Tonight, I will be representing the Rocky Mountain Rabbinical Council at a Prayer Vigil in response to the tragedy that took place at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, SC. This is what I will be saying:
Prayer for the Vigil at Shorter A.M.E. Church
Rabbi Joseph R. Black
President, Rocky Mountain Rabbinical Council
Sr. Rabbi – Temple Emanuel – Denver, CO
June 18, 2015
Our God and God of all people. We come together tonight in solidarity – in grief and in hope. We feel the pain of loss, O God. We remember and grieve the murder of nine of your saints - precious souls whose blood flowed in your holy sanctuary for no reason save that they were the in the proximity of a disturbed and poisoned young man who was given a gun for his 21st birthday.
O God – we long for the day when violence and hatred will disappear. We pray that the worship of weapons that exists in our society will be replaced with the promise of peace.
We long for the vision of the prophet Isaiah who urged us to beat swords into plowshares and spears into pruning hooks…..
Our Jewish tradition teaches: "He who takes one life it is as though he has destroyed the universe" (Mishnah Sanhedrin 4:5). Today we in the Jewish Community stand shoulder to shoulder with our brothers and sisters in the African Methodist Episcopal community as we pray for those who were murdered and send our thoughts and strength to the families of the victims and those who were wounded.
May it be your will O Eternal that we might learn from the pain of this tragedy. May some good come from this evil act. May people of good will of every race and nation find the courage to stand together in solidarity and scream: “Enough! Enough hatred. Enough Violence. Enough mothers grieving the loss of their babies!”
We need Your presence O Blessed One. We need to feel the comfort of Your love. May the memory of the righteous be for a blessing – and let us say, AMEN