בסיעתא דשמיא

אחרי הסערה | After the Storm: A Prayer to Choose Life


הַעִידֹתִי בָכֶם הַיּוֹם אֶת הַשָּׁמַיִם וְאֶת הָאָרֶץ הַחַיִּים וְהַמָּוֶת נָתַתִּי לְפָנֶיךָ הַבְּרָכָה וְהַקְּלָלָה וּבָחַרְתָּ בַּחַיִּים לְמַעַן תִּחְיֶה אַתָּה וְזַרְעֶךָ.‏
“I call on the skies and the land to witness against you today:
Life and death I have put before you, the blessing and the curse.
And so choose life, in order that you will live, you and your seed.”

Holy One, you commanded us to choose life, and yet we live in a generation that does not know how to choose life.

We are all of us responsible for the changes in the climate that made the devastation of this storm possible. Even as we take responsibility for helping those directly harmed by the storm, and as we pray for all the people who are in need and exposed to the elements, and for all the people who have joined in rescue and relief work, please also show us a path forward to take responsibility for the future of this planet.

Help us find a way to live differently, to choose life, so that the promise, “Blessed will you be in the city, blessed will you be in the field,” can be true for us and for our children and our children’s children, and let us not be “lost from off the good earth”!

Rabbi Seidenberg writes,

The prayers for hurricane victims that have been circulated through the Open Siddur Project and elsewhere on the social web are poignant and heartfelt, but they don’t reach the higher standard of speaking the truth that we need to hear. What about our responsibility for climate disruption and for the harm caused by this storm? And what about the Deuteronomic promise that God brings us recompense for our actions davka through the weather? Here’s an attempt at a different kind of prayer. I have not yet tried translating this into liturgical Hebrew. When I do it may change some.

We are grateful to Rabbi David Seidenberg (neohasid.org) for sharing “A Prayer for Life after the Storm,” with a Creative Commons Attribution/ShareAlike license.

Deuteronomy
30:19
Deuteronomy 28:3
Deuteronomy 11:17

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