A Kavannah for Our Shabbat Tables After Hurricane Sandy

“But as for me, distressed and in pain–may your salvation, God, protect me” (Tehillim/Psalms 69:29).

Our God and God of Our Ancestors,

So often when we gaze into the heavens, we are reminded of the awesome power of the world in which we inhabit. Yet just as that world brings beauty and grandeur, our world can also be a place of destruction.

This past week, we’ve seen destruction in our planet, our communities, our streets, and even our own homes, and been forced to ask ourselves how to repair what has been broken, and how to rebuild that which has been torn down. And as we see our own brokenness, we see that brokenness shared with others.

As we begin the slow road to recovery, may we take this opportunity to use this disaster to recognize the blessings in our own lives, and what it means to share blessings, shelter, and support with others. May we share our water, our homes, our heat, and our compassion with one another, and ensure that those who need us do not feel alone. The blood to be donated, the clothing to be provided, the structures to be rebuilt, all of these things remind us that our most basic needs are shared, yet too easily taken for granted. In our time of need, our obligation is to care for our loved ones, while not forgetting our wide circle of obligation.

If we might find good in this tragedy, may we find it through the bonding and bridging that takes place when a community looks out for one another, and comes together to bring healing. As we are taught,

  • “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow; but woe to him that is alone when he falls, for he has not another to help him up” (Kohelet/Ecclesiastes 4:9-10).
As we enter Shabbat, may this disaster compel us to come closer together, to serve one another, and to strengthen the kehillah kedoshah (holy community) that finds hope amidst despair.  May it happen soon, and speedily, in our days.   Amen.

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