If Not – call to communal action

Immediately following the bar’chu, while we still standing, we do a second responsive reading. While the bar’chu calls us to the formal beginning of communal prayer, our “If Not” ritual calls us to the values of our havurah: wisdom from Jewish tradition, a commitment to work with others, and a commitment to our community.

We perform this ritual as a call and response, with the leader calling out the “If” lines and the havurah responding as a group.

If Not
Rabbi Hillel, Adrienne Rich z”l, Dane Kuttler

If I am not for myself
                who is for me?
If I am only for myself
                what am I?
If not now
                then when?
If not with others
                then how?
If not here
                then where?

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