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☞   Terror

This is an archive of prayers composed in response to, or anxious anticipation of, an attack intended to invoke communal terror and distress.

Click here to contribute a prayer you have written, or a transcription and translation of a historical prayer.


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For prayers offered in the event of imminent communal danger and distress, go here.

For prayers offered in the event of hateful intolerance, prejudice, and bigotry, go here.

For prayers offered in the event of pogroms and genocide, go here.

For prayers offered in response to conflicts over sovereignty and dispossession, go here.

For prayers composed for social justice, peace, and liberty, go here.

תפילה לארצות הברית לאחר הטבח בפּיטסבּורג | Prayer for the United States after the Pittsburgh Massacre, by Rabbi Stephen Belsky (2018)

A prayer composed in the aftermath of the mass murder of the Dor Ḥadash community at the Ets Ḥayyim (Tree of Life) Synagogue in Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh on Shabbat morning 27 October 2018. . . .

פתח לנו שער בעת נעילת שער | Open for us a gate at the closing of a gate, by Rabbi Dr. Dalia Marx (2005)

A prayer for the State of Israel during conflicts over sovereignty and dispossession. . . .

Gratitude Prayer, by Rabbi Menachem Creditor on the first anniversary of the Pittsburgh Tree of Life massacre

A prayer on the first anniversary of the Tree of Life massacre in Pittsburgh. . . .

אֵלֶּה אֶזְכְּרָה, נוּסַח פִּיטְסְבּוּרְג | Eileh Ezkarah for Pittsburgh, by Rabbi Jonathan Perlman with Rabbi Tamar Elad-Appelbaum and Rabbi Martin Cohen

A kinah for the martyrs of the Tree of Life synagogue massacre in Boston in 2018. . . .

תְּפִלָּה לְהַצָּלָה מִפִּגּוּעֵי טֶרוֹר | Prayer for Rescue from Terror Attacks | Bön om skydd från terrorhot, by R’ Hillel Ḥayyim Lavery-Yisraëli

Let us not fear or be afraid, for you are our protector. “…Jacob shall return and live in peace and security; no one will terrify him again.” Guard our going out and our coming in, from now until eternity, and let us say, Amen. . . .

מי שברך למיני פשעי שנאה | Mi sheBerakh for Hate Crimes and Bigotry, by Isaac Gantwerk-Mayer

From resurgent neo-fascist movements to religious extremist attacks, hate crimes are on the rise all over the world right now. At times like this many people live in fear – fear of being attacked or maligned, physical, mental or emotional. Hatred is not new to the Jewish people, but traditionally it was considered “just the way it is.” As Americans, we should believe better. The midrash (Devarim Rabbah 5:10) says that hateful speech kills three – the speaker, the listener, and the subject. This Mi Sheberakh was written as a prayer for all those of every people and nation that are affected by hatred and bigotry. . . .

Prayer after a Mass Shooting at a Public School, by Rabbi David Dine Wirtschafter (2018)

Rabbi David Dine Wirtschafter writes, “Our hearts and prayers go out to the people of Marshall County, Kentucky who, now have joined an ever growing list of places to experience a mass shooting at a public school. We grieve for the families of the two teenagers who were killed. May the 18 others who were injured speedily recover from their wounds. These incidents are terrible no matter where they happen but there is something all the more unsettling when they occur so close to home.” . . .

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

“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. . . .

תפילה לבאסטאן | Prayer for Boston after the bombing, by Rabbi Stephen Belsky (2013)

May the One who spoke the world into being, and who blessed humanity created in God’s image, and who brought about the miracle of these United States to promote freedom and peace among all people — bless, guard, and protect all the inhabitants of the Boston area, and strengthen and encourage their leaders, representatives, police officers, and detectives; bring them out from the shadow of death to light, and from danger to relief; and may the verse be fulfilled for them which says, ‘God is good to all, and shows mercy to all God’s creatures.’ And let us say: amein. . . .

תפילה לבאסטאן | Prayer After the Bombing in Boston, by Rabbi Rachel Barenblat (2013)

I wrote this a few days after the Boston Marathon bombing. It arose out of a meditation service which I led at my synagogue. The doors to our sanctuary were open, so we had the sounds of the nearby wetland in our ears, and I invited the meditators to join me in cultivating compassion and sending it toward Boston. The line “My heart is in the east and I am in the west” is adapted from the medieval Spanish poet Judah haLevi. . . .