Friday, August 18, 2017

Invocation at Interfaith Service after the Violence in Charlottesville, VA

This invocation was inspired by several beautiful prayers written by my colleague, Rabbi Menachem Creditor. You can find more of his incredible prayers, meditations, and readings at

Eloheinu, Veilohei Avoteinu - Our God, and God of our ancestors,

We thank You for the opportunity to come together this day, from different backgrounds, different religions, different communities; and to stand here together as one.

We pray to You, O God, for the understanding and intelligence to learn well the lesson that the unity, closeness, and resolve that we all feel today must be lived each and every day of our lives. Help us recognize that all people are members of one human family. Strengthen our resolve to know – always – that xenophobia, islamophobia, anti-Semitism, oppression of the LGBTQ community, and all forms of hatred and the weaponizing of fear will NOT divide us. Our goal for ourselves, our communities, our country, and our world is for all humans to lead good lives while dwelling together in peace.

Today, we feel lost. We look for leadership… and hear silence. Our heads spin and we cannot wake up from dystopian nightmares. Our souls are burning with anguish. Until When, O Lord?! Until when, Dear God?!? Until when, leaders of our nation??? How long must we live in fear? How long must we endure violence and hate?

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

We ask You, O Lord, for the courage to face what numbs us, the strength to stand up for the oppressed even – and perhaps especially – when they don’t look, pray, love, or speak like us. And grant us 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.
In our world today, we are erasing ourselves, and in so doing we are erasing You, O God.

Dear Lord, this hurts so much. Teach us; guide us; make us save each other. Help us know that we are not alone, that we are here for one another, and we can unite against what plagues our lives.

May this world, our world, know no more hatred and violence. May people some day, please God, live in peace. If we will it – if we act on it and dedicate ourselves to it, it is no dream.

And let us now, together as one, all say: Amen.

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