In Memory of Those Killed in Tuscon, AZ

In memory of those killed in Tuscon, AZ on Saturday and in order to pray for the recovery of the congresswoman and others who were wounded, President Obama has asked all Americans to take a moment of silence at 11 am today. A colleague of mine in NY prepared a meditative prayer (kavanah) to read at that moment.

President Obama calls for Moment of Silence for Victims of Shooting in Tucson, Arizona

"Today at 11:00 a.m. eastern standard time, I call on Americans to observe a moment of silence to honor the innocent victims of the senseless tragedy in Tucson, Arizona, including those still fighting for their lives. It will be a time for us to come together as a nation in prayer or reflection, keeping the victims and their families closely at heart."

The President will observe the moment of silence with White House staff on the South Lawn. The moment of silence will be pooled press.

Yesterday, the President signed a proclamation calling for flags to be flown at half-staff.

In preparation for the moment of silence called by President Obama, Rabbi Jeremy Kalmanofsky of Congregation Ansche Chesed in New York has written the kavannah below.

We pray for the recovery of Representative Gabrielle Giffords (Gavriela bat Gloria v'Spencer)
Kavannah for Moment of Silence
"Our tradition is that in the event of suffering, we fall silent and pray for mercy." - Talmud Bavli Berakhot 62a

May we fall silent now, and listen to these gunshots still reverberating, and hear these bullets ricochet through our society. Let us never make such a deafening noise. Let us add soft voices, instead, to human discourse, in which we seek to understand before we insist on being understood. Thus we may merit to be like the students of Hillel, esteeming the words of our adversaries.