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A Prayer in Wake of a School Shooting

A Prayer in Wake of a School Shooting
Rabbi Menachem Creditor
in mourning and solidarity with the community of Newtown, Connecticut

Your children and teachers 
are dead and wounded. 

Our souls are burning with anguish. 
Until When, Adonai?! (Ps. 6:3)
How long must we fear?

You have given us the tools of progress, 
and we wield them to hurt.
Our plowshares have jagged edges,
and children are dying.

We have sinned.
And we continue to sin.

We have not done what we can.
We could have saved precious lives
by changing our ways
and we have not.
Your children, our children,
dead and wounded. 

We ask You, Adonai, for
the strength to face what numbs us,
the strength to hear the screams,
the resolve to not let our vulnerability make us feel powerless.
We are not.For we.

Adonai, we are your images, 
and we are being erased.
We are erasing ourselves, 
and in so doing we are erasing You.

We have so much accursed power.
It is the curse of this power 
and the sin that waits by the door (Gen. 4:7)
that leads us to permit evil, 
which is the same as doing it ourselves,
which is the same as erasing the Holy Name.

Your Name.

Dear God, this hurts so much.
Teach us, Guide us, 
Make us save each other.

Dear vulnerable images of God, 
here and everywhere,
we pray that you, 
in God's Name,
and in the name of those souls we have lost,
remember that comforting each other might come first,
but the need will come again if nothing changes.
We can master this evil. (Gen. 4:7)

May this world know no more hatred and violence.
May people live in peace.

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Sometimes, it isn't about nuance.
Sometimes it just comes down to facing the storm,
calling God out,
standing at the center of a whirlwind
holding your ground.

No cathedral is immune to agony,
no soul impervious to life itself no nation purely noble.
If it were any other way,
there would be no need for cathedrals
in the first place.

Kneel,  stand,  sit,  rise up.

To kneel is
to submit  to lower oneself  to step down  to pause.
To kneel is to call attention  to touch the Earth's face to listen to those  whose blood saturates  the very roots of our story.
To kneel is to step aside  to step outside  to invite others to come closer  to remember.
To kneel is not to stand not to stand not to stand idly by.
Speak your truth,
God damn it.

That's what God wants most of all.

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