Rabbi David Gelfand

The following sermon was delivered during the 2001 Jewish High Holiday season following the tragic events of September 11, 2001. It has been included on the Torah From Terror website as a resource and retains the copyright of its author. Please cite the source accordingly.

Rabbi David Gelfand
The Jewish Center of the Hamptons
adapted from S.Y. Agnon

East Hampton CANDLE LIGHT VIGIL For Victims of the Recent Terrorist Tragedies And In Support of our Country September 11, 2001

When a soldier in the forces of a ruler of flesh and blood falls, That ruler hardly knows that one is missing. If one soldier is slain, there are others to replace that one.

But when the Creator of the Universe, The Holy One, who is to be blessed, Desires life, loves freedom and pursues peace; Loves this nation which has proclaimed, "In God We Trust" and created to affirm That all people are created equal with inalienable rights, And loves us not because we are the greatest in number But loves us because we have opened our doors, our harbors, Our cities, towns and villages to all of God's creatures.

Each of us is as important in the eyes of God As a whole regiment. When one of us is missing, When the light of one person has been snuffed out, A diminishing and lessening takes place; There is a decline in strength.

Therefore; for each one who violently lost their life, For each victim of this ghoulish terrorism, Let us affirm our belief in the values of our faith and country: Of freedom and liberty for all. For the beacon of freedom yet burns brightly Even in the shadow of our tragic losses.

And as we believers in democracy reaffirm, "In God We Trust," May the Power of God's Name be magnified, And may no lessening of power come to God or to us. Therefore O brothers and sisters of these. United States, All of us who participate in this mourning,

Let us turn our hearts to one another and let our hearts heal As we pray for shattered lives and broken hearts,
May humaneness, justice and security yet be ours. May the values of America shine brightly from this haze. May God bless us with courage and vision in our grief And may God bless America.


Death has cast its deep, dark shadow over our nation And it has left all of us deeply bereft.

Many, too many voices have been stilled and hearts have been stopped Laughter has departed; joy has fled.

Gone is the warmth and the glow of many loved one's presences; The chain of love has lost thousands of vital links this day.

Tragic deaths have taken lives that were precious to so many; Now our nation's families live with needless pain, loneliness and sorrow.

But let us ever remember that there is much which death cannot touch, So much over which it has no dominion.

Death can never rob us of our past: The years, the dreams, the experiences shared.

Death cannot take from us the love we knew. It is woven into the tapestries of our lives, our families and our nation.

The lessons we were taught we shall continue to cherish; Wisdom and freedom know not deaths door and shall ever live on.

What we have had, we shall always possess; What we have known, we shall always hold dear.

Death cannot take from us and our great nation our dreams of liberty; Surely God will give us strength to endure what we must.

No terrorist's bomb, no weapons of war shall diminish our vision of freedom for all God's children; No angry threats nor violent acts shall chain nor shatter our hearts and souls.

Death cannot take from us our sustaining hope in the dreams of those who once sat beside us, who gave meaning and purpose, comfort and love, Today's darkness shall yield to light and hurt give way to healing.

Death cannot take from us the comforting faith, That with God every soul is precious; none is ever, ever lost. God bless us all and God bless America.

No comments:

Post a Comment