היום | TODAY: A Rosh haShanah Prayer to End Gun Violence, by Rabbi Menachem Creditor

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Dear God,
God, we stand waiting for a world,
this world,
our world
to be reborn.

It’s not a statement we make lightly;
it is a statement of need.

This world needs rebirthing.
Our hearts need deep healing.
Our lives need rebuilding
after all the pointless deaths
we’ve endured this past year.

Dear God,
Guns and violence have destroyed
tens of thousands of lives
in America this year.
Tens of thousands.

We call to You, Adonai,
and beg that you stand
in Din, in Judgment,
of our carelessness
and our callousness at the senseless,
avoidable loss of many human lives.

We call to you, Adonai,
to infuse our souls
with Ḥesed, Your Love,
so that we really start to cry out
from the pain our nation has endured
for far too long.

May we be inspired by You
and act to save many, many lives this coming year.
We know that only then
will we be worthy of a world reborn.

Hayom, Today,
we remember Your command to choose life
is not a given in Your broken world
but rather a demand
upon us all.

Hayom, Today,
we sing louder than weapons:
Those who sow in tears,
will reap, will reap in joy.[1]Psalms 126:5.

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

Amen.

“Today — A Rosh HaShannah Prayer to End Gun Violence” was first published during Elul Zman (the season of ḥeshbon nefesh) by Rabbi Menachem Creditor on his Facebook Page, and shared through the Open Siddur Project via our Facebook discussion group. The prayer is a riff from Hayom T’amtsenu, a litany that concludes the Musaf service of both Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. It is a fragment of a longer piyyut which is found in its complete form in the Italian synagogue rite.

Notes   [ + ]

  1. Psalms 126:5.

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