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Boston 4/15/13 - Part 2 - A Prayer

I cannot pray on other people's behalf and I do not presume to write a prayer for anyone other than myself. Yes, as a Jew my traditional prayers are usually in the plural - we, our, us - but for right now, my prayer is my own.

Dear God, my anger is mixed with sadness and fear. 

I know that unjustified and unfettered anger and fear are potentially emotionally dangerous and damaging to my soul, however right now my anger and fear are equally appropriate to my sadness. 

And so I pray:

Guide me in directing my anger at the right source: at the people who perpetrated evil, deliberately targeting for maximum devastation and loss of life. Guide me in channeling my anger into positive energy, finding ways to help support people whose lives were changed forever in yesterday's events. 

Guide me in keeping my fear for myself and the people I love from ballooning out of proportion to the point that I isolate and fearfully avoid living life to the fullest. 

Help me keep my sadness in check so that I can avoid moving into overwhelming sorrow and self-pity.

At times like this it's very tempting to read things written by provocateurs who only want rile up the world with their vile and outrageous comments. This nonsense feeds my rage; God, please give me the strength and maturity to stay away from this ugliness.

There will be more times of evil - we know that for sure - and it's my job to stay vigilant. So above all, guide me to work to make my community a better place to live, a place of peace and compassion, where evil cannot find a home. Keep my own words kind and gentle and my mind clear of anything other than Your goodness.

Kein y'hi ratzon - may this be Your will.


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