Mothers of Jerusalem

This is a new prayer for peace in Jerusalem. I wrote it in a cab and finished it at Chicago’s O’hare Airport moments ago, as I begin my journey back to my hometown, the City of Peace, the City of Gold. Jerusalem. The idea came from a Facebook post by friend and fellow Times of Israel blogger Devora Mason. She wrote: “Alden Solovy, do you have a prayer I could say to make myself feel better for the protection of my children?” Her question resulted in this prayer. I hope it offers some voice to our grief, our fear and our hope.

Mothers of Jerusalem
Mothers of Jerusalem,
Your wail echoes in the hills,
Your grief resounds in the valleys,
Your prayer rises up into the luminous sky.
More fathers and brothers,
More sisters and mothers,
More children and innocent,
Lost to the hand of violence,
Lost to the hand of hatred.

How long, oh my G-d,
How long before cruelty ends
And peace reigns within these borders,
Within these walls,
Within our hearts?
How long, oh my G-d,
Must we open graves for the lost?

G-d of generations,
G-d of millennia,
Spread Your tabernacle
Of safety and shelter
Over this holy city.
Guard our sons and our daughters.
Protect all who dwell within these gates.
Let courage and hope ease this fear.
Let compassion open the souls of the hard-hearted.
Let joy and gladness return,
In song and prayer,
To Your steppes of holiness.

Mothers of Jerusalem” is © 2014 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: Here is my piece called “Jerusalem: A Meditation,” as well as a link to other prayers for Israel and for peace. I took special care in writing this prayer so that any mother of Jerusalem – Jew, Christian, Moslem, Catholic, Arab, Druze, any mother – could say this prayer. Perhaps, one day, we will all pray together in peace. Today, my heart is with the victims of terror in Jerusalem.

About the Author
Alden Solovy is a liturgist, poet, and educator. His teaching spans from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Jerusalem to Limmud UK and synagogues throughout North America. He's the author of “This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day” and has written more than 750 pieces of new liturgy. His new book, "This Joyous Soul: A New Voice for Ancient Yearnings," was published in 2019. He made aliyah in 2012. Read his work at www.ToBendLight.com.
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