Prayer for Families Separated by ICE

By Rabbi Annie Lewis
brown skinned man embracing two children

K’rakhem Av al Banim

כרחם אב על־בנים רחם יהוה על־יראיו
כי־הוא ידע יצרנו זכור כי־עפר אנחנו

Psalm 103:13–14

K’rakhem Av al Banim
As parents have compassion for their children...
Have mercy on us Yah,
we are afraid.
Have mercy,
we are dust,
We are made
in your image.

K’rakhem Av al Banim,
As parents have compassion for their children...
Be with the children, their mothers, their fathers
who wear desert dust,
who brave border crossings
because they have no choice.
Be with the families
who flee the narrow places
and find themselves stuck.

K’rakhem Av al Banim
As parents have compassion for their children...
Protect the children
torn from parents.
Hold the parents
who left to choose life over death,
who are at the mercy of our government and its agents,
a heartless state.

K’rakhem Av al Banim
As parents have compassion for their children...
Save us from those who follow orders.
Save us from those with hardened hearts.
Save us from those who forget to remember
the cruelty our country holds in its bones.
Children of African descent enslaved,
stripped from their parents, owned, sold away.
Native American and Japanese American children
traumatized, interned, detained.

K’rakhem Av al Banim
As parents have compassion for their children…
Remember our ancestors,
We who are ivrim,
who crossed over borders
grasping for life,
Remember our babies
torn from mothers
turned to smoke and dust.

K’rakhem Av al Banim
As parents have compassion for their children…
Help us to listen to the cries
of the dead and the living
immigrants and asylum seekers
whose breath is one with Yours.
For the sake of all that is holy,
all that is good,
open our eyes, our hearts, our gates.
Turn us around.
Return children to parents,
parents to children.
Bring us to the streets.
Bring us back to you.

K’rakhem Av al Banim
As parents have compassion for their children,
Have mercy on us Yah,
we are afraid.
Have mercy,
we are dust,
and we are made
in your image.

Prayer

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