Prayer for Israel
by Rabbis Nicole Guzik and Erez Sherman
This prayer was offered at the Los Angeles Community Vigil for Israel on Sunday, October 8, 2023
Ribono shel olam, Master of the Universe, this morning as we ended the Torah with a lamed and began the Torah with a bet, we are reminded that our lev, our heart is in your hands.
Our broken, confused, agonizing hearts.
Give us the strength to cradle Eretz Yisrael through this unfathomable time in Jewish history.
God, reunite children with parents, grandparents with children, friends with community, sisters with brothers. Babies who cry for their homes.
May the wounded, physically, emotionally, spiritually find healing in the coming days, months, years.
Let the bereft understand they are not alone. Not today, nor tomorrow. For this journey of grief will be long.
God, you hold our shattered, fractured, punctured hearts.
The heart of a Jewish nation.
The heart of the Jewish people.
God, you hold our heart. Piece together our broken slivers, slivers of compassion, mercy and love. One by one, shard by shard, never the same.
No, never the same but always United.
Remind us today, tomorrow and the days to come, we are forever Am echad blev echad, one people with one heart.
Rabbi Nicole Guzik is Senior Rabbi at Sinai Temple. She has served as a rabbi at Sinai Temple for thirteen years and four years prior as Sinai Temple’s rabbinic intern. Her vision is to create multiple paths for Jewish engagement and avenues to deepen Jewish identity. Rabbi Guzik focuses on innovative women’s programming through Sinai Temple Sisterhood, young family retention and recruitment, and supervises Beit Bracha, Sinai Temple’s mainstreamed religious school for children with special needs. She guided Sinai Temple Sisterhood’s inaugural March of the Living trip to Poland in 2017 and in 2019 led a joint Sinai Temple-Sinai Akiba Academy March of the Living journey.
Rabbi Erez Sherman was ordained from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America in May 2009. He is also a graduate of Albert A. List College and Columbia University (with degrees in Music and Talmud). At Sinai Temple, Rabbi Sherman oversees the Sinai Temple Israel Center, which engages the synagogue and the Los Angeles community in Israel advocacy and education through speakers, classes, trips, and programs. He founded the Sinai Temple Israel Center Rabbinical School Fellowship, which trains future Rabbis through seminaries across North America how to engage Israel in a deep and nuanced manner. He also directs the David and Angella Nazarian Youth Fellowship, inspiring the next generation of Jewish leaders to use their voices in Israel and civic conversations. He was recently named the 5th top Visionary for Israel by the Jerusalem Post.