Jewish Resources
for Resilience

In difficult moments, it’s important to remember that you are not alone. We are not alone. Collectively, we can draw strength from each other, and from Jewish wisdom and history, which teaches us how to find strength and resilience even in the most difficult times.

Music for Strength and Comfort:

Blessings, Prayers, and Ritual Experiences:

Mi Shebeirach – Prayer for Healing, by Debbie Friedman

One of the central Jewish prayers for those who are ill or recovering from illness or injury is the Mi Shebeirach. With a holistic view of humankind, these words help us pray for physical cure as well as spiritual healing, asking for blessing, compassion, restoration, and strength, within the community of others facing illness as well as all Jews, and all human beings. Presented here is the version of the Mi Shebeirach written by Debbie Friedman, a popular Jewish folk musician who focused on liturgical music. (Here is a video of the great Debbie Friedman singing Mi Shebeirach, and here is a version with the lyrics on the screen.)

Mi shebeirach avoteinu, m’kor hab’racha l’imoteinu
May the source of strength,
Who blessed the ones before us,
Help us find the courage to make our lives a blessing,
And let us say, Amen.

Mi shebeirach imoteinu, m’kor habrachah l’avoteinu
Bless those in need of healing with r’fuah sh’leimah,
The renewal of body, the renewal of spirit,
And let us say, Amen

Prayer For the State of Israel, by Rabbi Ayelet Cohen

Rabbi Ayelet Cohen is a contemporary spiritual leader, teacher, and author; she is the author of  prayers and liturgy that are used by communities around the world.

Source of life, Maker of wonders, bless the State of Israel and all the inhabitants of the land.

Protect her with infinite compassion; spread over her your shelter of peace. Strengthen the hearts and the will of its citizens calling out for justice and democracy. May their voices ring out like a shofar throughout the land.

A budding redemption, help them replant what has been uprooted and tend what has been neglected so the seedling promises of refuge and equality blossom and thrive. May their feet not give way; let them not tire nor slumber nor succumb to fear.

Grant strength and courage — nurture a shared future for all who call the land home. Healer of the broken-hearted, sustain our hope. Help us celebrate what was and is miraculous in Israel’s founding. Help us grieve all that has been lost in the realization of that dream. May we be strong enough and honest enough to carry the shattered along with the whole.

May our love and our commitment to the vision of the Prophets endure like honey from the crag and oil from the flinty rock.

May we be partners with the Divine and with all the inhabitants of the land in establishing and protecting justice, peace and joy.

מְקוֹר הַחַיִּים עוֹשֶׂה פֶלֶא בָּרֵךְ אֶת מְדִינַת יִשְׂרָאֵל וְאֶת כׇּל תּוֹשָׁבֵי הָאָרֶץ הָגֵן עָלֶיהָ בְּאֶבְרַת חַסְדֶּךָ וּפְרוֹשׂ עָלֶיהָ סֻכַּת שְׁלוֹמֶךָ חַזֵּק אֶת לִבּוֹת אֶזְרָחֶיהָ

רוֹדְפֵי הַצֶּדֶק וְהַדֵּמוֹ קְרַטְיָה שֶׁיַּעֲבִיר וּקוֹלָם כְּשׁוֹפָר בְּכׇל הָאָרֶץ׃

 צְמִיחַת גְּאֻלָּתֵנוּ תֵּן בְּיָדָם לִנְטֹעַ מֵחָדָשׁ אֶת אֲשֶׁר נֶעֱקַר לְהַשְׁקוֹת אֶת אֲשֶׁר נָבַל לְמַעַן יִפְרְחוּ וִישַׂגְשְׂגוּ שְׁתִילֵי הַבְטָחוֹת מִקְלָט וְשִׁוְיוֹן אַל־תִּתֵּן לַמּוֹט רַגְלֵיהֶם שֶׁלֹא יָנוּמוּ וְלֹא יִישְׁנוּ בָּרֵךְ אוֹתָם׃

חִזְקוּ וְאִמְצוּ, אַל־תִּירְאוּ לְמַעַן עָתִיד מְשֻׁתָּף לְכׇל מִי שֶׁהָאָרֶץ הַזֹּאת הִיא בֵּיתוֹ׃ הָרוֹפֵא לִשְׁבוּרֵי לֵב נְצֹר אֶת תִּקְווֹתֵינוּ עֲזֹר לָנוּ לַחְגֹּג אֶת הַנֵּס בַּהֲקָמַת מְדִינַת יִשְׂרָאֵל עֲזֹר לָנוּ לְהִתְאַבֵּל עַל מָה שֶׁאָבַד בְּהַגְשָׁמַת חֲלוֹמֵנוּ׃ יְהִי רָצוֹן שֶׁנִּהְיֶה אֲמִיצִים וְכֵנִים מַסְפִּיק לְהָכִיל אֶת הַשְּׁבָרִים בַּשָׁלֵם׃

