To hear some potential answers, check out this video from “Ohr HaShachar: Torah, Kabbalah and Consciousness in the Daily Blessings” author David Bar-Cohn: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zF9byjr6Ea8
Written by Nathan Lopes Cardozo, taken from the David Cardozo Academy. Originally posted on September 21, 2016.
In memory of Aaron Shmuel ben Menachem Mannes – Samuel Stern
The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference.
There is probably no greater curse in our world today than the curse of indifference. While we are surrounded by abundant beauty and have much to be thankful for, millions of children and other innocent people live lives of ongoing war, hunger, displacement, and other disasters.
Demonic forces that we cannot control, or do not care about because they are far away from our lives of comfort, strike our fellow human beings all over the world.
While we Jews have our share of calamites, it is our duty as the chosen people to care not only for our fellow Jews but for all of humanity.
Here is a prayer, in Hebrew and English, which I suggest we say in all our synagogues on Shabbat, when saying the prayer for the State of Israel and our soldiers, or when praying at home.
This is not just a prayer to God; it is also meant as a reminder to us not to remain indifferent to all the pain in our world and to what requires our care and serious attention.
I invite all of you to ask your rabbis, and your gabbaim who assist in the running of the services, to add this short payer to the synagogue Shabbat service, and send it out to your friends, Jews and gentiles alike.
I suspect that if God were to give the Torah today, He would add an eleventh commandment:
“Thou shalt not be indifferent”
The beginning of the Jewish New Year, less than two weeks away, gives us a unique opportunity to start saying this prayer.
Shana tova to all good people!
Nathan Lopes Cardozo
With special thanks to my dear friend Shimon Kremer for helping me formulate this prayer.
Download a PDF version of the prayer
תפילה לשלום העולם
“מָה-רַבּוּ מַעֲשֶׂיךָ ה’, כֻּלָּם, בְּחָכְמָה עָשִׂיתָ, מָלְאָה הָאָרֶץ קִנְיָנֶךָ”
אָבִינוּ שֶבַּשָמַיִם רִבּוֹן כָּל הָעוֹלָמִים
רַחֵם נָא עַל כָּל הַסוֹבלִים מִפִיגוּעֵי טֶרוֹר וּמִלחָמוֹת בָּאָרֶץ וּבחוּץ לָאָרֶץ.
הַגֵן עַל כָּל בּרִיוֹתֶיךָ מִפנֵי אַלִימוּת, תּרַפֶּה ידֵי בּנֵי בּלִיַעַל,
ותַנחֶה אוֹתָם לדֶרֶך הטוֹבָה ולִתשוּבָה שלֵמָה.
מנַע אסוֹנוֹת טֶבַע:
רעִידוֹת אֲדָמָה, מַיִם גוֹעשִים, וגַלִים רוֹעֲשִים,
אֵש מִשתוֹלֶלֶת או רוּחַ סוֹחֶפֶת.
רַחֵם עַל נטוּלֵי מָקֹום, חַסרֵי בַּיִת וּמזֵי רָעָב בּעוֹלָמֶךָ.
חֲמוֹל עַל מַעֲשֶיךָ, נַחֵם אֶת הָאֲבֵלִים ורַפֵא אֶת הַפצוּעִים.
פּתַח אֶת ליבֵּנוּ למַעַן כָּל יצוּרֵי אֱנוֹש בּכָל אַרבַּע כַּנפוֹת הָאָרֶץ.
ותִמחֶה רוֹעַ מכָּל יוֹשבֵי תֶבֶל אַרצךָ.
(הִרְכַּבְתָּ אֱנוֹשׁ, לְרֹאשֵׁנוּ: בָּאנוּ-בָאֵשׁ וּבַמַּיִם; וַתּוֹצִיאֵנוּ, לָרְוָיָה”(תהילים סו:יב”
נתן לופס קרדוזו
Prayer for World Peace
“How abundant are Your works, Hashem; with wisdom You have made them all; the earth is full of Your possessions.” (Psalms 104:24)
Our Father in Heaven, Master of the Universe,
Have mercy on all who suffer from terrorism and wars, in Israel and the world over.
Protect all of Your creatures against violence; weaken the hands of villains, and lead them to the path of goodness and complete repentance.
Prevent natural disasters:
Earthquakes, hurricanes, tsunamis, raging fires and tornadoes
Have compassion on all the displaced, homeless, and starving people in Your world.
Have mercy on your creations. Comfort the mourners, and heal the injured.
Open our hearts to all human beings in all four corners of the earth.
Eradicate evil from among all the inhabitants of Your world,
As is written:
“You allowed people to subjugate us; we went through fire and water and You brought us out to a place of abundance.” (Psalms 66:12)
And let us say Amen.
Nathan Lopes Cardozo
The Shaarei Nechama Rosh Hashana Machzor will be on sale at the Matan Yom Iyun on Monday, September 26, 2016.
Shaarei Nechama: Rosh Hashana Machzor
With Commentary of Professor Nechama Leibowitz
Nechama Leibowitz was the most prominent, creative, and ground breaking teacher of Bible and Biblical interpretation of her time. She taught and continues to inspire thousands. In Machzor Shaarei Nechama, we have collected from her wellsprings of Torah, drawn from her writings. You will find them organized under the rubrics: “Gates of Prayer” “Gates of Torah” and “Gates of Repentance.” Enter and experience the new vistas and wondrous insights of Nechama Leibowitz, which will inform and illuminate the high holidays.
Familiarity with Bible stories often works against us. That’s because we remember simple, sometimes fantastic stories from our childhood and then have a hard time re-reading these stories as adults.
Reading the Book of Jonah as an adult, as I finally decided to do, made me realize that Jonah should be remembered for much more than using a whale (the text only tells us it was a big fish but it is a reasonable assumption to say it was a whale) as the world’s first submarine. A more mature read shows Jonah to be one of the Bible’s most outrageous characters. Such a read has this small book that we read every year on Yom Kippur emerge as one that requires serious thought in order to understand.
From what I make of it, Jonah’s main problem was that he had too much integrity. In fact, he had so much integrity as to even disagree with how God runs the world! That is to say that he felt that it lacked the “higher standards” that he would have expected from God. Read the rest of this entry »
For a long time, E.M. Broner’s 1994 work, Mornings and Mourning, was the lone women’s voice in the literature on reciting Kaddish. Over the last two decades, that has slowly begun to change.
With the publication last November of Kaddish: Women’s Voices, an anthology by Michal Smart and Barbara Ashkenas, the void has been filled by a range of women with different backgrounds, each with a unique story surrounding her commitment to recite the Mourner’s Kaddish, even in communities where some see the act as obligatory for men, and suspect among women.
Two of the entries in the collection, which won a National Jewish Book Award in March, come from local women.
For Rabbi Esther Reed of Highland Park, saying Kaddish for her father involved the conflict between remaining authentic and true to herself, while maintaining sensitivity and respect for those in her charge as senior associate director at Rutgers University Hillel.
As a person in mourning, she needed a daily minyan to say Kaddish. But she did not want to disrupt the daily minyan at Rutgers or cause offense among the Orthodox students who attend. “I recognized that the morning minyan was an Orthodox service, where students were not used to seeing a woman in tallit andtefillin,” writes Reed, a Conservative rabbi. “I didn’t want to threaten students who felt that the Orthodox community at Hillel was their ‘home.’”
She continued, “I wasn’t trying to make a statement. I just wanted to say Kaddish.” In the end, she devised a compromise: praying with the tallit and tefillin in a staff member’s office, with a view of the minyan, before joining the Orthodox worshippers to say Kaddish for her father. Read the rest of this entry »