As this Shabbat approaches, I find myself pulled in multiple directions. Tonight, our congregation celebrates its 136th annual meeting. This is a time of celebration and renewal for Temple Emanuel. This weekend is also Purim – a time of joy, frivolity and chaos. We are commanded to be happy – to cut loose – to let go of our inhibitions. But, for me, all of the celebration and joy of this weekend is dampened by the events taking place in Japan in the aftermath of the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster.
I found the following prayer, written by my Conservative Colleague, Menachen Creditor, to be very powerful. We will be reading it tonight during Erev Shabbat services.
May you have a Shabbat Shalom and a joyous Purim – even in light of the events taking place around us.
Rabbi Joe Black
A Prayer in Response to the Earthquake and Tsunami
By Rabbi Menachem Creditor
Many, many images of God have been lost in earthquake
and fire and mighty waters just yesterday.
And so we turn to You, Adonai,
and we ask for Your strength and comfort.
We open our hearts one to the other
as brothers and sisters struggling in Your world.
"Above the thunder of the mighty waters,
more majestic than the breakers of the sea is Adonai (Ps. 93:4)."
Be with us as we offer what we can, through prayer and action,
to our sisters and brothers who are suffering in Japan
and who stand on alert around the world.
We ask for You to be the still, small voice after the fire,
allowing space for mourning and hope in the face of tragedy.
We see Your sheltering Presence and Your holy tears
in the receding waters of the Tsunami
and in the rescue work being carried out
by so many for the sake of a fragile world.
May it be Your will, Adonai our God and God of our ancestors,
to send healing to the injured and comfort to those in mourning.
May You be with those who are engaged in the sacred work of rescue.
Be with us as we bring shelter, food, and water to those in need.
May we merit to save many lives.
May those affected by this disaster know Your comfort.
May we act when we learn how we can help.
May our world be blessed by peace.