HAYIDION The Prizmah Journal


Student Prayers for Sandy Hook

TOPICS : Tefillah

After the shootings in Newton, Massachusetts, many of us were feeling devastated and helpless. As the days after passed, our 6th and 7th graders were clearly still emotional about the event. Their teacher, Samantha Zadikoff, knew she had to respond, but did not want to have a full blown conversation focused on the details of this tragedy. Instead, she turned to prayer. “We looked at everything from Mishebeirach to Hatikvah and really delved into the meaning and structure of Jewish and secular prayer. As a response, students wanted to write prayers for victims, families, children and the country.” We spoke about how powerful this spontaneous lesson was, and a couple of the prayers that emerged were really exceptional.

After the shootings in Newton, Massachusetts, many of us were feeling devastated and helpless. As the days after passed, our 6th and 7th graders were clearly still emotional about the event. Their teacher, Samantha Zadikoff, knew she had to respond, but did not want to have a full blown conversation focused on the details of this tragedy. Instead, she turned to prayer. “We looked at everything from Mishebeirach to Hatikvah and really delved into the meaning and structure of Jewish and secular prayer. As a response, students wanted to write prayers for victims, families, children and the country.” We spoke about how powerful this spontaneous lesson was, and a couple of the prayers that emerged were really exceptional.

After our conversation, I continued to think about the idea of “needing to pray”—those specific moments in life when you are overcome with emotion and don’t even know how to respond in any other way.

Perhaps what was most striking was that as Jewish educators, we work so hard to plan and create moments for the kids to get a sense of what prayer is all about, but in the end, it is almost always in the unplanned lessons that our kids experience it for themselves. –Sarah Miller, Director of Jewish Life and Learning

Prayer for Peace

Adam Teich

When we’re down in the dumps all alone, give us peace.

When the seeds on our land have finally grown, give us peace.

When we lose a person that we love, give us peace.

When we need your guidance from above, give us peace.

When we cry out in a prayer of joy, give us peace.

When sometimes we feel like we’re merely a boy, give us peace.

When we’re deep in life’s struggles, engulfed in stress, give us peace.

When, we’re tired, and need to lie down to rest, give us peace

When our greatest fears come creeping in, give us peace.

When we feel that we need peace within us, give us peace.

Prayer for Peace

Zoe Neushatz

May we be at peace with ourselves
May we think peace in our thoughts
May we be at peace with our souls
May we have peace in our dreams
May we love peace in our hearts.

May we speak peace with our friends
May we speak peace with our families
May we speak peace with our beloveds
May we learn peace from our elders
May we teach peace to our children.

May we be at peace in our homes
May we be at peace in our cities
May we be at peace in our country
May we be at peace with our continent
May we be at peace with our world.

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Tefillah

Most day schools are committed to cultivating Jewish prayer, tefillah, as a spiritual practice. In practice, they often find the obstacles formidable: lack of curriculum, knowledgeable and passionate prayer leaders, student interest, awareness of goals, to name a few. Articles here aim to help schools clarify their approach and strengthen the educational bases of school tefillah.

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