Jewish Prayers From the Heart and Pen of Alden Solovy

For First Responders

This is a prayer for first responders as they head into a moment of crisis or destruction. It asks for the physical and emotional safety of these brave professionals and volunteers in the face of the dangers ahead. The prayer is a generalized version of a previous piece called “For First Responders to the Earthquake in Haiti” written at the request of the Columbia County Fire Department Auxiliary, Lake City, Fla., for use in their fundraiser cookbook.

Addendum, Oct. 30, 2012: See also “For First Responders (Revised).” This new version includes an optional paragraph for families of first responders, as well as slight modifications in the rhythm.

For First Responders
Crisis and chaos,
Confusion and loss,
A scene of sweeping destruction,
The first responders arrive
Among the breathless and dazed,
The frenzied, driven wild with fear and grief,
The incapacitated, the dead,
The weary, the lost, the injured,
And survivors forcing themselves
Beyond their limits
To fight devastation.

G-d whose ways are secret,
Bless these first responders with endurance
To be of maximum service in this moment of immeasurable need.
Bless their limbs with strength,
Their eyes with courage,
Their hands with gentleness,
So that they become a source of hope and love.
Give them the tools they need in the days and hours ahead.
Protect them from physical harm,
Shield them from emotional pain,
And guard them from taking this trauma into themselves.

G-d of justice and mercy,
May the deeds of the first responders
Find favor in Heaven
And bring healing on earth.

© 2011 Alden Solovy and All rights reserved.

Postscript: See also “Yizkor for First Responders” and “Memorial Prayer for 9/11 First Responders.”

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Photo Source: Columbia County Fire Department Auxiliary

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