By Rabbi Uri Allen
Our God and God of our ancestors, master of mercy and of the brokenhearted, help us to begin the work of healing that we so desperately need right now. Grant us with the capacity of compassion to listen more than we speak, to give the benefit of the doubt more often than not, and to judge each other favorably – even, perhaps especially, when we disagree.
Grant comfort to those who are in pain and full of grief. Comfort those who mourn and give strength to those who bring comfort.
Guide us with the courage to leave the limited and limiting echo chambers we too often inhabit. Help us stay off of social media and to remember that at the other end of every keyboard and every smartphone is a human being created in your image.
Help our leaders understand that words matter and when spoken from the podiums of our government, they have an impact on the way people feel, on how they think, and how they act. Guide them to their sworn duty in helping all Americans realize their inalienable rights among them life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Keep our voters safe and unafraid at the polls.
Bless those who stand by our side in this troubling time. And give us the strength to stand up for the marginalized and the downtrodden wherever they may be, for we indeed know what it is to be a stranger in a strange land and feel the crack of the Pharaoh’s whip.
Grant vision to all Americans to the reality that our diversity is our strength and always has been. Help us to confront our complicated history with honesty and contrition so that the United States can fulfill its promise as a shining beacon on a hill.
Open the hearts of the Jewish community to trust that the words of George Washington can indeed come to pass, that “the children of the stock of Abraham who dwell in this land continue to merit and enjoy the good will of the other inhabitants – while every one shall sit in safety under his own vine and fig tree and there shall be none to make him afraid.”
And let us say Amen.
Rabbi Uri Allen is Associate Rabbi, Temple Beth Sholom Roslyn Heights NY.