Tekhine for Planned Parenthood

Tekhines, Yiddish women’s prayers, originated in Europe in the 16th century. Written in Yiddish, tekhines span the breadth of high synagogue worship to the holy moments at home (a prayer for a child’s first lost tooth), to the mundane tasks of life (baking challah for Shabbat). It is the tekhines written most clearly by women, for women, that are glimpses into their worldview, priorities, needs from prayer, and conceptions of Divinity.

We know that people of all genders access the medical care provided by Planned Parenthood clinics across the United States. When clinics are targeted by violent legislation and violent armed acts of terrorism, it is a direct attack on the care and services for women. So, a tekhine for Planned Parenthood, a prayer for all of us who seek care there, a prayer for service providers and volunteers. A tekhine, a prayer written in the vernacular by the same people who need them so explicitly.

Ribono shel olam, ruler of the universe,
Who planted the tree of knowledge in the garden,
to know between good and evil,1
Who granted human beings free choice.
Be with me in this time.
Holder, Guard, keep us safe.

Ribono shel olam, Rachel is weeping for her children,2
She pours out her grief.
I am awash in her tears.
Lift up the neshamot, the souls, of our fallen,
Comfort their families.
Memory, Eternal, remember us.

Ribono shel olam,
who knows of birth and death and the life that exists between,
Bless our healers,
Bless our health,
Bless our hands as we work to heal this brokenness.
Bless our treatments as they bring chayyim tovim, good life, on us all.
Shield our caregivers from harm
For our rabbis teach us, that one on their way to perform one of your holy commandments
is themselves shielded from harm.3
Healer, Soother, treat us.

Ribono shel olam,
Our Well, our source, who brings renewal and sustenance.
You are the deep well I draw from.
The well where Rebecca stood,
The waters that Miriam caused to pour forth.
The waters of the Nile that Yocheved trusted.

Ribono shel olam,
bless these sacred spaces of decision.4

1 Genesis 2:9. There is debate on whether the Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil are the same tree, or seperate. For many, the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil refers to carnal knowledge, due to the shame which is part of the immediate fallout from eating of the tree (Etz Chayyim)

2 Jeremiah 31:15

Talmud Bavli i Pesachim 8a “R. Elazar taught that harm will not befall a Shali’ach (someone on the way to do a) Mitzvah!”

4 Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice

Ariana is a student at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College and volunteer chaplain at Planned Parenthood of Southeast Pennsylvania.

To donate to the funeral fund of Ke’Arre Stewart, one of the victims of the Friday November 27 shooting, please click here. To donate to the National Network of Abortion Funds, please click here. To donate to Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, click here

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