April 2 at 9:56am
WFVJ board member Rabbi Jonathan Biatch offers the following prayer for use in your holiday celebrations. Feel free to use or adapt as needed.
Our God and God of our ancestors:
The Haggadah tells us, “In every generation each of us – Jew and non-Jew – is required to view ourselves as though we, individually, went forth out of Egypt.” In these days when we see evidence of prejudice and oppression in our society, we can sometimes taste the dust of Egypt, and feel the degradation of our ancestors.
You who watch and weep over the misbehavior of your earthbound children; You who have shown us the path of righteous living through the Torah; You who have given us minds with which to think and reason, to love and understand: Inspire us once again, through the retelling of our ancient story of redemption, to confront the challenges of our world!
This week, as we gather around our tables; as we open our books and see the crumbs from Seder's past spilling into our fingers; as we count the wine-stains on our pages and remember how our cup is always lessened with human suffering, help us to find perspective, strength and faith.
Help us recognize that people of color in our midst still suffer the degradation of racial injustice. Let us pledge to help bring redemption in our generation.
Cause us to take up the prejudice directed at our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters, and to help raise up their love, their affection, and their humanity. Let the world know that everyone should have the freedom to love whom they wish.
Bring us to respect and assist those with mental illness in our society. Let us try to understand their perception of the world, and to welcome them into our lives. May we help them to find peace with who they are!
Give us fortitude to continue the struggle toward men and women’s equality in our world. May prejudices of the past continue to disappear as women and men become partners in the perfection of our world.
May our worship, our laughter and our tears, our stories, and our pledges to action, bring to fruition the ancient hope of a world perfected and complete! May violence and hatred be drowned out, and may our hearts be unified in one human embrace. Let us always be defined by our vision of a better world.
L'shanah Haba’ah B'yirushalayim. Next year in Jerusalem.