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Prayer, program in the wake of Paris attacks
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Prayer, program in the wake of Paris attacks

A local educator has crafted a prayer to be recited before lighting Shabbat candles to provide a means for community members to commemorate the victims and express concerns in the wake of the terrorist murders in Paris.

Rabbi Shmuel Greene of The Partnership for Jewish Learning and Life was asked by leaders of its parent organization, Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ, to create the prayer; he adapted it from one written by Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz during Operation Protective Edge.

Federation leaders are also encouraging community members to attend “Rising Anti-Semitism Around the World,” featuring Mark Weitzman, director of the Task Force Against Hate at the Simon Wiesenthal Center, on Thursday, Jan. 22, at 7:30 p.m. at Morristown Jewish Center Beit Yisrael. The free event is cosponsored by the synagogue, the federation’s Community Relations Committee, and the Holocaust Council of Greater MetroWest.

The federation is also joining Jewish communities across the United States in establishing the France Emergency Fund; donations will be used to support the families of those murdered in the attacks, assist the French-Jewish community in increasing security for its institutions, and provide support for the increased aliya and absorption of French Jews in Israel.

A Prayer for Peace in a Time of War

Ruler of the universe, compassionate one, Sovereign of justice, have mercy for your children all over the world. save them from those who wish them harm, safeguard them from death, protect them from danger, and shelter them from fear. Send your light to mend the broken spirits of bereft orphans, of bereaved parents, of weeping husbands and wives, of grieving siblings, and of anguished friends who have lost those who are dear to them. Grant complete recovery to the wounded and the stricken and give courage and strength, hope and vision, to your people and to your land.

Bring justice to those who destroy, those who murder, and those who incite; those who lead them and those who help them. Undo their plans of destruction and protect those whom they would harm.

Ruler of the universe, enable the nations of the world to remove hatred from their hearts. Shine the light of truth on those who give credence to lies, and enlighten those who listen to rumors and false superstitions. Send the spirit of morality and justice into your world. Help humanity to build and to plant, to support the merciful in righting the ways of the world.

Compassionate One, who is true to the covenant, send a message of salvation and redemption to your world to comfort all of your children and bestow upon them an era of peace and blessing, light and joy. 

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