Jewish memorial prayers ask that souls of the departed be bound up among the living. The living help in this process by doing acts of tzedakah – translated as charity, righteousness, or justice – in the name of their departed loved ones. In that spirit, and inspired by my “die-in” experience on December 8, I offer the following prayer:

May the souls of
Sean Bell
Alan Blueford
Dale Graham
Gregory Chavis
Archie Elliot
Clinton Allen
Maurice Donald
Oscar Grant
Ramarley Graham
John Crawford III
and others lost to police violence
find eternal shelter and rest.

May each personal and communal act of remembrance
bring further solace to their mothers and others who loved these individuals in life.

May the myriad acts of protest for justice
conducted in their names
bind their souls more deeply among the living.

May each die-in act,
symbolically embodying the last moments of the departed,
bind their deaths more tightly into our national consciousness
and collective commitment to change.

As the souls of
Sean Bell
Alan Blueford
Dale Graham
Gregory Chavis
Archie Elliot
Clinton Allen
Maurice Donald
Oscar Grant
Ramarley Graham
John Crawford III
and so many others,
our brothers, our teachers,
rest in eternal Light.
May we continue to find
illumination in their everlasting brightness.
And let us say: Amen.

Posted by vspatz

Virginia blogs on Jewish topics at "A Song Every Day" and manages the Education Town Hall and #WeLuvBooks sites. More at Vspatz.wordpress.com

3 Comments

  1. Virginia, I was very moved by your prayer.. I am glad that you shared it. Barbara

    Reply

  2. […] It was Rekia Boyd whom I chose to memorialize at the the 4-1/2-hour die-in in front of the USDOJ on December 8, organized to promote human rights for black and brown people in the U.S. While I never knew her, she is forever in my heart (and inspired this prayer). […]

    Reply

  3. […] May each die-in act, symbolically embodying the last moments of the departed, bind their deaths more tightly into our national consciousness and collective commitment to change. — from “Grief and Struggle” prayer […]

    Reply

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