A vigil in Oak Creek, Wisc. on Aug. 7. Photo by REUTERS/John Gress
This prayer was written to recite for the victims and survivors of the Aug. 5 shooting at the Sikh temple in Wisconsin. Rabbi Naomi Levy, spiritual leader of Nashuva, wrote the prayer on behalf of the Conservative movement’s Rabbinical Assembly, which distributed it to congregations around the world.
Let Us Stand Up Together (נעמדה יחד)
–From our Haftarah this Shabbat, the second Haftarah of comfort (Isaiah 50:8)
We stand together in grief
For the innocent victims
Of the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin
Who perished in their house of prayer.
May their memories be a blessing,
May their lights shine brightly on us.
We stand together in mourning
For broken hearts,
The senseless loss, the shock, the emptiness.
We stand together in outrage,
Weary of this war-torn hate-filled world.
And together we pray:
Send comfort, God, to grieving families,
Hear their cries.
Fill them with the courage
To carry on in the face of this tragic loss.
Send healing to the wounded,
Lift them up, ease their pain,
Restore them to strength, to hope, to life.
Gather the sacred souls of the slaughtered
Into Your eternal shelter,
Let them find peace in Your presence, God.
Work through us, God,
Show us how to help.
Open our hearts so we can comfort the mourning,
Open our arms so we can extend our hands,
Transform our helplessness into action,
Turn the prayers of our souls into acts of kindness and compassion.
Let us stand up together
Our young and our old,
All races and faiths,
All people and nations.
Rise up above hatred
And cruelty and indifference.
Let us live up to our goodness
Let us learn from this tragedy
Let us walk together
Filled with hope
On a path of peace, Amen.
- by Rabbi Naomi Levy