Prayer For a People Facing Danger
Elliott batTzedek, Fringes: a feminist, non-zionist havurah
Holy Breath and Holy Name –
Today we face a danger we cannot yet fully comprehend. We are frightened, we are confused, we are lost.
We need the most basic information, yet we live in a time and in a country where the federal government is administered by people seeking only control and wealth. We need the most basic supplies, but we live in a time and a country where corporations prey on our pain for profit. We need the most basic justice and equality – these things for which we have collectively been struggling for so long now – and we grieve that those of us who already lack these will be forced to face this illness with the risk of losing all we have.
We seek solace, in the face of a threat that means we must choose not to gather, not to share food, not to hug, not to laugh open-mouthed, not to go to concerts or sports or movies. We seek solace, so we turn to our traditions, to our ancestors, to our stories of survival. Our peoples have faced fire and flood, hatred and fear, immigration by choice and fleeing for our lives, displacement and disenfranchisement, economic devastation and terrorism. We have endured all these. And though our losses have at times been staggering, we have through them created the skills we need. We know how to share food and resources, how to deliver meals, how to create community funds, how to watch out for each other’s homes and families, how to build underground networks for access to medicine and healthcare, how to send the children to safety, how to hunker down, how to reach out across every chasm, how to sing together across a field or a border wall.
Where we face fear, may we seek facts. Where we face confusion, may we build connections. Where we face despair, may joy become what we do for one another. Where we face solitude, may the unaccustomed quiet open us to the thousand voices of the trees and birds, the rivers and rocks. Where we cannot find faith, may we each become the face of God to another through acts of justice and comfort and loving kindness, for when the world challenges our humanity, we know we must rise and embody Divinity.
In our own voices, and in the voices of the silenced, and in the echoes of our ancestors, we make this prayer, the words our active hope, the breath we use our connection to all other living things. Amen.