A Sabbath Prayer for an End to Gun Violence
In Commemoration of the Second Anniversary of the Slaughter at Sandy Hook Elementary School on 12.14.12 and in memory all the senseless shootings and lives lost before that day and since then.
God of Cain and Abel, God of those who have been killed and God of those who must live with the guilt of killing,
God of broken heartened parents, who, like Adam and Eve, bear witness to their children joining the ranks of murderers and murdered alike:
On this Sabbath, when we recite the story of how Joseph was betrayed by his brothers, may we find the resolve to stop betraying ours.
On this Sabbath, when we study the story that begins the descent of our people into slavery in Egypt, we gather to reflect on our descent into violence.
On this Sabbath, where Torah reminds us of the terrible price of deception, we pray for the courage to stop deceiving ourselves.
On this Sabbath, which marks the second anniversary of the mindless massacre of children at Sandy Hook Elementary School, we pray for the determination to stop the senseless self-destruction that consumes the lives of more people each and everyday.
Today we call on our leaders to create legislation that privileges the right to exist over the right to bear arms. Today we call on firing ranges to stop letting nine year olds fire machine guns.
Today we call on gun owners to store their weapons safely. Today we call on all the living to bear witness on behalf of the dead.
Today we promise the dead that we will protest this plague as long as we live.
God of hope and heartbreak, love and loss, dedication and despair,
Give us, we pray, the determination to stop the spilling of blood, the hemorrhaging of tears and the outpouring of grief caused by violence we have failed to prevent.
Give us the courage to tell painful truths and demand real change. Restore in us the responsibility to mend the mess we have made of the gifts you gave us.
God of Abel and Cain, Eve and Adam, death and life, strength and sorrow,
Help us work for the day when we need no longer tell our neighbor that their son or daughter, colleague or friend has become the latest victim or victimizer.
May this be our blessing and let us say Amen.
* Please share this prayer with your communities and congregations and join with me to support Jewish Community Action’s work on Gun Violence Prevention (http://jewishcommunityaction.org/gun-violence-prevention) and the work of Everytown for Gun Safety (http://everytown.org)