A Prayer for Pesach 5773/2013

Mar 25, 2013 by

Israel beachWhat’s it going to take to make the waters part?

That’s a good question to ask tonight, beyond the other four.

The waters of complacency, of ignorance and fear

The waters of intransigence, of bigotry and rage

The waters of hostility, of hopelessness and war

These waters divide one shore from the other:

Israelis from Palestinians

Red States from Blue States

Privileged from Impoverished

Gun lovers from gun haters

Jew from Christian from Muslim

Nation from nation and race from race

What’s it going to take to make the waters part?

The waters that keep us from moving forward

The waters that drown dialogue in demonization

The waters that say, “We resign ourselves to the status quo”

These waters are strong enough to swallow an army.

Will it take a Moses with his staff outstretched?

A miracle? A plague?

A prayer, incantation, silent wish?

Petitioning the waves?

Only this:

People united in their faith that change will come when we truly want it.

People unbending in their demand that peace will come when we are ready to will it.

People willing to enter the sea and with God’s help, to make the waters move.

This is what our Pesach means and this is why we pray.

God, strengthen our steps to do more than dip a tentative toe in the water.

Engage our hearts, our soul and might,

And let Your light shine the way.

 Rabbi Jonathan Blake is the Senior Rabbi of Westchester Reform Temple in Scarsdale, New York

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