God, in whose image all humanity was fashioned, may You bless all of humanity with peace and kindness.
I am sorry I cannot be with you tonight, but I thank you for taking this moment to call attention to the treatment to the immigrants who have come to our country.
The Jewish tradition has a clear teaching about treating immigrants with kindness. In Leviticus we are commanded:
When strangers sojourn with you in your land, you shall not do them wrong. The strangers who sojourn with you shall be to you as the natives among you, and you shall love them as yourself.
From biblical mandate to rabbinic teachings – and from our great philosophers to the historical narrative of the Jewish people – we are taught over and over to care for everyone in our midst – native and immigrant. We take that commandment to heart - and recognize that we have a divine task before us:
to give voice to the voiceless, to remember the forgotten, and to love those in suffering.
There is not easy fix to our broken immigration system, but let us begin with recognizing the humanity in one another. From there, may we create policies of love and strength and uplift.
May God watch over us, May God give strength unto God’s people,
In the name of God, the most merciful, we call upon you to watch over us in these difficult times.
As my community is in the middle of celebrating Ramdan – we are required to fast from sunup to sundown as a way to purify ourselves. And in those hours of purification, we are called to reflect on how we can better serve God Almighty.
And taking care of the most vulnerable among us is considered holy work. Our immigrant friends and neighbors need to know that we are with them in their time of need. As they struggle, so we struggle. Let us work to build a community where my immigrant friends and neighbors are not demonized or terrorized. Let us – instead - act with compassion and love.
All too often, we politicize our immigrant friends and neighbors, but we need to take moments like this, and step away from politics – and remember that we are all human. And we all have holy potential. I am on the board of Justice for Our Neighbors because I want to help my friends and neighbors know peace and security. That is my holy task.
In the name of Allah, the beneficent, the merciful.
Praise be to the Lord of the Universe who has created us and made us into tribes and nations, that we may know each other, not that we may despise each other. If the enemy incline towards peace, you should also incline towards peace, and trust in God, for the Lord is the one that hears and knows all things. And the servants of God, Most Gracious are those who walk on the Earth in humility - and when we address them, we say SALAAM - “PEACE.”
June 4th, 2018
God of Care and Connection --
We come to you as people grieved by a wrong we feel powerless to quickly or easily right. We come hurting for hurts already occurred, only just uncovered. In our anger, our confusion, our disgust and disillusionment, we pause long enough to lean into you.
The emotions still come, but we pause, and consider. What is it that we believe? We believe that you are close to the struggling and the stranger and the alien in a strange lands. That not even a sparrow falls without your notice. That every child is a child of your own, noticed and valued and held up by YOU, O God. That you care about what happens to EVERY child, especially "the least of these" among our human family.
These things we affirm. They are our Truths, and in them, we begin to organize. We allow your Spirit to move....
Show us how to use our hands, so that we, too, can be palms that hold children safe. How to engage and employ our hearts, so that our hollow spaces can be made into havens for those broken and alone.
Move our own feelings, from a place of fruitless rage to a place of righteous action. In this world so scarred by human action, may we see a Divine healing. Restore what has been lost; put back together what we have torn asunder.
And make us into breathing bits of Your Kingdom Come.
This we pray.
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