Nakba (Catastrophe), Palestine 15 May

Nakba Day (Arabic: يوم النكبة Yawm an-Nakba), the Day of the Catastrophe, commemorates the displacement of Palestinians that preceded and followed the Israeli Declaration of Independence in 1948.  An estimated 700,000 Palestinians fled or were expelled, and hundreds of Palestinian towns and villages were depopulated and destroyed.

The key is a symbol of the Nakba, the Catastrophe, refering to the many Palestinians who still have keys to their homes from which they were expelled in 1948, expecting to return in a few days.

As we pray for and express solidarity with the Palestinians, let us also be sensitive about different expressions of injustices happening all around us, which call for our commitment to justice.

Rev. Dr. Roger Gaikwad, National Council of Churches in India

Worship Resources for remembering the Nakba and highlighting the continuing plight of Palestinians today:

  • Prayer for Peace with Justice in Israel/Palestine, United Church of Canada, click here.
  • Prayer for Israel and Palestine by IfNotNow-Chicago, click here.
  • Prayers for Personal and Corporate Worship: National Service of Mourning in Remembrance of those who have died in Palestine and Israel, United Network for Justice and Peace in Palestine and Israel    Click here.

Helpful information about the Nakba, the Catastrophe:

  • The National Council of Churches in India has published helpful information.  Click here to read more.

A Jewish Prayer for Nakba Day, by Rabbi Brant Rosen

Le’el she’chafetz teshuvah,
to the One who desires return:

Receive with the fulness of your mercy
the hopes and prayers of those
who were uprooted, dispossessed
and expelled from their homes
during the devastation of the Nakba.

Sanctify for tov u’veracha,
for goodness and blessing,
the memory of those who were killed
in Lydda, in Haifa, in Beisan, in Deir Yassin
and so many other villages and cities
throughout Palestine.

Grant chesed ve’rachamim,
kindness and compassion,
upon the memory of the expelled
who died from hunger,
thirst and exhaustion
along the way.

Shelter beneath kanfei ha’shechinah,
the soft wings of your divine presence,
those who still live under military occupation,
who dwell in refugee camps,
those dispersed throughout the world
still dreaming of return.

Gather them mei’arbah kanfot ha’aretz
from the four corners of the earth
that their right to return to their homes
be honored at long last.

Let all who dwell in the land
live in dignity, equity and hope
so that they may bequeath to their children
a future of justice and peace.

Ve’nomar
and let us say,
Amen.

Le’el she’chafetz teshuvah,
to the One who desires repentance:

Inspire us to make a full accounting
of the wrongdoing that was
committed in our name.

Help us to face the terrible truth of the Nakba
and its ongoing injustice
that we may finally confess our offenses;
that we may finally move toward a future
of reparation and reconciliation.

Le’el malei rachamim,
to the One filled with compassion:
show us how to understand the pain
that compelled our people to inflict
such suffering upon another –
dispossessing families from their homes
in the vain hope of safety and security
for our own.

Osei hashalom,
Maker of peace,
guide us all toward a place
of healing and wholeness
that the land may be filled
with the sounds of joy and gladness
from the river to the sea
speedily in our day.

Ve’nomar
and let us say,
Amen.

To go to Rabbi Brant Rosen’s blog, click here.

 

Featured image author: By Hanini – hanini.org, CC BY 3.0,