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A Jewish Prayer for Nakba Day (يوم النكبة), by Rabbi Brant Rosen


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לָאֵל שֶׁחָפֵץ תְּשׁוּבָה
Le’el she’ḥafets teshuvah,
to the One who desires return:
Receive with the fullness of your mercy
the hopes and prayers of those
who were uprooted, dispossessed
and expelled from their homes
during the devastation of the Nakba.

Sanctify for tov u’verakha,
for goodness and blessing,
the memory of those who were killed
in Lydda, in Haifa, in Beisan, in Deir Yassin
and so many other villages and cities
throughout Palestine.

Grant ḥesed ve’raḥamim,
kindness and compassion,
upon the memory of the expelled
who died from hunger,
thirst and exhaustion
along the way.

Shelter beneath kanfei ha’shekhinah,
the soft wings of your divine presence,
those who still live under military occupation,
who dwell in refugee camps,
those dispersed throughout the world
still dreaming of return.

Gather them mei’arbah kanfot ha’arets
from the four corners of the earth
that their right to return to their homes
be honored at long last.

Let all who dwell in the land
live in dignity, equity and hope
so that they may bequeath to their children
a future of justice and peace.
and let us say,
לָאֵל שֶׁחָפֵץ תְּשׁוּבָה
L’El she’ḥafets teshuvah,
to the One who desires repentance:
Inspire us to make a full accounting
of the wrongdoing that was
committed in our name.

Help us to face the terrible truth of the Nakba
and its ongoing injustice
that we may finally confess our offenses;
that we may finally move toward a future
of reparation and reconciliation.
לָאֵל מָלֵא רַחֲמִים
L’El malei raḥamim,
to the One filled with compassion:
show us how to understand the pain
that compelled our people to inflict
such suffering upon another –
dispossessing families from their homes
in the vain hope of safety and security
for our own.
עוֹשֶׂה הַשָּׁלוֹם
Osei hashalom,
Maker of peace,
guide us all toward a place
of healing and wholeness
that the land may be filled
with the sounds of joy and gladness
from the river to the sea
speedily in our day.
and let us say,

Rabbi Brant Rosen’s “Jewish Prayer for Nakba Day” was first published on his website on April 19, 2018.



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