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Composing prayers as a response to the world

Rabbi Hazzan Avraham Alpert

Do you get frustrated from reading the news? If you are like me, you find it difficult to restrain yourself from posting and reposting on social media in response to the stories that upset you. It’s good, though, to have other ways to answer the irritations that come with facing reality. It may not be your go-to method or your intuitive paradigm of delivering your message, but why not consider writing a prayer on the topic in which you are engaged? I do this from time to time. It feels good to get the sentiment off my chest.

Prayer is not magic and God is not the cosmic Santa Claus who fulfills and delivers our every request. Nevertheless, people hear our prayers and of course Hashem hears our words. There is no telling what kind of positive response a prayer can elicit. I wrote this following prayer recently and read it aloud on Shabbat and received much encouraging feedback afterward. I hope it inspires you:    

Dear God,

Please teach your children to stop hating the Jews. Help the people on this amazing planet to understand that the children of Jacob are involved in the betterment of humanity. Help the nations of the world to see that the Jewish people are not evil, we are not greedy, we are not exploiters, we are not conspirators. Help them see that we are striving to bring beautiful solutions to this broken world. Help Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, and every name that humanity calls itself, help them to find the courage to stop blaming us for the problems in this world. Help our own people who are ashamed to be Jews; ashamed to be counted as members of the Nation of Israel; help our people to appreciate the beautiful blessings that we bring to this world. Help  us to draw closer to You and to Your Torah. Help us to stop hating ourselves. Help everyone, every Gentile and every Jew, to stop pretending that we Jews who persist in the Diaspora, and we Jews who thrive in our homeland, to stop pretending that we are to blame. Help the leaders and their disciples to stop rejecting us, stop hating us, and start loving us. Drive away Jew-hatred, drive away anti-Semitism and replace it with kindness and hope leading the world truly back to You, and let us all say Amen.

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