As we enter this Shabbat and are on the cusp of new political leadership we pray for a unifying vision based on the Declaration of Independence.
Mi she’berach Avoteinu v’Imoteinu – May the One who blessed our founding fathers and mothers bless us as well, with comfort and inspiration as we begin this new year.
We believe that some truths are self-evident, all people, in our many glorious manifestations, are created equal. We are all endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable Rights, Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
The burden upon our shoulders to remember the wisdom and courage of those who came before us, who dared to dream of a better future. Yet, to remember is not enough. In each generation we are called to take action, to preserve and protect the fragile dreams upon which our nation was founded.
In seasons of turbulence, we pray for a steady hand to guide our ship.
As storms of anger rage, we pray for sanctuary.
As fists clench, we pray for open hearts.
When sharp words slash like swords, we pray to transform them into plowshares to sow seeds of understanding and respect.
Now is not the time to avert our gaze from what troubles our hearts.
Now is the time to build friendships, not walls.
Now is the time to fiercely protect the earth that sustains us.
Now is the time to honor with our words, and with our actions, the spark of holiness that resides in every human being.
And by so doing, we honor our country, our children and our Creator.
Rabbi Mona Alfi serves Congregation B’nai Israel in Sacramento, California. She is also a member of the Reform Movement’s Commission on Social Action. Rabbi Nancy Wechsler serves Congregation Beth Shalom in Carmichael, California