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A Prayer for When Children are Forcibly Separated from Parents

A Prayer for When Children are Forcibly Separated from Parents

Photo: John Moore/Getty Images

Pray for the children
The ones who were taken away
And pray for the leaders
Whose moral compasses have gone astray 

Pray for the kids
Who wallow in their cages
And pray for the guards
Whose work sullies their wages  

Pray for the dads
Who are now childless and under arrest
And pray for the moms
Whose kids were ripped right from their breasts

Pray for the parents
Away from their children day and night
And pray for our government
Which desperately needs to see the light 

Pray for the religious
Whose values others erroneously claim
To justify pulling children from their parents
But really, they just profane God’s name 

Pray for the people
Who avert their eyes from this travesty
And pray for government
Which employs this immoral strategy

But mostly,
Pray for the children
Created b’tzelem Elohim*
And pray for us all
As we all suffer the wretched parts of the American dream



* b’tzelem Elohim = created in God’s image. This prayer was originally published on Rabbi Kipnes' blog.

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Rabbi Paul Kipnes the spiritual leader of Congregation Or Ami in Calabasas, CA. He serves as rabbinic dean at URJ Camp Newman in Santa Rosa, CA, and as vice president of the Central Conference of American Rabbis. Rabbi Kipnes and his wife Michelle November co-wrote Jewish Spiritual Parenting: Wisdom, Activities, Rituals and Prayers for Raising Children with Spiritual Balance and Emotional Wholeness (Jewish Lights). He also co-edited a national CCAR Journal issue on New Visions for Jewish Community. Under his leadership, Congregation Or Ami has won national awards for social justice programming, for innovative worship programming, for outreach to interfaith families, and for engaging family education, and for best overall use of technology in a synagogue. Or Ami also wins the hearts of its families for its Henaynu caring community, which reaches out during times of need. He serves on the Rhea Hirsch School of Jewish Education clinical faculty at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Los Angeles. His writings can be viewed on his blog, Or Am I? He tweets @RabbiKip.



Rabbi Paul Kipnes

Published: 6/15/2018