A Prayer for the Dead and the Living after Buffalo and Uvalde

Posted on June 3, 2022 by Rabbi Arnie Gluck

The Jewish memorial prayer is called Eil Malei Rachamim, God Full of Compassion. I offer this version for the dead and for the living:

Eil ma-lei ra-cha-mim, sho-chein ba-m’ro-mim, ham’tzei m’nu-cha n’cho-na ta-chat kan-fei ha-sh’chi-nah…

God full of compassion, transcendent Presence, grant perfect rest under the wings of Your presence to Your precious children who have been taken from us by the plague of gun violence –

to our sisters and brothers in Buffalo, NY, who were targeted for death because of the color of their skin;

to the children of Uvalde, Texas, and their teachers, the light of whose lives was extinguished by a deranged young man who should never have had access to a military assault weapon.

Eil ma-lei ra-cha-mim, God full of compassion, transcendent Presence, grant comfort and consolation to the survivors of these heinous attacks and to all who have lost loved ones and friends to gun violence.

Be with them and be to them a light in their time of darkness. Help them to endure and choose life in the face of such unbearable tragedy.

Eil ma-lei ra-cha-mim, God full of compassion, transcendent Presence, grant no rest to the leaders and citizens of this nation.

Let there be no repose so long as this nation values guns more than children; so long as the cult of death that worships firearms holds sway in this land. Let there be no rest.

Let there be no tranquility in our hearts so long as our children are not safe in school. Let there be no peace of mind so long as parents and children live in fear.

Eil ma-lei ra-cha-mim, God full of compassion, transcendent Presence, awaken in us compassion for one another; grant us enough love to overcame hate in all its forms.

Inspire us to embrace the conviction that the only arms we need in our homes, our schools and everywhere we gather as community are the arms we use to embrace one another.

A-na ba-al ha-ra-cha-mim has-ti-reim b’sei-ter k’na-fe-cha l’o-la-mim. U-tz’ror bi-tz’ror ha-cha-yim et nish-ma-tam. Ado-nai hu na-cha-la-tam v’ya-nu-chu b’sha-lom al mish-ka-vam, v’no-mar a-mein.

God, abounding in mercies, we beseech You, let all those we have lost find refuge forever in the shadow of Your wings, and let their souls be bound up in the bond of eternal life. Eternal God, You are their inheritance; may they rest in peace, and let us say: Amen.


Remarks Delivered at the Multifaith Prayer Gathering – Trenton, June 2, 2022