Monday, May 1, 2017

We Cannot Rest

by Rabbi Judy Kummer
[Delivered at the Interfaith Service sponsored by the Massachusetts Interfaith Coalition for Climate Action Interfaith Service at the Boston People's Climate March, April 29, 2017]

Ribono shel olam,
Creator of the universe,
We come before you today
To ask your help, to ask your guidance, to ask your blessing.

Help us remember the fragility of our world. 
Help us remember our dependence on each other, and
Help us remember our dependence on you, Source of all life.

Guide us to love your creations and to treasure them. 
Guide us to know always their sanctity 
For they and we have been created by You.

And Bless us to be the best possible stewards,
able to preserve this precious inheritance we have received – our beautiful gem-like world -- and to pass it on, 
intact and beautiful, 
 to future generations.  **

We read in the book of Isaiah, “my house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples.”  
From the cathedrals of pine trees that inspired the building of glorious stone cathedrals,
From the immense beauty of mountains and deserts that inspired sacred poetry in the hearts  of our ancient ancestors, some of which we read today in the book of Psalms, 
May we remember always that our environment is sacred – it is hallowed ground, 
is a  house of prayer
place of prayer              For all peoples. ***

Our theme today:
“Because we love, we cannot rest.”    We must take action, we must act on our love for our world.
We cannot rest!

And yet, For those of us living in Jewish time, 
we mark today, Saturday, as the Jewish Sabbath, as shabbat, 
a day renewal and of rest. 

But Out of deep love for our earth and for our creator, on this day of rest, we cannot rest.  

Out of deep love for the miracles taking place in the world around us --and within us—
on this day of rest, we cannot rest. 

Out of deep love for our fellow members of the human race, for those whom we know and those we can't yet count as friends and members of our families, 
on this day of rest, we cannot rest. 

We cannot rest because action is called for.  
We cannot rest because our love for our world must be acted on.  
We cannot rest because so much remains to be perfected and protected in our world.

Y’hi ratzon milfanecha, Adonai elohaynyu v’elohay avotaynu v’imotaynu,
May it be your will, Adonai, our God and God of our ancestors,
That this gathering today bring us 
the strength and the unity, 
the guidance, the help and the blessing we need to  preserve and protect our planet.
May we be sustained in our work    to keep our beautiful planet
a house of prayer,
A place of prayer – sanctified and holy -- for all. 
And let us say Amen. 

Rabbi Judith Kummer is the Executive Director of the Jewish Chaplaincy Council of Massachusetts.  A Boston native, she earned a BA from Barnard College in Environmental Studies and Urban Planning and was ordained at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in Philadelphia. Rabbi Kummer is an avid organic gardener, potter, hiker and social activist.

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