Friday, October 7, 2011

[Shefa] A Hunger Vidui - Wishing you a meaningful fast on this holiest of days


A Hunger Vidui  © Rabbi Noah Zvi Farkas


God of Compassion, Your open hand sustains all of life.[1]  You created the wheat and the chaff and gave us wisdom to bring forth bread from the earth.  You commanded us through Your Torah saying, "You will eat, you will be satisfied, and you will bless the LORD."[2] But in Your world of bounty there are those who are trapped in the darkness of hunger. In our arrogance we have not done enough to bring them from the darkness to the light.  We are not stiff-necked enough to believe that we are free from the task of feeding the hungry;[3] yet we have sinned, scoffed, and oppressed.

For the sin of closing our eyes to those who die of starvation.

For the sin of deafening our ears to the cry of a hungry child.

For the sin of withholding our hands from the needy.

For the sin of refraining to speak out  for food justice.

For the sin of closing our hearts to those who are hungry.

Help us to realize the Divine within each human being for we are all created in Your image.[4] Open our eyes, our ears, our hands, our mouths and our hearts to help us end hunger.  Guide our deeds through the words of your prophet, "If you shall share your bread with the hungry, and take the wretched into your home; and when you see the naked clothe them, and you do not ignore your fellow.  Then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday."[5] For You are the Forgiver of Israel and the God of light and justice. 


[1] Psalm 145:16

[2] Deuteronomy 8:10

[3] Mishna Avot 2:21 and Deuteronomy 15:11

[4] Genesis 1:26 and Mishna Avot 3:14 Talmud Bavli Sanhedrin 88b

[5] Isaiah 58:7-8 

Rabbi Noah Z. Farkas

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