Saturday, September 22, 2012

Rabbi Schwartz's Rosh Hashanah Prayer 5773


Rabbi Barry L. Schwartz

Eloheinu, velohei avotenu

Our God, God of all generations:

Help us to thoughtfully reflect on the year just past,

And to courageously embrace this year, 5773, just born.

We stand before You grateful for our own sustenance and prosperity,

But painfully aware that so many of our fellow citizens languish in economic hardship. Too many of them remain unemployed, underemployed, and uninsured.

Too many do not share in the promise of this country and see the American dream slipping further and further away.

Remind us, O God, that we can do better and should do better. 

Remind us that our wealth and that our status, all that we have is but Your gift, and that we are called upon to share it, for we are all Your children.

As we soon gather to elect a president for these United States, guide our citizens to enlightened decision-making, and our leaders to inspired vision.

We are grateful for the vibrancy of our democracy and the celebration of our diversity.

Yet again we beseech those who govern to lay aside personal gain and partisan politics to engage in the unfinished work of justice in our society.

Foster a spirit of common sacrifice that the vast richness of this land be shared more equitably, and that, in the words of Torah, the widow, the orphan, the poor, and the stranger be not forgotten, “for you know the heart of the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.”

At this New Year we cannot help but remember our soldiers in harm’s way, still fighting and dying in America’s longest war…And we pray for their safety and speedy return.

At this New Year we cannot help but think about our brothers and sisters in the land of Israel, who also stand in harm’s way, and are daily threatened by a genocidal regime, sworn to “wipe the Zionist entity off the map,” and now on the brink of acquiring nuclear weapons of mass destruction.

We pray for peace and the surest way to pursue it.

At this New Year we cannot help but think of the teeming refugees of civil war, and of natural disaster, in the near and far corners of the planet, known and unknown, remembered and forgotten.

We pray for peace and healing and the surest way to pursue it.

Our God, Source of all life and blessing:

At this New Year of hope and possibility

May we find common purpose to do Your will, to rise to our greatest potential, to reflect our creation in Your image…  And to walk with You forward to peace and purpose.


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