Prayer for Righteous Anger

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For me, many of the best devotional insights come from three Jewish prayer books I read regularly. This prayer for Righteous Anger is powerful.  Well-read, it could awaken our compassion and action:

Misery for breakfast;
Morning coffee with the news of distant deaths—
Because someone’s always suffering,
And there’s bound to be a crisis raging somewhere,
Or a quieter catastrophe
Barely at the threshold of our notice.
We’re accustomed to the feeling
Of something going wrong.
Like static in the background,
Tuned out so we can get on with our day.
And it’s just the same as yesterday
And nothing can be done,
So there’s not much point
In getting too upset.

But if something were to shock us
Like a baby’s piercing wail or a fire bell in the night,
Like a punch in the stomach
Or a puncture in the eardrum,
Like a savage call to conscience
Or a frantic cry for help—
Would we scream like a shofar
And get mad enough to act?

When a ram’s horn is sounded in a city
Do the people not take alarm?

(Mishkan Hanafesh, p. 279)

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