Tuesday, July 31, 2018
Friday, July 27, 2018
How do we love You
With all of our heart and mind...
With all of our soul and with our very life
And with all of our might and from the depths of our being?
The commandments that shape our commitment to You
Direct us to keep Your teachings close to us
To pass them on to a new generation
To act upon them throughout each day.
Which of your instructions do we follow?
What do we impress upon our hearts?
How do we serve as Your eyes as we look at the world?
How do our hands become Your hands in our service to our communities?
When we pray for peace every morning,
We ask You to grant us
Completeness and well-being,
Kindness based in love,
So may we show that we love You
Through opening our hearts to all humanity
Through seeing creation as a blessing to preserve and nurture
Through scaling the walls that separate us to do even one act of kindness.
Through forgiveness that can keep us together
Rather than driving us apart.
May these be the values that we inscribe on our doorposts
And that we see before our eyes
May these be the principles that will wittingly or unwittingly
Move us to act in a way that brings to this world
Your love, Your Spirit, and Your hope
When we sit at home, when we are out in the community,
When we lie down, and when we rise up.
Gift us with Your light, Your insight and Your truth
As we continue to move along our life’s journey.
Tuesday, July 24, 2018
Which became difficult
Who mostly approached me with parallel appreciation of my presence
Rather than in a shared wonder at how long I and my comrades had endured.
It was enough for me to have lasted this long.
Friday, July 20, 2018
Thursday, July 19, 2018
We recall when our ancestors made pilgrimage to a beautiful Temple to worship You together
While knowing also that they could sense Your presence accompanying them along every step of their journey.
We have learned that the Temple was destroyed not only because of the totalitarian dominion of Rome, but because of the baseless hatred that divided the Jewish community two millennia ago, when mutual acceptance and respect was overtaken by fear and arrogance, leading to a loss of harmony and trust.
We know that You are with us in every generation as we attempt to successfully undertake a spiritual and moral trek back to Your vision for human community.
We read in the Torah portion for this Shabbat of the guidance that Moses communicated to the people:
“I charged your magistrates at that time as follows, "Hear out your fellow Israelites, and decide justly between anyone and a fellow Israelite or a stranger. You shall not be partial in judgment: hear out low and high alike. Fear no one, for judgment is God's. And any matter that is too difficult for you, you shall bring to me and I will hear it."
Eternal God, in challenging times, we bring matters to You through prayer and through studying Torah to gain insight and wisdom.
We seek Your help now
To respect and listen to our fellow human beings
To decide between them without partiality
To approach people based on the equality inherent in the belief that we are all created in Your image.
To move beyond the bigotry and trepidation that marginalizes people in policy, attitude and law.
To understand how we, every day, can reach the part of You that is in every person
Which might direct us all towards greater unity and peace.
May You, our Creator and Sustainer, continue to be our wellspring of love and hope.