Special Readings for Friday Nights

Here you will find the special readings that Rabbi Ilana chooses to enhance our Friday night services.

Friday, October 20

Peace, Please – Rabbi Karyn Kedar

We gather together,
in faith and with hope
to pray for peace
and for the safety of the people of Israel.

Help us, O Holy One
and protect us in our hour of need.
Touch our hearts
lest they harden with despair.
Guide our thoughts
lest they are overcome with fear.

Bring healing to the wounded,
strength to those in mourning,
courage to those in fear,
wisdom to those who lead.

Yedid nefesh, beloved one,
reveal Yourself
and fill the world with Your light.
Spread over us the shelter of Your peace.
Be quick, God of love, for the time has come.
Have mercy upon us, Eternal One of peace.

I do not live in Israel–  – Amy Wine

I do not live in Israel–
but her streets, I know by heart.
I’ve passed through them, step by step, turn by turn, town by town
I have followed her paths deep underground.

I do not live in Israel–
but I can hear all her sounds:
car horns and chatter, city pulse and sirens,
music in the desert,
hope, fear and resolve reverberating off of ancient walls.

I do not live in Israel but I’ve touched on every shore.
My toes have dipped in all her seas, touched each piece of Negev sand,
my hands run daily down her rough, pale stone.

I do not live in Israel but I have tasted all her fruits–
I have eaten every date and pomegranate seed, red juice runs down my face.
I wipe it with my dirty hands, sticky with honey.

I do not live in Israel, but I know every family there.
We were just together, moments ago.

I am every mother,
every baby is my baby.
I can distinguish all their cries:
a low whine, tired.
a lingering wail, hunger.
a piercing scream, fear.
How do I stop this pain?
I do not live in Israel,
I stand in Jerusalem from thousands of miles away.

I do not live in Israel.
Her words leave my lips and are received in heaven.

I do not live in Israel–

Israel lives in me.

A reading before Kaddish – Rabbi Evan Schultz

i came to the harsh realization
that we are all sitting shiva
as the funerals conclude
and the kaddish is read
one hundred…
two hundred…
three hundred…
nine hundred…
one thousand times…
i sit shiva
for each and every
as i cry
and we grieve
and we hug
and we tell their stories.
if i seem a little more sad to you
that is why
for i am sitting shiva
for all those now gone.
may their memories
be for a blessing.
now and always.

Friday, October 13

When Peace Comes: A Meditation – Alden Solovy

When peace comes,
When the tunnels are gone and the walls come down,
When we sing together as brothers and sisters,
We will remember these days of sorrow and grief,
Of rockets and terror,
Of longing and despair,
As a memorial to those who were lost,
As a remembrance of our mourning,
As a monument to our yearning,
On the road to wholeness,
On the road to wisdom,
On the road to our days of rejoicing.

Oh you children of Abraham,
You sons and daughters of Sarah and Hagar,
What will you become?
How long before shalom and salaam
Echo in these hills,
In these valleys and on these shores,
As shouts of awe and amazement?
How long before we remember
To hold each other dear?

One God,
Maker of All,
Banish war from our midst.
Speedily bring forth justice, understanding and love.
Bind these wounds and heal our hearts.
On that day the children of Ishmael
And the children of Isaac
Will dance as one.
Joy will rise to heaven
And gladness will fill the earth.

For the Bereaved – Alden Solovy

Rock of Jacob,
Comfort of Rachel,
Broken and torn,
Shattered and crushed,
Bereaved and bereft,
We declare Your holy name.

We praise your gifts and Your works.
You are Author and Artist,
Architect and Builder,
Source and Redeemer.

We, the mourners of Zion and Israel,
Comfort each other.
We console the lonely and embrace the lost.
We cry each other’s tears.
Together we recall Your wonder and Your majesty.
Holy One, Ineffable Redeemer,
Guiding Hand, Gentle Hand,
Loving Hand, Light of Israel,
You are our Shelter.