People wrote their prayers on 3×5 index cards.
The one-year anniversary of the shooting at Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh arrives in just a few more days. The newspaper articles and commemorations began to appear a few weeks ago. Memories of trauma, of lives lost, of violence, of dreams cut off, reverberating from a congregation, to a city, across the U.S. and around the world. Personal stories. Deep reflections. New prayers. The Jewish community weeping together.
The Lit. Thirty The first thirty days after someone dies. This is an intermediate stage of mourning -- less intense than then initial week of shiva, but more intense than the remainder of the first year. It is customary not to shave or cut one's hair and not to attend social gatherings, parties, concerts etc during this time. for the murdered, the end of a 30-day mourning period, came just before The holiday which celebrates the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem following its conquest by the Syrians in 165 BCE. The holiday is celebrated by lighting candles in a hanukiyah oon each of eight nights. Other customs include the eating of fried foods such as latkes (potato pancakes) and sufganiot (jelly donuts), playing dreidl (a gambling game with a spinning top), and, in present day America, gift giving. 2018. Moved by the contrast between a joyous festival juxtaposed in time against the attack, I wrote a prayer called “Maoz Tzur for Pittsburgh.” As a result, I found myself in Pittsburgh on the night of Shabbat is the Sabbath day, the Day of Rest, and is observed from Friday night through Saturday night. Is set aside from the rest of the week both in honor of the fact that God rested on the seventh day after creating the world. On Shabbat, many Jews observe prohibitions from various activities designated as work. Shabbat is traditionally observed with festive meals, wine, challah, prayers, the reading and studying of Torah, conjugal relations, family time, and time with friends. Hannukah last year reading that prayer.
While in Pittsburgh, I participated and co-led a discussion about prayer at Rodef Shalom with Rabbi Aaron Bisno. At the end of the session, I presented the idea of Six-Word Prayers, that all an individual might need is six words to express an entire prayer. People wrote their prayers on 3×5 index cards. Twelve people gave me those cards with permission to share them. Of course, some folks used a few extra words.
I’ve been reluctant to share them, even with permission. With the anniversary approaching, maybe it’s time to take those prayers out of the drawer and use them. Here they are:
- To feel safe at home in Pittsburgh.
- Let God’s patience help me now.
- May I find God in living.
- Let the Lord be my Shepard.
- That all who know us recognize us as whole humans.
- May I grow closer to those I love.
- May our leaders fulfill the responsibilities of their positions.
- Allow me knowledge, wisdom and peace.
- Healing Light. Strength of Spirit. Music to Inspire.
- I believe in miracles. I believe in parents reuniting with children. I believe in community support to fight hate.
- For my friends: Shalom. Peace. Kindness. Charity. Love. Understanding.
- I pray for peace all over the world.
May these prayers be heard in the highest heavens, for the Jews of Pittsburgh, for the Jewish community worldwide, and for all the nations of the earth.
Alden Solovy is the Liturgist-in-Residence at the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Lit. City of peace From the time of David to the Roman destruction, Jerusalem was the capital of Israel and the spiritual and governmental center of the Jewish people. During the long exile, Jews longed to return to Jerusalem and wrote poems, prayers, and songs about the beloved city. In 1967, with the capture of the Old City, Jerusalem was reunited, becoming "the eternal capital of Israel." Still, the longing for peace is unfulfilled.. A liturgist, poet, and educator, his teaching spans from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Jerusalem to Limmud UK and synagogues throughout North America. He’s the author of “This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day” and has written more than 750 pieces of new liturgy. His new book, “This Joyous Soul: A New Voice for Ancient Yearnings,” was published in 2019. He made Lit. Ascending Being called up to recite the blessing before and after a Torah reading. Also, a term used upon moving to Israel (i.e., making aliyah) in 2012. Read his work at www.ToBendLight.com.
Republished with permission from the Times of Lit. ''the one who struggles with God.'' Israel means many things. It is first used with reference to Jacob, whose name is changed to Israel (Genesis 32:29), the one who struggles with God. Jacob's children, the Jewish people, become B'nai Israel, the children of Israel. The name also refers to the land of Israel and the State of Israel..