October 13, 2023

Our hearts break with sorrow and rage as we witness the brutality of the terrorist attacks against the citizens of Israel. We offer our condolences and prayers for the family and friends of those who have lost loved ones. The idea of kidnapping children and innocent people is beyond comprehension. The threat of their execution should alarm and enrage the world.

May the violence born of hatred be defeated so we may have the opportunity to meet one another as human beings seeking justice and dignity for all. 

We must do everything in our power to support governments dedicated to ensuring and honoring every person’s dignity and human rights. The events unfolding in Israel and Gaza warn us to oppose extremist ideology anywhere that would compromise the rights of anyone to live in peace. 

We call for an immediate cessation of violence among all parties, as we encourage the fulfillment of the UN Declaration of Human Rights, article 1, which reads:

“All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of [belonging and mutual care].”[1]

We hope and pray the hostages will be released, families will be reunited, the wounded will be cared for, and the dead will be respectfully and lovingly honored. We call for essential services to be provided to all displaced and suffering people. We hope when this conflict resolves, the land will be restored as a land of hope and opportunity for all. May peace prevail over all the earth.


May it be Your will,
Holy One, our God, our ancestors’ God,
that you erase war and bloodshed from the world
and in its place draw down
a great and glorious peace
so that nation shall not lift up sword against nation
neither shall they learn war any more.

Rather, may all the inhabitants of the earth
recognize and deeply know
this great truth:
that we have not come into this world
for strife and division
nor for hatred and rage, 
nor provocation and bloodshed.

We have come here only
to encounter You,
eternally blessed One.
And so,
we ask your compassion upon us;
raise up, by us, what is written:

I shall place peace upon the earth
and you shall lie down safe and undisturbed
and I shall banish evil beasts from the earth
and the sword shall not pass through your land.
but let justice come in waves like water
and righteousness flow like a river,
for the earth shall be full
of the knowledge of the Holy One
as the waters cover the sea.

So may it be.
And we say:


(Translation by Rabbi Deborah Silver. The quotations are: Leviticus 26:6, Amos 5:24 and Isaiah 11:9)