Editor’s Note: Hazzan Harold Messinger of Beth Am Israel in Penn Valley wrote the following prayer this week, reflecting on the storm and its aftermath.
“Who causes the winds to blow and the rains to fall”, "Mashiv Ha'ruach U'Morid HaGashem"
Three times a day, between the end of Sukkot and Pesach we offer these words as a special addition to the Amidah prayer.
Three times a day we offer this prayer to you, Adonai.
And can anyone now doubt that our prayers were answered?
And God, if you are still listening, next time, not so much rain, and go easy on the winds, you God, who knows the full potential of nature’s power.
Adonai, we are in awe of the world around us, and at the same time we strive to see the wonder, the Godlike quality in all we do, in all you do and in all that is.
And before the storm, and during it’s fury, and in the aftermath we prayed and continue to pray:
For Gevurah: Power. Strength.
Strength to endure, strength to have patience, strength to help, comfort and reach out.
Strength to overcome.
For the first responders who came from around the corner and around the country to go straight into harms way, to restore power where there was none, to save lives that were in peril, to remove the bodies of those who did not survive.
And to the second, third and fourth responders: Todah.
Thank you for your selflessness, your humanity, your courage.
We pray for healing comfort: We pray for the families who lost loved ones.
We pray for those who lost their possessions, their homes, their businesses.
We pray that those things that can be restored are restored, and we pray for healing where restoration is not possible.
We pray for wisdom: For our leaders to show courage and integrity, to reach beyond cynicism and partisanship and to act with insight and honor.
Adonai: We have witnessed nature in all its destructive force, indiscriminate, unyielding and breathtaking.
And just as we have seen friends and family respond with courage and with open hands, so, too, have we seen strangers helping strangers simply because it was, it is, the right thing to do.
As the waters recede and life returns to a new normal, we continue to hope and pray for renewal, for shelter and for comfort.