Prayer for Survivors of Clergy Abuse

El rakhum v’hanun, God of compassion and grace. Out of the depths I call to you. Listen to my cry; be attentive to the voice of my supplication.[1] Give me comfort and consolation for the wounds inflicted on me by one whom I called my Teacher [Rabbi/Cantor/Advisor]. Purporting to act in Your Holy Name, he/she/they violated our trust in him/her/them. The harm that they caused is not easily healed, the devastation that they inflicted not quickly forgiven. And yet I continue to seek You. And I am not alone.

As you heard Hannah’s silent supplication, hear the cries of all those who seek You, even as their trust in Your Torah has been betrayed. Hear the whispered prayers of those made to feel unsafe in Your sanctuaries, of those who recoil at the sight of your purported emissary. Wrap them up in the wings of Your Love, give them shelter wherever they seek solace.

I know that these wounds may never fully heal, but I pray that we may both find comfort in the arms of those carrying out Your will in goodness, honesty, kindness, and truth. Turn my pain into empathy for all those who suffer, transform my suffering into appreciation for all those who provide healing. May I once again find joy in Your prayer-houses and seek You in Your sanctuaries. As the psalmist wrote: “I only yearn to dwell in Your house, to gaze upon Your beauty, to safely visit Your Sanctuary. Shelter me in Your sukkah, protect me in Your own tent.”[2]

Hashiveni Adonai Eilekha V’Ashuva. Help me to return to You, and I will return.[3] Because I know that just as I need Your comfort, You need mine.[4] Let us find healing together.

[1] Psalm 130:1-2

[2] Psalm 27: 4-5

[3] See Lamentations 5:21

[4] Jeremiah 8:27 (“Because my people is shattered I am shattered; I am dejected, seized by desolation.“)


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