A Prayer for Pesach 5773/2013
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?
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