A Prayer for Japan

The situation in Japan only seems to be getting worse. The eathquakes and tsunami last week devastated the country, leaving thousands dead and many, many more wounded and trapped. Now we also have the possible threat of a nuclear disaster to add to the mix. If Japan ever needed our prayers and support it is certainly now.

Mechon Hadar posted a prayer, written by Rabbi Shai Held, for those suffering in Japan on their website. I would greatly encourage us to use (or adapt) the text of this prayer while praying for Japan both within our own private davening, and in our services this coming Shabbat:

Ruler of Creation, Master of the World

אבינו שבשמים, אדון כל המעשים, רבון כל העולמים

Have mercy on all those who are suffering from the raging waters and the storming waves.

רחם על כל אלה הסובלים מן המים הגועשים והגלים הרועשים

Have compassion on Your creatures – Look, O Lord, and see their distress; Listen, God, and hear their cries.

חמול על מעשיך – הביטה יי וראה צרתם, האזינה אלוהים ושמע צעקתם.

Strengthen the hands of those who would bring relief, comfort the mourners; Heal, please, the wounded.

חזק את ידי המצילים, נחם את האבלים, רפא נא לפצועים.

Grant us wisdom and discernment to know our obligations, and open our hearts so that we may extend our hands to the devastated.

חָננו בינה והשכל לידע את חובותינו, ופתח את לבינו למען נושיט יד אל הנדכּאים.

Bless us so that we may walk in Your ways, “compassionate ones, children of compassionate ones.”

ברכינו אלוהינו ונלך בדרכיך, רחמנים בני רחמנים.

Grant us the will and the wisdom to prevent future disaster and death;

תן בנו אומץ וחכמה למען נמנע אסון ומות.

Prevent plague from descending upon Your earth, and fulfill Your words,

מנע מגיפה בעולמיך, וקיים מאמריך

“Never again shall there be another flood to destroy the earth.”

וְלֹא־יִהְיֶה עוֺד מַבּוּל לְשַׁחֵת הָא

Amen. So may it be your will.

אמן. כן יהי רצון


There are also a number of ways to donate to help the victims in Japan. Here are a few recommended resources:

About Rabbi Joshua

I'm a Rabbi, writer, thinker, mountain biker, father and husband ... not necessarily in that order. According to my wife, however, I'm just a big nerd. I have degrees in dead languages and ancient stuff. I have studied in various Jewish institutions, including an Orthodox yeshiva in Europe. I get in trouble for making friends with perfect strangers, and for standing on chairs to sing during Shabbos dinner. In addition to being the Senior Rabbi of Simchat Yisrael Messianic Synagogue in West Haven, CT, I write regularly for several publications and speak widely in congregations and conferences. My wife is a Southern-fried Jewish Beltway bandit and a smokin' hot human rights attorney... and please don’t take offense if I dump Tabasco sauce on your cooking.
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1 Response to A Prayer for Japan

  1. David Lazarus says:

    Wonderful meditation helping us turn our hearts towards the only source of comfort in these situations. I put together a prayer using some scriptures that I think also expresses something of challenge to find hope in this tragedy. Pray it here: http://abbalazarus.blogspot.com/2011/03/prayer-for-japan.html

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