Poem: A Prayer for the Victims

A candlelight vigil is pictured on the Las Vegas strip following a mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest Country Music Festival in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S., October 2, 2017. Picture taken October 2, 2017. REUTERS/Chris Wattie

Our hearts are breaking, God,
As our nation buries innocent souls.
The loss is overwhelming.
Send comfort and strength, God, to grieving family members

In this time of shock and mourning.

Send healing to the injured

And strength and wisdom to their doctors and nurses.
Shield them from despair.
Ease their pain, God,
Let their fears give way to hope.

Bless us, God,
Work through us.
Turn our helplessness into action.
Teach us to believe that we can rise up from this tragedy
With a renewed determination to end gun violence

And a renewed faith in the goodness of our society.
Shield us from indifference
And from our tendency to forget.
Open our hearts, open our hands.
Innocent blood is calling out to us to act.
Remind us that we must commit ourselves to prevent further bloodshed
With all our hearts and souls.
Teach us perseverance and dedication.
Let us rise up as one in a time of soul-searching and repair.

God of the brokenhearted,
God of the living, God of the dead,
Gather the souls of the victims
Into Your eternal shelter.
Let them find peace in Your presence, God.
Their lives have ended
But their lights can never be extinguished.
May they shine on us always
And illuminate our way.

RABBI NAOMI LEVY is the spiritual leader of Nashuva in Los Angeles. Her most recent book is “Einstein and the Rabbi: Searching for the Soul” (Flatiron Books).