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Refu'at ha Nefesh

By Elana Rabinowitz

Refu’at ha Nefesh

Oh Shechinah,
Compassionate Mother, Life of All Worlds,
Shelter me.
Protect me, give me strength to be healed,
to heal myself.

Lead us to a place where our bodies
are no longer battlegrounds,
where we know only love and shalom,
respect and care for the precious bodies you have given us.


If rape is war against our bodies,
we must rise up
in a quiet rage to reclaim
ourselves: our bodies,
and more, our souls,
because they have been trampled.

In order to stop violence, we must rid our bodies,
our minds, our souls
of the too easy compulsion to shrink, to be silent,
to deny what happened, push it away or make light of it.

We must rise up in a quiet rage toward shalom
we must say:
Never again shall a woman be harmed like this.
Lo yisa goy el goy kherev
lo yilm'du od milkhama