"Elijah Turning the Hearts of Parents and Children to Each Other Lest the Earth be Devastated"
On the Shabbat just before Passover, traditionally we read a passage from the last of the classical Hebrew Prophets –-- Malachi. It cries out:
"Here! The day is coming that will flame like a furnace, says the Infinite YHWH / Breath of Life, when all the arrogant and all evil-doers, root and branch, will like straw be burnt to ashes.
Yet for those of you who revere My Name, YyyyHhhhWwwwHhhh, the Breath that breathes all life, a sun of justice will arise with healing in its wings.
“Here! Before the coming of the great and awesome day of YHWH/ the Breath of Life, I will send you the Prophet Elijah to turn the hearts of parents to children and the hearts of children to parents, lest I come and smite the earth with utter destruction." (Malachi 3: 20-21, 23-24.)
This teaching can make a powerful difference in our Passover Seder, where there is a tradition to open the door to welcome the Prophet Elijah. Out of Jewish suffering in the Middle Ages came the outcry at that moment of opening the door: “Pour out Your wrath on the nations that do not respond to Your Unity, Your Call to love each other!"
But far better in our generation would be to open the door for Elijah and say:
“Holy One, We open this door to open ourselves to all of Earth and all Humanity. We take upon ourselves the mission of Elijah. We will act now before the Breath of Life becomes a searing hurricane. We will turn our own hearts to the lives of our grandchildren; we will work to create for them a world as fruitful and as beautiful as the world of our grandparents. We invite their hearts to learning from the deepest teachings of the Wisdom we inherited -- that together we can yet avert the utter devastation of Your Earth."
Let us search more deeply into Malachi’s Prophetic outcry: Why this danger and this chance for healing?
"You are defrauding Me!" says God. "You fail to share My abundance with the poor and landless, you will not bring the common wealth into the common storehouse. Only if you turn back to My teaching will the locusts vanish from your fields. Only then, if you will share My rain of blessings on your harvests, will I pour those blessings down from Heaven." (Malachi 3: 8-11)
Let us open our ears and hearts to Malachi speaking to our own generation:
"Here! If you oppress the poor, impoverish workers, and wring super-profits from the earth to plump the rich and powerful, the Earth itself will suffer a planetary scorching. If you turn My Breath, My Air, into a furnace, not only the arrogant pharaohs of your day will suffer, but also all life and humankind, as all Egypt suffered from the arrogance of Pharaoh long ago.
"Already droughts scorch your continents, already your waters boil into typhoons and hurricanes, already the ice melts and your sea-coasts flood, already your birds and insects and diseases migrate where there is no place to weave them into the healing web of life.
"Yet even now you can turn away from arrogance and greed, from the fires of coal and oil and unnatural gas; even now you can turn to sharing the abundance that still flowers from the Earth, even now you can turn to the solar energy and the winged wind that rise from a sun of justice and tranquility to heal your planet.
“Most urgent: BE Elijah, turning the hearts of the generations to each other, to save the Earth from devastation!”