Posts Tagged ‘prayer after attack on Jews’

 

For Colleyville, Texas

Posted on: January 16th, 2022 by Alden No Comments

This is a prayer of healing for the hostages freed from Congregation Beth Israel, Colleyville, Texas, as well as the congregation and the community. In 2015 I served as the Selichot Scholar-In-Residence for three Tarrant County Reform Congregations, including Beth Israel. The invitation came from their rabbi, my friend Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker. The Hebrew stanza in this prayer is from Psalm 121. See also: “You of Blood and Venom,” “After a Deadly Anti-Semitic Attack” and “Racist Violence Against Houses of Worship.

For Colleyville, Texas
G-d who frees the slave and liberates the captive,
Look with mercy on the people of Colleyville, Texas,
Congregation Beth Israel,
And the rescued hostages there,
Victims of hatred and antisemitism.
Grant them shelter and solace,
Comfort and consolation,
Blessing and renewal,
So that recovery can begin,
Leading to a complete restoration
Of heart, mind, and spirit.
Release them from suffering.
Release them from trauma.
Return them in wholeness to life.
Bless the first responders
And law enforcement professionals
Who brought their hearts and their skills
To the hours of standoff
And to the task of rescue.
May they also know freedom
From the horror of this ordeal.

To those of hate and terror,
In any land, of any faith,
You will not succeed.
To the anti-Semite,
My people have seen your kind
For generations.
We have outlived you all.
To our Muslim and Christian brothers and sisters
Who abhor violence and eschew hatred,
Let us extend our hands to one another
So that this community can heal,
So that throughout the world
We become a shining light of blessing.

!הנה לא־ינום ולא יישן שומר ישראל
.ה’ ישמרך מכל-רע, ישׁמר את-נפשך
Hinei lo-yanum v’lo yishan shomer Yisrael!
Adonai yishmarekha mikol-ra, yishmor et-nafshecha.
See, the guardian of Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps!
G-d shall keep you from all evil, G-d will keep your soul.

Heavenly Guide,
Hand of love and shelter,
Grant the people of Colleyville, Texas,
Your protection,
Your wholeness and healing,
And Your peace.

© 2022 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com.

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Postscript: See also, “Tree of Life, Pittsburgh,” “Ma’oz Tzur for Pittsburgh,” “Prayer for the Jews of Germany,” and “For the Jews of France.”

Please check out my ELItalk video, “Falling in Love with Prayer,” and my two CCAR Press books: This Joyous Soul: A New Voice for Ancient Yearnings 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: NPR

You of Blood and Venom: A Prayer of the Jewish People

Posted on: November 7th, 2019 by Alden No Comments

A prayer against the rise of antisemitism in the U.S. and around the world. This prayer is a declaration that the Jewish people will survive. The Hebrew stanza is from Psalms 121. See also: After a Deadly Anti-Semitic Attack” and “Racist Violence Against Houses of Worship.

You of Blood and Venom: A Prayer of the Jewish People
You will not succeed,
You of hate,
You of violence,
You of blood and venom.

My people have seen your kind
For generations,
For millennia.
We have stood before guns and knives,
Gallows and gas chambers,
To outlive our persecutors.
Greece fell. Rome faded.
The Inquisitions, the Pogroms,
The Treblinkas and the Babi Yars,
All failed.
The people of Israel live.
The nation of Israel lives.

!הנה לא־ינום ולא יישן שומר ישראל
.ה’ ישמרך מכל-רע, ישׁמר את-נפשך
Hinei lo-yanum v’lo yishan shomer Yisrael!
Adonai yishmarekha mikol-ra, yishmor et-nafshecha.
See, the guardian of Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps!
G-d shall keep you from all evil, G-d will keep your soul.

No, you will not succeed,
You of hate,
You of violence,
You of blood and venom.

עם ישראל חי!
Am Yisrael chai!
The people of Israel live.
The nation of Israel lives.

© 2019 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com.

New here? Subscribe here to get my newest prayers by email.
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Postscript: See also, “Tree of Life, Pittsburgh,” “Ma’oz Tzur for Pittsburgh,” “Taharot in Pittsburgh,” “Prayer for the Jews of Germany” and “For the Jews of France.”

Please check out my ELItalk video, “Falling in Love with Prayer,” and my two CCAR Press books: This Joyous Soul: A New Voice for Ancient Yearnings 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: The Stephen Roth Institute for the Study of Contemporary Antisemitism and Racism

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.

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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.

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