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--Interfaith Statement for Humane Immigration Reform, 2008

The Hebrew Bible tells us: "The strangers who sojourn with you shall be to you as the natives among you, and you shall love them as yourself; for you were strangers in the land of Egypt (Lev 19:33-34)."

In the New Testament, Jesus tells us to welcome the stranger, for just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.” (Matthew 25:40).

The Qur'an tells us that we should “serve God…and do good to…orphans, those in need, neighbors who are near, neighbors who are strangers, the companion by your side, the wayfarer that you meet, and those who have nothing (4:36).”

The Hindu scripture Taitiriya Upanishad tells us: “The guest is a representative of God (1.11.2)”


Ruach Kol Chai – Spirit of All that Lives:

Help us. Help us to uphold the values that are so central to who we are: human beings created in the image of God. Help us to find compassion in our hearts and justice in our deeds for all who seek freedom and a better life. May we find the strength to protect and plead the cause of the stranger among us, to ensure just treatment for all who dwell in our land.

Guide us. Guide us toward one law. One justice. One human standard of behavior toward all. Move us away from the equivocation that honors the divine image in some but not in others. Let us forever affirm that the justice we purport to hold dear is nothing but a sham if it does not uphold basic human dignity for all who dwell in our midst.

Forgive us. Forgive us for the inhumane manner that in which we too often treat the other. We know, or should, that when it comes to crimes against humanity, some of us may be guilty, but all of us are responsible. Grant us atonement for the misdeeds of exclusion we invariably commit against the most vulnerable members of society: the unwanted, the unhoused, the uninsured, the undocumented.

Strengthen us. Strengthen us to find the wherewithal to shine your light into the dark places of our world. Give us ability to uncover those who are hidden from view, locked away, forgotten. Let us never forget that nothing is hidden and no one lost from before you. Embolden us in the knowledge that no one human soul is disposable or replaceable; that we can never, try as we might, lock away the humanity of another.

Remind us. Remind us of our duty to create a just society right here, right now, in our day. Give us the vision of purpose to guard against the complacency of the comfortable – and the resolve in knowing that we cannot put off the cause of justice and freedom for another day. Remind us that the time is now. Now is the moment to create your kingdom here on earth.

Ken Yehi Ratzon. May it be your will. And may it be ours.

And let us say,



June 5th, 2018

​​A Paraphrase of the Lord’s Prayer, modeled after one by Guatemalan theologian Julia Esquivel:

Our Father

Father also for the immigrants, the homeless and all the poor

Hallowed be Your Name

Hallowed more than any hero, idol or saint on earth

Your kingdom come

A Kingdom of justice, peace and equality, without borders, visas or deportees

Your will be done in earth as it is in heaven

When all this will be tolerant of each other and all would welcome the strangers

Give us this day our daily bread

A bread of kindness and mercy, a bread of friendship, humility and generous spirit

And forgive us us our debts as we forgive our debtors

When no longer we would think of ourselves and allow others to be the first in line

And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil

Help us to remain strong in our convictions, help us to clean our minds of evil thoughts

For Yours is the kingdom and the glory and the power forever, Amen.