The following prayer was composed by Israel’s Chief
Rabbinate on behalf
of the victims of Hurricane Katrina (See below). Rabbi
Simchah Roth of
Congregation Eitz Hayyim in Herzliya suggested also
that Psalm 69 be read, and had his congregation do so on
Shabbat. I’m including that Psalm as well.

Psalm 69

For the Conductor, on the shoshanim, by David. Deliver
me, O Elohim, for the waters have reached until my soul!
I have sunk in muddy depths without foothold; I have
come into deep waters,
and the current sweeps me away. I am wearied by my
crying, my throat is parched; my eyes pined while
waiting for my God. More numerous than the hairs
on my head are those who hate me without reason. Mighty
are those who would cut me off, those who are my enemies
without cause. What I have not stolen,
I will then have to return. O Elohim, You know my folly,
and my wrongs are not hidden from You. Let not those who
hope in You be shamed through me,
O Adonai, God of Hosts; let not those who seek You be
disgraced through me, O God of Yisrael, because for Your
sake I have borne humiliation, disgrace
covers my face. I have become a stranger to my brothers,
an alien to my mother’s sons, for the envy of Your House
has consumed me, and the humiliations
of those who scorn You have fallen upon me. And I wept
while my soul fasted, and it was a humiliation to me. I
made sackcloth my garment, and became
a byword for them. Those who sit by the gate speak of
me, and of me are the songs of drunkards. May my prayer
to You, Jhwh, be at a gracious
time; Elohim, in Your abounding kindness, answer me with
Your true deliverance. Rescue me from the mire, so that
I not sink; let me be saved from my enemies
and from deep waters. Let not the current of water sweep
me away, nor the deep swallow me; and let not the pit
close its mouth over me. Answer
me, Jhwh, for Your kindness is good; according to Your
abundant mercies, turn to me. Do not hide Your face from
Your servant, for I am in distress-hurry
to answer me. Draw near to my soul and liberate it;
redeem me, so that my enemies not feel triumphant. You
know my humiliation, my shame, and
my disgrace; all my tormentors are before You.
Humiliation has broken my heart, and I have become ill.
I longed for comfort, but there was none; for
consolers, but I did not find. They put gall into my
food, and for my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.
Let their table become a trap before
them, and their serenity, a snare. Let their eyes be
darkened so that they cannot see, and let their loins
continually falter. Pour Your wrath
upon them, and let the fierceness of Your anger overtake
them. Let their palace be desolate, let there be no
dweller in their tents, for they persecute
the one whom You struck, and tell of the pain of Your
wounded ones. Add iniquity to their iniquity, and let
them not enter into Your righteousness.
May they be erased from the Book of Life, and let them
not be inscribed with the righteous. But I am poor and
in pain; let Your deliverance, O
Elohim, strengthen me. I will praise the Name of Elohim
with song, I will extol Him with thanksgiving! And it
will please Jhwh more than the sacrifice
of a mature bull with horns and hooves. The humble will
see it and rejoice; you seekers of Elohim, see and your
hearts will come alive. For Jhwh listens to the needy,
and He does not despise His prisoners. Let heaven and
earth praise Him, the seas and all that moves within
them, for
Elohim will deliver Tziyon and build the cities of
Yehuda, and they will settle there and possess it; and
the seed of His servants will inherit it, and those
who love His Name will dwell in it.

Our Heavenly Father, Founder of the world and Creator of
the universe,
compassionate and merciful God,
Please spare and show compassion to Your creatures and
the world You
have created,
And especially the inhabitants of the states along the
Gulf of Mexico
in the United States.
Save them from every calamity, from the winds of storm
and hurricane,
from the waters of the sea, and from every sorrow and
And send deliverance and redemption to all those who
call upon Thy Name.
Save them from the floodwaters and rescue them from the
Lead them to a place of safety, and do not abandon them,
And in Your abundant mercy send them redemption in the
measure of their
And complete healing to the sick and those in pain, and
comfort to
their souls and spirit.
May all the inhabitants of the Earth know and recognize
that You are
the Supreme King,
Who rules the powers of the universe and shows mercy to
His creatures,
who praise Your great Name, amen.

Taken from


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