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Prayer for Ukraine 

02/24/2022 01:40:09 PM

Feb24

Rabbi Bruce Aft

Dear Friends,

As I write this column we are all watching the events occurring in the Ukraine.  Our thoughts and prayers are for peace, but right now, those prayers do not seem to be working.

During a week in which we read Parshat VaYakhel and we talk about what helps build a community, I ask myself, "what should our community do at a time like this?"

Honestly, I reflect upon the commentaries that are suggesting that this is reminiscent of Sept. 1939.  I am haunted by the thought of what I could have done if I was a rabbi at that time. I am a rabbi at this time however, and all I can think of is that we stay aware and offer the following prayer with the hope that G-d who makes peace in high places will make peace for us, for all Israel, and for all humanity.  Please also take time to read Psalm 27 and the adaptation of it found below. which was done by a Presbyterian minister who edits the Presbyterian Outlook but is certainly appropriate for us.

Shabbat Shalom,

Rabbi Bruce Aft

A Psalm 27 prayer for the people of Ukraine
February 20, 2022 by Teri McDowell Ott (from the Presbyterian Outlook)

“Whom shall I fear?”
Creator G-d, this question of Psalm 27 is not rhetorical for the Ukrainians who are being attacked by the Russians.

Lord, be their light and their salvation.  Protect the Ukrainians whom we watch on the nightly news — the elder veteran pacing an old army trench, the grandmother in her pink housecoat taking up arms, the mother and her teenagers practicing at the shooting range, the common citizens answering the call to protect their homeland, their communities, and their right to live free and secure.  Strengthen President Zelensky as he jets from one country to the next, rallying the support of allies, while also attending to his citizens and walking the streets to encourage and reassure them.

We seek your presence also in Russia and among her troops.  Save those called to kill by leaders far removed from the blood, trauma and moral injury of war.  Open the hearts of political leaders who prioritize power over people.
Bless the efforts of diplomacy, that peace may soon be seen as the most profitable and proven path.  Until that day when peace shall reign, until that day when enemies stop “breathing out violence” at the borders of the innocent, let us hold onto the promise that we “shall see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.”  On behalf of those who suffer and struggle, we wait and we pray and we listen to the psalmist. “Be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!” 
Amen.
 

Sat, April 13 2024 5 Nisan 5784