יְהִי רָצוֹן שֶׁאַהֲבָתֵנוּ וּדְבֵקוּתֵנוּ בַּחֲזוֹן הַנְּבִיאִים תַּעֲמֹדְנָה כִּדְבַשׁ מִסֶּלַע וּכְשֶׁמֶן מֵחַלְמִישׁ צוּר׃

יְהִי רָצוֹן שֶׁנִּזְכֶּה לִהְיוֹת שֻׁתָּפִים עִם אֱלֹהִים וְעִם כׇּל תּוֹשָׁבֵיהָ אָרֶץ לְקַיֵּם וּלְהָגֵן עַל שָׁלוֹם וְצֶדֶק וְשִׂמְחַת עוֹלָם׃

May it Be, by Rabbi Rachel Barenblat: A Blessing for Peace in English, Hebrew, and Arabic

Rabbi Rachel Barenblat, also known as the Velveteen Rabbi, is a contemporary author, blogger, and spiritual leader. 

To our friends and family
From the windswept Golan
To the sands of the Arava:
We hold you in our hearts
We hold your children in our hearts
Our fate is bound up in yours.
And to the parents and children
From Ramallah to Gaza City
Who also do not wish for war —
But we love this land with you
We pray for better with you
And we yearn for peace with you.
God, with all the desperation of our hearts we plead: may it be true that peace will yet come.

May it be true that peace will yet come

עֹוֹד יַבֹא שַׁלוֹֹם עַלֵינוּ וְעַל כֻלַם

رح يجي السلام علينا وعلى كل العالم

Bring Them Home, by Adva Chattler

Adva Chattler is the Managing Director of Engagement and Innovation at Ritualwell. She is an Israeli-Mizrahi Jew, born and raised in Be’er-Sheva, Israel. 

I’m empty. Drained.
Like a dry riverbed
in the heat of the desert sun.

I am emptied out,
my water taken away–
filled with my precious
drops of life.

Each drop,
a world of its own–
a life
taken captive, fate unknown.
Taken captive, dead and gone.
Taken captive
and I am here
to mourn.

Now I beg
Now I pledge
Now I pray

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה’ אֱלֹהֵינוּ חֵי הָעוֹלָמִים מַתִּיר אֲסוּרִים
Baruch atah Adonai, eloheinu hei ha’olamim matir asurim

Blessed are you God, life of all the worlds, who makes the captive free

Bring them home.
I will be here
For their return,
like a tidal wave.

אֲנִי רֵיקָה. יַבָּשָׁה
כְּנַחַל אַכְזָב
תַּחַת שֶׁמֶשׁ הַמִּדְבָּר הַקּוֹפַחַת

מַיְּמִי נִלְקְחוּ מִמֶּנִּי
דְּלָיִים מְלֵאִים
בְּטִפּוֹת של חַיַּים

וְכָל טִפָּה
עוֹלָם וּמְלוֹאוֹ
נִלְקְחוּ בִּשְׁבִי, הַגּוֹרָל לֹא יָדוֹעַ
נִלְקְחוּ בִּשְׁבִי, מֵתוּ וְלֹא יָשׁוּבוּ
נִלְקְחוּ בִּשְׁבִי
וַאֲנִי פֶּה

וְכָעֵת אֲנִי מִתְחַנֶּנֶת
אֲנִי מְבַקֶּשֶׁת
אֲנִי מִתְפַּלֶּלֶת

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה’ אֱלֹהֵינוּ חֵי הָעוֹלָמִים מַתִּיר אֲסוּרִים

הָשֵׁב אוֹתָם לְבֵיתָם
וַאֲנִי אֶהְיֶה כָּאן
כְּנַחְשׁוֹלֵי הַיָּם

A Prayer for Israeli Soldiers and Civilians Being Held Captive, adapted from Psalms 91:15

Our God, the One who raised Joseph up from the pit, be “a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble.” (Psalms 9:10). Send complete rescue and full redemption to those held captive by the enemy.

Strengthen their spirit and bring them our prayers that they be protected from all harm. Implant understanding in the heart of the enemy that they may return the captives in wholeness of body and spirit.

