Friday, December 19, 2014

Hanukkah 5775 - Night 5 Re-Dedication Meditation

by Rabbi Katy Z. Allen

As we light five candles tonight, we continue the “Litany of Harm” and the “Call to Action,” and name for ourselves a fifth way to re-dedicate ourselves to walking in G!d's footsteps.

Hanukkah Night 5:
The Litany of Harm:
For all those in island nations, where rising sea levels and superstorms threaten their very existence. We stand in witness!
For all coastal cities and villages, where storm swells and flooding put lives and homes at risk. We stand in witness!
For all those who suffer from tropical diseases, and those at risk from spreading diseases and heat waves. We stand in witness!
For farmers and all who eat, as droughts ruin crops, incomes, and food supplies. We stand in witness!
For people of color around the world, who are at risk from climate change and environmental injustice. We stand in witness!
For the human populations, plants, and animals who are losing or have lost access to enough fresh water. We stand in witness! 
For the countless animals who suffer in factory farms, in a system that causes misery and carbon pollution. We stand in witness!
For all the habitats already lost and which are disappearing. We stand in witness!
For the endangered mammals, plants, birds, insects, and all the species we will never discover. We stand in witness! 
For the burning rain forests. We stand in witness!*
The Call to Action:
We’re ready to act because we have a favorite place on Earth that we want our great-grandchildren to experience. With love in our hearts, Compassionate One, move us to action.
We’re ready to act because somewhere we heard John Muir’s voice, reminding us that in the beauty of nature we see the beginning of creation. With beauty in our hearts, Creator, move us to action.
We’re ready to act because someone in our life once shared something with us – something we needed; something we could not live without – and we want to do the same for the next generation and beyond. With generosity in our hearts, Holy One of Blessing, move us to action.
We’re ready to act because we've read texts we consider sacred, and they make clear that the Earth is a gift, and we are stewards of that gift. With responsibility in our hearts, G!d of Judgment, move us to action.
We’re ready to act  because the blessing of life has allowed us to see the ways our lives are all connected with one another in a web of mutuality. Affirming the web of life, Mysterious One, move us to action. **
We add a fifth promise to the world:

For the fifth night, we consider our climate change advocacy. The climate is changing. Our governments acknowledge its reality through programs such as the regional USDA hubs designed to help farmers deal with the impact of climate change on agriculture. Our Congress is not yet willing to take action. Some state governments are starting to take matters into their hands, yet their efforts are slow and not enough. What can you do to try to influence public policy on climate and other environmental issues? Letter writing? Phone calls? Meetings? What would work best for you?

My reflections for the fifth night of Hanukkah include these committments: 
Eloheinu v’elohei avoteinu v’imoteinu, Our G!d and G!d of our ancestors, give me strength on this fifth night of Hanukkah, and help me to re-dedicate myself to remembering that I am created in the image of the Holy One of Blessing, to eating organic, local food, to speaking out about racism, to maintaining my values in my finances, and to writing to my representatives or local paper about climate change and social justice issues. 
To what are you re-dedicating yourself tonight?

Chag Urim Sameach – Happy Hanukkah,
Rabbi Katy

* by Rabbi Shoshana Meira Friedman
** by Rev. Jim Antal

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