I just learned that two relatives of two people dear to my congregation and to me were diagnosed with cancer. Seeking solace, I found a prayer written by my friend Rabbi Zoè Klein (Temple Isaiah, Los Angeles):
Prayer for a Cure for Cancer Words of healing By Rabbi Zoè Klein We are sometimes mistaken when we fear that which is big. Godzilla, King Kong, Asteroid, Armageddon. At least we can see it when it comes. We are sometimes mistaken when we fear that which is big. Change, birth, death, love. At least we can throw our arms wide around it.
God of big things, God of great deeds, God of the drama of the Exodus, the parting of the seas, the fire on the mountain, the creation out of nothing we are wonderstruck by You, dazzled by big things.
But are You not also the God of the small, God of the turning leaf, God of the grain of sand, God of the passing shadow, God of the rotting fruit? I address You now as God of the small, because sometimes we are mistaken when we fear that which is big, when that which is most frightening of all is small,
the size of a melanomic cell, the size of a metastatic pinpoint, the size of a golfball, the size of a grapefruit growing where there is no tree.
That immutable danger that makes us victims of our own soft tissue, lymphnodes, and blood, that devastating fear that stalks us out of passing shadows, out of the mist of pesticide, tar, benzene, p.c.b. toxicities, out of the glow of gamma-rays, x-rays, ultraviolet rays, aluminum foil, out of the silicone, the tobacco, the skin of an apple, the high saturated fats, the low fiber, the vegetable hair dyes, out of nothing, out of nothing You are good at that God, Creation out of nothing.
I pray to You now, God of small things, God of miracles-barely-perceived by the naked, mortal eye, I pray to You now, God of small things, for a spontaneous global remission. For erasure of that word that lurks darkly behind our words.
When Moses’ sister was struck Moses spoke five small words to You. El na rafa na la. God please heal her please. You answered, and You healed her. El na rafa na la. El na rafa na la.