.
We will protect our land and our homes.
And we pray for you to find hope and comfort
In lives of peace.

© 2011 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: “To the Terrorist” is from a set of prayers called “A Liturgy for 9-11.” “At the Hand of Anti-Semitism” is an adaptation of two of my other Yizkor prayers: “At the Hand of Violence” and “At the Hand of Terror.” Please also read “For the Jews of France,” a prayer for safety and healing.

Please consider making a contribution to support this site and my writing. 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.

To the Terrorist: We Stand Strong, We Pray for Peace

Posted on: March 12th, 2012 by tobendlight No Comments

National_Park_Service_9-11_Statue_of_Liberty_and_WTCIs it possible to pray for the terrorist? This is my attempt, written to commemorate 9-11 and reposted in 2012 as Israel faces a missile barrage from Gaza. This prayer is from “A Liturgy for 9-11.” To listen, click on the triangle in the bar below.

 

To the Terrorist
You who would hold the sky captive,
The sea prisoner,
The land in chains…

You who hide in caves,
Retreat to the wilderness,
Disappear behind false names and forged papers…

You who smuggle guns and arms,
Hide rockets in cities and bombs in homes,
Build weapons against the innocent and the bystander…

You whose designs are destruction,
Whose plans are fear,
Whose joy is hate…

You who harden your hearts
And wrap yourselves in death…
What evil has robbed you of your love,
Your compassion,
Your goodness,
Your humanity?
What lies have invaded your minds
So that you choose to die in order to kill?

We who love our lives and liberty
Stand firm and strong against terror.
We will defend our nation and our people.
We will protect our land and our homes.
And we pray for you to find hope and comfort
In lives of peace.

© 2011 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: This prayer was first posted on April 28, 2011, as part of my Liturgy for 9-11, which was written for the HUC-JIR continuing education blog Tzeh U’limad. It was reposted separately with audio on August 2, 2011. Here’s a prayer called “Israel: A Meditation” and one “For Peace in the Middle East.”

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Photo Source: WikiMedia Commons

“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