By Rabbi Steven Conn
Our God and God of our Ancestors, creator of life, You have taught us that we are all made in your image; that each and every life is a precious treasure.
And when even one human life is taken away by the monstrous actions of another human being, an entire world is destroyed.
Our hearts are broken in the wake of the tragic deaths of 28 people, including 20 children, in Newtown, Connecticut. Entire worlds were indeed destroyed; children robbed of their futures, adults of their best years, in an act of senseless violence that took place in a building dedicated to caring for our children and preparing them for their future.
May Your presence be felt among all the families who grieve. Grant them strength and courage to face the difficult days ahead. Help us to find ways to lend our support.
And guide us to respond to this terrible tragedy in a way that promotes unity and cooperation among all, and helps us to find the wisdom and the courage to address the many challenges, both spiritual and social that this tragedy presents.
And finally, help us to maintain our faith in the idea of tikkun olam, that despite this and other tragedies that we bear witness to every day, we can, through our collective efforts, help to repair our broken world.
Rabbi Steven Conn is the spiritual leader of the Plainview Jewish Center.