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A Prayer for Pittsburgh [after the Tree of Life synagogue massacre], by Rabbi Menachem Creditor (2018)


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Dear God,

Your precious Children are crying.
We have every reason to become numb,
to become used to this blasphemous trend,
to barely even register
that Your Images are being erased
by cold guns wielded by hurtful hearts.

God, we know we must act,
and we know that, in order to act,
we must feel the urgency – Your Urgency.
We must channel Your pain
at the deaths of Your children
– in Your Holy Home –
and remind ourselves and
our leaders to look to the Tree of life


We’ve been too quiet,
mistaking status updates and reactionary prayers
for repentance.
Our nation has endured
the epidemic of Gun Violence
for far too long.

And so, God,
as we feel the beginnings of our own weariness
after two mass shootings within four hours
we remember the wisdom of Your Prophet,
who taught that:
וְקוֹיֵ יְהוָה יַחֲלִיפוּ כֹחַ
יַעֲלוּ אֵבֶר כַּנְּשָׁרִים
יָרוּצוּ וְלֹא יִיגָעוּ
יֵלְכוּ וְלֹא יִיעָפוּ׃ (ישעיה מ:לא)
“…those who hope in God will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.”[1] Isaiah 40:31 

We pray to You for renewal
as we spread our protective wings over one another again,
running to justice,
refusing weariness,
and choosing life.

May we sing louder than weapons
and merit to see You in each other’s eyes,
sanctifying Your Name
by standing together
by rising up again,
this time rebuilding Your World
by saving each other.


“A Prayer for Pittsburgh” was first published by Rabbi Menachem Creditor at his website, and shared with the Open Siddur Project via our Facebook discussion group.


1Isaiah 40:31



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