Writings from the Rabbis

After the Hurricane ~ Today's Prayer at Beth Tzedec
Sep 3rd 2017

After the Hurricane

"El Elohey Ha'ruhot ~ God of wind and spirit" (Numbers 16) ~ we turn to you at this time of devastation.

We think of words recited during the Days of Awe, "Who shall live and who shall die, Who at the measure of days and who before. Who by fire and who by water."

"The floods have been raised up, the floods have raised their voice, the floods have raised the pounding waves." (Psalm 93)

We watch from afar. We shudder. We witness water washing out homes and hopes.

A flood of water covers them. ... They were snatched before their time; their foundation was washed away by a flood. ... Terrors overtake them like a flood; in the night a whirlwind carries them off." (Job 22)

God, are You listening? "I'm sinking in deep mire, where there is no foothold; I have come into deep waters, and the flood sweeps over me. ... Do not let the flood swee over me, or the deep swallow me up, or the pit close its mouth over me." (Psalm 69)

Be with them, Give them strength and security. "Shelter them in Your sukkah, protect them in the recesses of Your tend, raise them to safety on a rock." (Psalm 27)

As Texans face staggering losses, we are grateful for our personal safety. We ask You make us Your messengers on this fierce and fragile planet.

We remember the call of the prophet: "Share your bread with the hungry, bring the homeless into your house, clothe the naked, to cover them, do not hide yourself." (Isaiah 58)

Use us God. Open our hearts. Extend our hands. If we act, You will also say "Here I am." (Isaiah 58)

And who by fire, who by water, Who in the sunshine, Who in the night time, Who by high ordeal, Who by common trial. (Leonard Cohen)

Do not allow us to be complacent and content. Inspire us to transform intentions into deeds and prayers into ẖesed, kindness and compassion.

May all this be Your will. And let us say,


with appreciation to the poet Leonard Cohen and 
Rabbis Menachem Creditor and Naomi Levy for inspiring ideas and language.