Posts Tagged ‘Sri Lanka’


For Sri Lanka, On a Day of Blood and Prayer

Posted on: April 21st, 2019 by Alden

A prayer on behalf of the people of Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday, April 21, 2019, as the news unfolds. More than 150 people were murdered and 500 injured in a coordinated attack on three churches and three five-star hotels.

For Sri Lanka, On a Day of Blood and Prayer
How can it be,
That day of prayer,
A day of reverence and love,
A day of worship and communion,
At the hand of killers,
Can become a day of blood?

How can it be,
That a day heralding the message
Of peace on earth
And forgiveness for all,
At the hand of murderers,
Can become a day of wailing in the streets?

Author of life,
Man has turned vicious and cruel,
Cutting down innocents in Sri Lanka
With violence and hate,
On a day of holiness and faith.

Source and Creator,
Grant a perfect rest under your tabernacle of peace
To the victims of murder in Sri Lanka,
At churches, hotels and in the streets,
At Anthony’s, St. Sebastian’s and Zion,
At Shangri-La, Kingsbury, and Cinnamon Grand.
Their lives were cut off by cruelty and hate.
Their dreams were cut off by heartless brutality.

G-d of Mercy,
Grant healing of body and spirit to the survivors,
The wounded, the maimed,
The dazed, the shocked and the traumatized.
Give them and their families strength and courage
As the hours, the days and the years pass.

Heavenly Guide,
Hand of love and shelter,
Put an end to violence,
And lead us to a time when no one
Suffers at the hand of another.
Grant the people of Sri Lanka Your protection,
Your wholeness and healing,
And Your peace.

© 2019 Alden Solovy and

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: Courtesy of St. Sebastian’s Church as seen on Times of Israel

One is Everything

Posted on: December 21st, 2016 by Alden

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 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.”

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: 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