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Prayer of Comfort and Support

From Rabbi SueAnn Wasserman, Director of Director of the Department of Worship, Music and Religious Living

This week’s haftarah, the third haftarah of consolation following Tishah B’Av, opens:

Ah, unhappy, storm-tossed soul, with none to comfort you: I will make garnets your building-stones, and sapphires your foundations. I will build your towers with rubies, your gates with precious stones, your border with gems… (Isaiah54:11-12)

And further on:

Come, all who are thirsty, come for water; even if you have no money, come buy food and eat: come buy food without money, wine and milk without cost….Open your ears and come to Me; hearken and you shall live. I will make an everlasting covenant with you, [like] the true love I extended to David. (Isaiah 55:1 and 3)

May these words from the prophet Isaiah speak to the hearts of those who have left the safety of their homes and communities in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

We pray they find comfort through their faith in You and through the loving kindness of those emergency workers and volunteers who have come to their aid.

May those who search for missing loved ones be sustained with courage and hope. Strengthen the hands of the rescuers who have been working around the clock to save those who are stranded.

We pray that those who have lost so much have the fortitude to rebuild their lives. Let us seek out ways to help them hew new building-stones and lay new foundations. Let them know that there are many to comfort them—they do not stand alone.

Baruch atah, Adonai, magein Avraham v’ezrat Sarah. 
Blessed are You, Adonai, shield of Abraham, help of Sarah.

For Shabbat Re'eh; submitted in honor of those affected by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. This reading can be adapted for services remembering victims of natural disasters and praying for community healing and rebuilding in the wake of these disasters.