Posts Tagged ‘death of a leader’

 

For Rabbi Peter Knobel, z”l

Posted on: August 21st, 2019 by Alden No Comments

Rabbi Peter Knobel z”l has died after suffering a massive heart attack almost two weeks ago. A gadol b’dor, a giant of this generation, a tzaddik, his Hebrew name was Tzaddik. He brought the love of Jewish learning — the place where Torah and intellect meet — to thousands. He chaired the Central Conference of American Rabbis and was our first family rabbi at Beth Emet The Free Synagogue. He led the drive to create a new Reform Siddur, Mishkan T’fillah, and was the first rabbi to encourage me to explore my voice as a Jewish writer. This prayer, dedicated here to Peter, was first published as “Private Meditation on the Death of a Beloved Public Figure.” Even as public eulogies begin, many of us will need private meditations for grieving.

For Rabbi Peter Knobel, z”l
Source of blessings,
Deal kindly with the soul of Rabbi Peter Knobel,
Who left a legacy of Torah and righteousness in this world,
A legacy of love, care and inspiration,
A legacy for the generations.

Rock of comfort,
So many were touched by him,
As was I,
And grief casts a shadow over my heart.
Even as his legacy is celebrated publicly,
With honors and praises due,
Hear my personal prayer,
My private grief and loss.
Let his memory become a light
For the days and years ahead.
And let those memories, private and public,
Grow stronger with the passing time,
Becoming a well of consolation.

G-d of all being,
Grant a perfect rest under Your canopy of peace to Rabbi Knobel,
My rabbi,
Our rabbi.
May his soul be bound up in the bond of life,
A living blessing in our midst.

© 2018 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

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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: Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership

Private Meditation on the Death of a Beloved Public Figure

Posted on: May 8th, 2018 by Alden No Comments

A beloved teacher, I didn’t get the chance to know Rabbi Aaron Panken z’l. Yet from everything written about him — from obituaries to Facebook posts — knowing him would have been an immense blessing. I wrote this months ago and hadn’t gotten around to posting it. The idea, which came from a friend, was that in the flow of beautiful, communal, public mourning, one could forget that private and small group moments of mourning are also important to the grieving process. It seems to me that posting this in his memory would be a fitting tribute.

Private Meditation on the Death of a Beloved Public Figure
Source of blessings,
Deal kindly with the soul of ________________ (name)
Who left a legacy of ________________ (one-word description, e.g.: Torah, music, dance, diplomacy…)
In this world,
A legacy of love, care and inspiration,
A legacy for the generations.

Rock of comfort,
So many were touched by him/her,
As was I,
And grief casts a shadow over my heart.
Even as he/she is celebrated publicly,
With honors and praises due,
Hear my personal prayer,
My private grief and loss.
Let his/her memory become a light
For the days and years ahead.
And let those memories, private and public,
Grow stronger with the passing time,
Becoming a well of consolation.

G-d of all being,
Grant a perfect rest under Your canopy of peace to him/her.
May his/her soul be bound up in the bond of life,
A living blessing in our midst.

© 2018 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: I wrote this at the suggestion of a friend. It’s rare that I can’t remember — or find a note telling me — who gave me the idea for a particular piece. If it’s you, I apologize and please send me a private message of some kind so I can fix this.

New here? Subscribe here to get my newest prayers by email.
Share the prayer! Email this to a friend.

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: HUC-JIR

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