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Haiti's Psalm

By Rabbi Joshua Lesser

I lift my eyes up to the mountains
From where does my help come?
(Ps. 121)

Shock, aftershock, aftershock
The devastation seems endless
Long after the earth has stopped moving
From where does help come?

From Haiti, we hear the cries around the world
We see the broken bodies, buildings jumbled
A structural collapse of comprehension
From where does help come?

The weight of it all crashes down
Like a palace wall
A calamity of sadness and death sealing us in
From where does help come?

But from the safety of our living room
We can turn off the television, the radio, the computer screen
Close the magazine, recycle the newspaper
From where does help come?

And if we shut our eyes
Succumb to our overwhelm and the fortune of being able to
Ignore the brokenness through our distance then
From where does help come?

The body of Haiti is broken
And its spirit sputters:

A spirit that was born breaking chains with the deepest knowing
That every human being was created with Divine love
Free and equal
Where the refrain of the country reverberates
"Strength through Unity"

May we find the way to share this immense burden
To strengthen through unity
To hear their cry as our cry
To help rebuild the country and revive its spirit
To not ask where does help come
But help us become that help that extends
From the Unseen One, the creator of the heavens and earth.

Together we pray, may
The Vigilant guard you from all evil, and keep your lifebreath safe.
The Shepherd guard your going out and coming in, from now unto eternity.
Let it be God’s Will
/ Kehn Yehi Ratzon


Found in: Communal Tragedy