Grant wisdom, strength and guidance to the Israel Defense Forces that they may secure freedom for the captives without loss of life.

Grant strength of spirit and courage of heart to all the sons and daughters of Abraham, Sarah, and Hagar to release bonds of captivity and allow us all to live in freedom, peace and security.

“They shall call upon Me, and I will answer them; I will be with them in distress; I will rescue them, and honor them.” (Psalms 91:15)

Mourner’s Kaddish | Suggested Activity with Friends: Imbuing Memory Into Stones

Written in Aramaic, the Mourner’s Kaddish is the prayer traditionally recited in memory of the dead. The prayer never mentions death or dying, but instead proclaims the greatness of God. By reciting it, mourners show that even as their faith is being tested by their loss, they are affirming God’s greatness.

Join together with friends. Go together to gather stones around campus, and to hold them physically close to your hearts while saying the Mourner’s Kaddish together. Each person can take your stone home and place it somewhere visible as a reminder of those you are grieving for in this moment. Or, by carrying the stone in a pocket or bag, you can carry a physical reminder of the memories of people lost in the terror attacks, and of the strong Jewish community gathering  together in different communities around the world in these times.

Yitgadal v’yitkadash sh’mei raba b’alma di-v’ra chirutei, v’yamlich malchutei b’chayeichon uvyomeichon uvchayei d’chol beit yisrael, ba’agala uvizman kariv, v’im’ru: “amen.”

Y’hei sh’mei raba m’varach l’alam ul’almei almaya. Yitbarach v’yishtabach, v’yitpa’ar v’yitromam v’yitnaseh, v’yithadar v’yit’aleh v’yit’halal sh’mei d’kud’sha, b’rich hu,

l’eila min-kol-birchata v’shirata, tushb’chata v’nechemata da’amiran b’alma, v’im’ru: “amen.”

Y’hei shlama raba min-sh’maya v’chayim aleinu v’al-kol-yisrael, v’im’ru: “amen.”

Oseh shalom bimromav, hu ya’aseh shalom aleinu v’al kol-yisrael, v’imru: “amen.”

יִתְגַּדַּל וְיִתְקַדַּשׁ שְׁמֵהּ רַבָּא. [אמן] בְּעָלְמָא דִּי בְרָא כִרְעוּתֵהּ וְיַמְלִיךְ

 מַלְכוּתֵהּ בְּחַיֵּיכון וּבְיומֵיכון וּבְחַיֵּי דְכָל בֵּית יִשרָאֵל בַּעֲגָלָא וּבִזְמַן קָרִיב, וְאִמְרוּ אָמֵן 

יְהֵא שְׁמֵהּ רַבָּא מְבָרַךְ לְעָלַם וּלְעָלְמֵי עָלְמַיָּא

יִתְבָּרַךְ וְיִשְׁתַּבַּח וְיִתְפָּאַר וְיִתְרומַם וְיִתְנַשּא וְיִתְהַדָּר וְיִתְעַלֶּה וְיִתְהַלָּל שְׁמֵהּ דְּקֻדְשָׁא. בְּרִיךְ הוּא

לְעֵלָּא מִן כָּל בִּרְכָתָא וְשִׁירָתָא תֻּשְׁבְּחָתָא וְנֶחֱמָתָא דַּאֲמִירָן בְּעָלְמָא. וְאִמְרוּ אָמֵן

יְהֵא שְׁלָמָא רַבָּא מִן שְׁמַיָּא וְחַיִּים עָלֵינוּ וְעַל כָּל יִשרָאֵל. וְאִמְרוּ אָמֵן 

עושה שָׁלום בִּמְרומָיו הוּא יַעֲשה שָׁלום עָלֵינוּ וְעַל כָּל יִשרָאֵל וְאִמְרוּ אָמֵן

Glorified and sanctified be God’s great name throughout the world which God has created according to God’s will.

May The Divine establish their kingdom in your lifetime and during your days, and within the life of the entire House of Israel, speedily and soon; and say, Amen.

May God’s great name be blessed forever and to all eternity.

Blessed and praised, glorified and exalted, extolled and honored, adored and lauded be the name of the Holy One, blessed be.

The Divine, beyond all the blessings and hymns, praises and consolations that are ever spoken in the world; and say, Amen.

May there be abundant peace from heaven, and life, for us and for all Israel; and say, Amen.

The One who creates peace in their celestial heights, may they create peace for us and for all Israel; and say, Amen.