A Water from the Well blog post, Parashat
Written by Rabba Kaya Stern-Kaufman
This is such a difficult and painful time for us all. As the news of the horrors continue to mount, we are shattered and heartbroken. We grieve and we fear, for loved ones, innocents of all ages, our extended family. We also understand that this is going to be an ongoing crisis situation. And as such, it is important that we find ways to remain grounded so that we can continue to be of help and support.
In that vein, I will be offering short prayer sessions every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday morning at 10:00 am on Zoom to focus and pray for peace together. You can access these sessions through our regular Zoom link . These Zoom gatherings will be no longer than 15 minutes.
Additionally, we will hold an in person Community Prayer Vigil for Peace this coming Wednesday evening 10/18/23 at 6:00 pm in our Social Hall. This gathering is open to the entire community.
I urge you to seek out ways to restore yourselves by making sure to take some time every day to shift focus onto something that lifts or soothes your spirits. Walking in nature, meditation, listening to music, and sharing hugs are all useful in helping to regulate our nervous systems. Of course, please also reach out to me if you would like to talk 1:1.
I encourage you to attend Shabbat services as well, for praying in community is one of our most ancient tools for resetting. This coming Shabbat in particular, our services will be led by our rabbinic Intern, Reb Jacob Chatinover. Unfortunately, I will not be able to attend, but please do come and support Reb Jacob.
We also have a traditional practice for moments like this one: ta’anit tzibbur, a fast that draws the entire Jewish community together, to unite for deliverance for those in crisis. Hadar Institute is organizing a Communal Fast Day, tomorrow, Thursday, 10/12 . For more information, see their website .
For those who may find solace in prayerful music, below are two links to prayer/songs for these times. The first recording is one of the Hoshana prayers typically recited on Sukkot asking for deliverance and help from God. The second is a song that quotes Isaiah, offering comfort to our people.
Om Ani Homa Traditional Sukkot prayer for Divine intervention, saving help, (Hoshana) written by El’azar HaKalir (sixth & seventh century Hebrew poet). With Rabbi Ebn Leader (lead vocals), Noah Aronson (producer, vocals), and Becky Wexler (clarinet, vocals). At the end of the song there is a recording of a class that is not meant to be included. You can turn off the recording at that point.
Nachamu written and performed by Elana Arian.
Finally, Steve and I thank you all sincerely for your loving messages and condolence cards after the passing of Steve’s sister Judy. It was truly a comfort to feel all of the community support at this difficult time.
With blessings for peace,