Prayer for People Who Are Homeless
Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson
All of us enter the world when expelled from the womb, our first home.
We dwell in adulthood and leave the home our parents may once have provided.
Wandering from place to place throughout our lives,
our only permanent residence the grave,
Bet Olamim, eternal home.
Like the womb, the earth houses all.
We are home also in You, Ha-Makom, place of the world,
Eternal One, who shelters all.
And in Your image
we are called to house, make room, and welcome when we can:
whenever we can, whomever we can.
in Your service, to succor the lonely,
to feed those who hunger — both for food and for recognition:
a glance, a meal, a blanket, a smile.
we who wandered 40 years in a wilderness, to quail at the exposure of lacking a home.
We who wandered as exiles for 2000 years, to resist that all too familiar look of scorn,
the torment of being outcast, unworthy.
Help us to recognize
in the eyes of the homeless, reflections of the endless longings of our own exile;
in their shivering hunger, our own generations of endured expulsions.
Strengthen our resolve,
as children of exiles, heirs of the expelled, servants of the One:
we will feed you. We will see that you find shelter.
We will honor you, and we will take your hand.
In our presence, there will be no "homeless,"
Only a brother wandering with us; or sister on the way.