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After the Flood – A Prayer

light_in_darknessI was asked to write the following prayer for the Rabbinical Assembly.
Chag Sameach.

After the Flood: A Prayer

By Marc Soloway, Congregation Bonai Shalom, Boulder, CO

Out of the depths of the flood waters we cry out to you El Shaddai, to say “dai — enough. It has been enough.”

Let the drowning earth dry out once again and show us the reassuring promise of your rainbow!

As we celebrate the joy of the gift of water and as we prepare to pray for rain, let us remember that when it is withheld, the soil is parched and nothing grows, but when the torrents flow without limit, our rivers burst, our homes flood and we tremble at its power. Water has given and water has taken. May water be blessed and may it bless and nurture us. Not destroy us.

In these bad days, protect us in Your shelter.

As we sit in the fragile shade of our temporary dwellings, help us feel your presence holding us in our insecurity, rocking us in our vulnerability, comforting us for all that we have lost.

May Your clouds be clouds of glory, not of devastating rain.

As we hold and shake the sacred leaves and fruits and branches, may our bodies and souls dance in the joy and the danger of our natural world, as we remember the delicate balance of creation and our need to sustain it so that it can sustain us.

Give us the courage to ask for help from our community and to be there for our neighbors. May hands of friendship restore our hope and our homes.

Mashiv ha-ru’ah umorid ha-gashem – the One who makes the wind blow and the rain fall. We have seen Your power. Now impress us with your gentleness.

R’fa’einu, Heal us and give us the courage and the patience we need to rebuild; the inner strength and humility to listen for the lessons in this great mystery.

Hazak v’ya’ameitz libekha v’kavei el Adonai

May we be strong, may we be wholehearted, may we never lose hope.

Amen.

About Rabbi Marc Soloway

Marc is a native of London, England where he was an actor and practitioner of complimentary medicine before training as a rabbi in London, Jerusalem and Los Angeles. He was ordained at the Ziegler School of Rabbinical Studies at the American Jewish University in 2004 and has been the the spiritual leader at Bonai Shalom in Boulder ever since. Marc was a close student of Rabbi Zalman Schechter Shalomi and received an additional smicha (rabbinic ordination) from him in 2014, just two months before he died. He has been the host and narrator of two documentary films shown on PBS; A Fire in the Forest: In Search of the Baal Shem Tov and Treasure under the Bridge: Pilgrimage to the Hasidic Masters of Ukraine. Marc is a graduate of the Institute of Jewish Spirituality, a fellow of Rabbis Without Borders, has traveled to Ghana in a rabbinic delegation with American Jewish World Service and co-chair of the Rabbinical Council and national board member of Hazon, which strives to create more sustainable Jewish communities. In 2015, Marc was among a group of 12 faith leaders honored at The White House as “Champions of Change” for work on the climate. Marc is a proud member of Beit Izim, Boulder’s Jewish goat milking co-op.

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2 comments

  1. Mark, you express so movingly, the horror and devastation that you are suffering. Yet you also have the courage to express hope.

    May you be soothed by the prayers of your friends and community. May you all .keep safe in the future.

  2. Beautiful Rabbi — thank you! Remember, too, please, that even rabbis get to accept help when their homes are flooded! 🙂
    Yael