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Psalm for Tisha B'Av

a single candle is lit against a dark background creating an orange glow
When Your temples are destroyed
Your people murdered by enemies of truth
We fall to our knees in ashes and dust.
 
We rend our clothing, cry psalms of lament.
Adonai, Adonai, why have you forsaken us?
Why have you given us like sheep to slaughter?
 
The valley of the shadow is deep and wide.
We fear evil. The Angel of Death does not heed
the signs on our doorposts or on our gates.
 
By the Rivers of Babylon, in the Warsaw ghetto
In Pittsburgh at the Tree of Life Synagogue
Shekhinah sits shiva with us in ashes and dust.
 
בָּרוךְ אַתָּה יְיָ אֱלֹהֵנוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, יוֹצֵר אוֹר וּבוֹרֵא חשֶׁךְ
Blessed are You, Adonai, our God, Creator of light and darkness.
 
We will mourn, but then we will rise
To write new prayers and sing new songs.
We will turn dust and ashes into fertile earth.
 
Adonai, Adonai, God of compassion
You weep with us in the darkest night
But raise us in joy in morning’s light.

 

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