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אחרי הסערה | A Prayer for Central Oklahoma After the Tornado, by Rabbi Abby Jacobson (2013)

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Lord our God,
we stood before You just a week ago
to receive the Ten Statements of Your Torah.
We stood,
as though with our ancestors,
and listened to the Torah reader
chant descriptions of the smoking mountain,
the thunderous rumbling,
and the long-awaited voice of God.

This afternoon,
the people of central Oklahoma did not stand
to hear the voice of God.
We sat, we paced, and we huddled.
We listened to the voice of the meteorologists
and watched as dark clouds swirled together
over a cone of destruction.
The rain fell upward, not down,
and the thunderous roar of the swirling winds carried,
and we saw the awesome power of God.
This was not Shavuot —
the Feast of Weeks that marked our days of freedom.
This was minutes that seemed like years
and trapped us into watching the same images of destruction.

Merciful God,
a great and powerful windstorm has passed,
and it has torn apart the buildings
and shattered the rocks before You.
You told Elijah, the prophet,
that You were not in the windstorm.[1]Cf. 1 Kings 19:11 
Please, then,
be in the still, small voices of the children crying out to be found.
Be in the voices of the rescuers calling out for survivors.
Be in the cries of those who are lost and of those who have lost.

May it be Your will
that those who are missing
be found alive
and be cared for well,
and may the people of central Oklahoma
find strength in You
and in one another
as we rebuild what we can.

This prayer was originally published online by the Rabbinical Assembly, here.

Notes[ + ]

1.  Cf. 1 Kings 19:11

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