As we prepare for Shabbat, our hearts are heavy from the tragic shooting in Charleston, SC. Our local faith communities, including the Minnesota Rabbinical Association and Jewish Community Relations Council, issued a statement together (click here). Tonight I will be reading the prayer below which I wrote along with a colleague, Rabbi Shosh Conover. It expresses grief and comfort and resolve.
With a week that also brought us the sunshine of the Vatican’s Encyclical on the Environment, may the warmth of the day bring us into the peace of Shabbat.
Adam Stock Spilker, Rabbi
A Mi Sheberach after the tragedy in Charleston, South Carolina
For Shabbat Korach, 3 Tamuz 5775, June 19-20, 2015
Mi sheberach avoteinu v’imoteinu….may God who blessed our ancestors in times of both tranquility and trial, bring today a healing embrace to a nation in tears, to families crying out from the loss of their loved ones, nine souls – victims of hate, nine souls – victims of gun violence, nine souls – victims of racism, nine souls taken from this Earth too soon. Please, O God, usher these souls to Your eternal embrace in peace.
On this day of peace, Shabbat, we acknowledge the depth of our pain, our hearts broken from yet another shooting, from a hate crime rooted in the evils of racism at a time when our country is reeling still from Ferguson, Baltimore, and yet again Charleston.
May we shore up our courage to name the racism that exists still in our country, the racism that robs all of us of our humanity in God’s image, and victimizes people of color in insidious ways. May we name, and speak out, and in so doing bring honor to the nine souls who did not choose to die for this cause, whose murders cast a long shadow on our society, whose memories will inspire millions of people of conscience to say, not again, not again.
May the Holy One of Blessing bring comfort to the mourners and resolve to our hearts. And let us say, Amen.