Written by Rabbi Zoe Klein of Temple Isaiah, Los Angeles, CA
How Much Water Is Inside A Tear
How much water is inside a tear, And how long does it take to dry them? As long as there is misery and fear In the people who continue to cry them.
How much water is inside a flood And how long does it take to recede? As long as it takes to restore hope To the people in desperate need.
How much water is inside a storm And how long does it take to clear? As long as it takes to rebuild a home And restore everything that is dear.
How much water is inside a city When a levee suddenly breaks? As many as are the tears that are cried When so many million hearts break.
To the Victims of Katrina
If this synagogue could open her doors Wide as a mountain pass If this synagogue could open her sanctuary Wide as a superdome If this synagogue could open her mouth, Shed sing out to her human family: "Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore, Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I raise my eternal lamp To guide you to my door I have soft mats for you to sleep on, Strong shoulders for you to weep on, Kind words for you to keep on Believing in yourself " This synagogue will open her heart Wide as the arc of the covenant, A torrent of empathy and love, A white winged, olive bearing dove. May our support be evidence of hope. May our empathy lead loved ones to cope. May our love be wings with shelter beneath. May our tears wash, soothe and soften the grief.
May It Be Thy Will
Traditionally we recite three times a day: May it be Thy will that the Temple be speedily rebuilt in our own time. Today we recite, May it be Thy will that homes be rebuilt in our own time, In time for families to come home. May it be Thy will that streets be repaved in time For needed supplies to reach their destination. May it be Thy will that hospitals be restored in time For the suffering to receive treatment. May it be Thy will that businesses be renewed in time For people whose lives depend on them. May it be Thy will that neighborliness be mended in time Before transgressions are committed through looting and crime. May it be Thy will that communication be repaired in time For families and friends to reach out to the ones that they love. May it be Thy will that electricity and clean water be brought back in time For widespread disease to be prevented. May it be Thy will that hearts be rebuilt in time For people to be rescued from the mires of depression. Dear God, we ask for all of these things to be rebuilt, Speedily in our own time. Renew us as of days of old.
From the belly of the fish At the bottom of the sea Jonah prayed: "In my trouble I called to the Lord And You heard my voice The floods engulfed me; All your breakers and billows Swept over me. I thought I was driven away Out of Your sight Yet You brought my life up from the pit When my life was ebbing away, I called the Lord to mind; And my prayer came before You " Dear God, Please place a prayer Into the lips of those who are lost and afraid. When they call You to mind, May their prayer come before You As did the prayer of Jonah. Answer them, dear God, And bring them out of an ocean of destruction And safely onto dry land.