A little while ago, while I was sitting at my desk listening to U2 on my Pandora station, I decided to open up my web browser to CNN. The first two stories, the first two headlines really got to me: A drought is hitting 39 more US counties and the deadly bus blast in Bulgaria, killing at least 6 Israelis and wounding many, many more. Have we not had enough? As a loyal American Jew who feels a very strong Zionist connection, I am overwhelmed, shocked and saddened. When will we learn? Problems exist all over the world...and will we ever find peace? Many people question God during times like this. They want to blame someone or something and it may seem easy to blame God. But, you know what? Guess where the problem lies...look in the mirror. Every one of us is responsible for what goes on in our world - the good AND the bad. How many have to die for us to learn? How many people have to die of starvation?
I have been accused of "proselytizing" AJWS and the One Campaign. Of course, those who have said this were "joking" with me. Yes, I do support AJWS and the One Campaign, in many ways. Here's a truth though - we have people starving in our own country, in our own backyards. To quote the article on CNN.com:
"The USDA has designated 39 additional counties in eight states as primary natural disaster areas due to damage and losses caused by drought and excessive heat, CNN's Brianna Keilar reports.
During the 2012 crop year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated 1,297 counties across 29 states as disaster areas, making all qualified farm operators in the areas eligible for low-interest emergency loans."
This is being called the worst drought in 50 years and one that will affect all of us. The problems that we see all over the world are now hitting us and we find those who are starving on our own soil. But, you know what, this drought is not the first...and there are millions of Americans who die every year from starvation. So, this drought is just another reminder. It is time for all of us to put our hands out there (not money, but action) and get to work. We can "fix" the problem...we just need to do it.
As I finished one thought about the drought and starvation problems we face, I read the article about the bus explosion in Bulgaria. I read about the anger, the threats from one side to another, the blame being placed upon Iran and Israel's promise to "...respond with force to Iranian terror." As a strong supporter of Israel and Jews all over the world, I certainly understand the anger and frustration Prime Minister Netanyahu is displaying.
Right now, with the anger and frustrations at a possible all time high, on the 18th anniversary of the awful attack on an Argentinian Jewish community in Buenos Aires, I find the best way to respond is to follow the lead of the Great Conservative Rabbi: Menachem Creditor. Therefore, I offer a prayer in response to the events of today, to the great moments of tension, terror and misery.
A Prayer for All of those in Pain Today
Almighty God, we come to you, eyes full of tears, hands raised in the air.
What must we do? Will we recover? Will the anger ever end?
Almighty God, we pray to you, hearts full of fear and angst, our eyes closed.
Where oh where shall we go? What shall we do next? Will we ever learn?
Almighty God, we cry out to you, some pulling at our hair, not knowing what will happen next.
Please God, help us. Please God, show us the way. Please God, send us healing.
Almighty God, our mouths go silent as we turn inward to our innermost thoughts.
We meditate on the good in the world. We focus on the children. We focus on their smiles.
Almighty God, we bow our heads in reverence, get down on our knees and bring our hands together.
We return to a prostrated position, begging for your mercy and seeking your guidance.
Almighty God, we realize we have much to do, much to do to bring about Heaven on Earth.
Right now, we need your help. We are overloaded with emotion. We fight because we do not know...
Almighty God, Almighty God, Elohim, Jesus, Allah, Brahma, Ek Onkar, Abaluyia...
You take on so many forms. However, we pray together, we pray for the same reasons.
Almighty God, look to us, help us and guide us in your ways.