Posts Tagged ‘#Pulse’


In Memoriam, Orlando — “Love Wins: A Pride Prayer”

Posted on: June 15th, 2016 by Alden

Our vocal response to hate: “Love your neighbor as yourself (Lev. 19:18), in Hebrew pronounced “ve’ahavta lere’acha kamocha” and written ואהבת לרעך כמוך! This slightly-revised version of this prayer is in memoriam to the victims of racist terror and massacre of LGBT persons in Orlando on Sunday. See: “For Orlando, For the USA” and “Pride Wins: A Prayer after Homophobic Brutality.” In the end, love wins.

Love Wins: A Pride Prayer
One day, the words ‘coming out’ will sound strange,
Oppression based on gender or orientation will be a memory,
History to honor and remember,
The pain of hiding, repressing, denying,
Honoring the triumphs of those who fought to be free,
Remembering the violence and vitriol that cost lives.

When love wins,
When love wins at long last,
ואהבת לרעך כמוך,
Ve’ahavta lere’acha kamocha,
‘Love your neighbor as yourself’
Will be as natural as breathing.
ואהבת לרעך כמוך!

One day, love will win every heart,
Love will win every soul,
Fear will vanish like smoke,
And tenderness for all will fill our hearts.
ואהבת לרעך כמוך!
Ve’ahavta lere’acha kamocha!

Love wins. In the end,
Love wins.
All genders,
All orientations,
All people,
All true expressions of heart.
ואהבת לרעך כמוך!
Ve’ahavta lere’acha kamocha!

Let this come speedily,
In our day,
A tribute to the many
And the diverse
Gifts from heaven.
A tribute to love deep and true,
Each of us for one another.
ואהבת לרעך כמוך!
Ve’ahavta lere’acha kamocha!

© 2016 Alden Solovy and All rights reserved.

[ctt template=”8″ link=”N74X7″ via=”yes” ]”When love wins, when love wins at long last, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’ will be as natural as breathing….”[/ctt]

Postscript: In this version, I’ve replaced four lines in the second to last stanza with the line ‘all people,’ removing the lines ‘man for man, woman for woman, woman for man, man for women.’ The change is the result of a comment on the URJ site to “For Orlando, For the USA:” “This is a beautiful prayer, but I wonder if ‘men and women’ should be changed to ‘people’ because it was a queer nightclub and there is a high probability that nonbinary people where also victims of this hate crime.” Thank you to my friend Cantor Evan Kent for his suggestions on an earlier draft of this prayer.

This prayer was written after anti-semetic vitriol was hurled at LGBT Jews at the Creating Change 2016 Conference. To read the full background, go to the original post, which first appeared on this site on January 22, 2016.

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Photo Source: Tufts Hillel, JQUEST (Jewish Queer Students at Tufts)

For Orlando, For the USA

Posted on: June 13th, 2016 by Alden

orlando-nightclub-shootingsIn Orlando early Sunday, 50 people died in the deadliest mass shooting in U.S history, domestic hate and terror focused on a popular gay nightclub. This is a prayer of shock, mourning and consolation, incorporating quotes from a man who escaped the club, “there was blood, blood everywhere” and “it was chaos.” It’s based on a prayer called “After a Deadly Rampage.” See “At the Hand of Violence” for a prayer in memory of an individual. May the memories of the righteous be a blessing. Here’s a prayer called “Pride Wins: A Prayer after Homophobic Brutality.”

For Orlando, For the USA
There was blood everywhere.
Forty-nine dead. And blood everywhere.

Author of life,
Source and Creator,
Grant a perfect rest under Your tabernacle of peace
To the victims of the massacre
In Orlando, Florida,
Forty-nine people whose lives were cut off by violence,
In a rampage of aggression beyond understanding,
Targeted by vehemence and hate.
May their souls be bound up in the bond of life,
A living blessing in our midst.
May they rest in peace.

There was blood everywhere.
Fifty-three wounded. And chaos.

G-d of justice and mercy,
Send healing to those wounded in this assault.
Fifty-three people who were
Struck by brutality.
Remember all the survivors of this attack,
Witnesses of shock, horror and dismay.
Ease their suffering and release their trauma
So that they recover lives of joy and wonder.
Grant them Your shelter and solace,
Blessing and renewal.
Grant them endurance to survive,
Strength to rebuild,
Faith to mourn,
And courage to heal.

Yes, there is blood everywhere.
Columbine. Virginia Tech. Fort Hood.
How much more blood will be spilled?
Sandy Hook. Killeen. San Yisidro.
When will sanity return?
Aurora. Charleston. Washington Navy Yard. Red Lake.
When will the U.S. confront this scourge of violence?
There is blood everywhere.

G-d of love and shelter,
Remember the families and friends
Of all the dead and the wounded
In Orlando and throughout the U.S.
Remember them with comfort and consolation.
Grant them Your protection,
Your wholeness and healing.

Heavenly Guide,
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 day.

© 2016 Alden Solovy and All rights reserved.

Postscript: This prayer also refers to other deadly U.S. mass shootings. Sadly, I’ve written many prayers after mass shootings. This is the first time I’ve incorporated a plea to end gun violence into a post-massacre prayer. In previous prayers after these tragedies I avoided reference to the gun control debate in the U.S. in order to provide a memorial prayer that we all can use — regardless of point of view — at these times of horror. For a more generic prayer, see “After a Deadly Rampage.”

Here, again, is a prayer called “Pride Wins: A Prayer after Homophobic Brutality,” and another called “Love Wins: A Pride Prayer, Jewish.”

See also: “For the Children of Newtown” and “After the Washington Navy Yard Shootings.” This prayer is based on a “For the People of Norway.” Here’s a Yizkor prayer to be said for an individual killed “At the Hand of Violence.” Please also see this “Munich Massacre Memorial Prayer.”

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: Screen Capture, NBC News

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