Rosh Hashanah as We Turn to Heal the Earth

HaYom Harat Olam: Today is the Birthing of the World

[On the evenings to begin Rosh Hashanah

[A Prayer for lighting Candles of Commitment.

[All recite in unision:]

We are the generation that stands 

between the fires:

Behind us the flame and smoke

that rose from Auschwitz and from Hiroshima;

From the burning forests of the Amazon,

From the hottest years of human history

 that bring upon us

Melted ice fields, Flooded cities, Scorching droughts.

Before us the nightmare of a Flood of Fire,

The heat and smoke that could consume all Earth.

It is our task to make from fire not an all-consuming blaze,

Not fire and fury,

But the light in which we see each other fully.

All of us different, All of us bearing

One Spark.

We light these fires to see more clearly

That the Earth and all who live as part of it

Are not for burning.                            

We light these fires to see more clearly

The rainbow in our many-colored faces.

Baruch attah YHWH --  Yahhh --  elohenu ruakh ha’olam, asher kidshanu b’mitzvot vitzivanu l’hadlik ner shel yomtov, Yom Harat Olam.

Blessed are You, Interbreathing Spirit of the world, Source of all creation, Who calls us into holiness through making connections with each other, and Who connects us by kindling the lights of this festival, the Day of the Birthing of the World.

{Light candles of commitment and joy]

On the morning of Rosh Hashanah

[The community begins by studying the Torah and Prophets of today, from the Book of Genesis, Isaiah, and Malachi -- the last of the ancient Prophets. Read these passages and discuss their meaning for us today.]

[Community says together aloud:]

“You Who are the Breathing-Spirit of the world, breathe into us the full awareness that by breathing together we make the deep connections – the mitzvot – among each other and with all of life. Breathe into us the impulse to shape our breath with our tongues and lips into words. Breathe into us the desire to shape our words so that they aim toward wisdom –-- becoming our own words of Torah.

Baruch attah [Brucha aht] Yahhhh, elohenu ruach ha’olam, asher kidshanu b’mitzvot – vitzivanu la’asok b’divrei Torah.

“And YHWH [the Name of God that can only be pronounced by breathing with no vowels, thus "Yahhh, Breath of Life"] formed the adam [human earthling] from the adamah [humus-earth] and blew into her/his nostrils the breath of life; and the human-earthling became a living being." (Genesis 2: 7)

Genesis 2 [Slightly modified from the Everett Fox translation, Five Books of Moses (Schocken)]

5 No bush of the field was yet on earth,

no plant of the field had yet sprung up,

for YHWH  -- the Breath of Life -- Creator God, had not made it rain upon earth,

and there was no human earthling/adam to till the earthy humus/adamah –-

6 but a surge would well up from the ground and water all the face

of the soil;

7 and YHWH, God, formed the human, of dust from the soil,

YHWH blew into his nostrils the breath of life

and the human became a living being'

8 YHWH, God, planted a garden in Eden/ Land-of-Delight, in the

east,

and there he placed the human whom he had formed.

9 YHWH, God, caused to spring up from the soil

every type of tree, desirable to look at and good to eat,

and the Tree of Life in the midst of the garden

and the Tree of the Knowing of Good and Evil.

...

15 YHWH, God, took the human and set him in the garden of Eden,

to work it and to watch it.

16 YHWH, God, commanded concerning the human, saying:

From every (other) tree of the garden you may eat, yes, eat,

17 but from the Tree of the Knowing of Good and Evil-

you are not to eat from it,

for on the day that you eat from it, you must die, yes, die.

Genesis 3

16 To the woman he said:

I will multiply, multiply your pain (from) your pregnancy,

with pains shall you bear children.

Toward your husband will be your lust, yet he will rule over you.

17 To Adam he said:

Because you have hearkened to the voice of your wife

and have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you,

saying:

You are not to eat from it!

Damned be the soil on your account,

with painstaking-labor shall you eat from it, ail the days of your

life.

18 Thorn and sting-shrub let it spring up for you,

when you (seek to) eat the plants of the field!

19 By the sweat of your brow shall you eat bread,

until you return to the soil,

for from it you were taken.

For you are dust, and to dust shall you return.

 "Vayasem midbarah k'eden v'arvatah k'gan Yahh.

"You turn the barren place to Eden, and the desert to a garden breathing Life."

[Isaiah 51:3  Chant by Rabbi Shefa Gold]

"Before the coming of the great and awesone day of the Breath of Life, the Wind of Change, I will send you the Prophet Elijah, to turn the hearts of the parents to the chikdren and the hearts of the children to the parents, lest I come and bring uutter destruction upon the Earth."

(Malachi 3:21-22}

[Complete Torah study with Kaddish d'Rabbanan, and turn to the Morning Prayers. Begin by chanting:]

Hareni m'kabeyl alai et-mitzvat ha-Borey –

V'ahavta l'rayacha kamocha, l'rayacha kamocha.

Here I stand/ and I take upon myself

The commitment of the Creator:

Love your neighbor as yourself, your neighbor as yourself.

[Leader says: Why does this affirmation of love assert that it is the "mitzvah of the Creator"? In the time before time, before there was a before, in utterly Unbounded Holiness, the Holiness Itself felt the urge to meet a Neighbor, the urge to Love.

So the unbounded Holiness withdrew into itself, contracted in a Tzimtzum, to open the space for the emergence of a world, a Neighbor. The commitment to Love not only arises among human beings and not only among all the life-forms of this planet, but lies at the very root of all Creation. And today we celebrate the Birth-Day of the world.

[Another leader says:] Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel taught us two profound lessons about prayer: Returning from Selma Alabama where he had marched alongside Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, to demand full voting rights for Black Americans, he said, “I felt as if my legs were praying.”

And he also  wrote:

"The beginning of prayer is praise. The power of worship is song. To worship is to join the cosmos in praising God. . . . Prayer is meaningless unless it is subversive, unless it seeks to overthrow and to ruin the pyramids of callousness, hatred, opportunism, falsehoods. The liturgical movement must become a revolutionary movement, seeking to overthrow the forces that continue to destroy the promise, the hope, the vision."

Hayom harat olam! --  Today is the birthing of the World!

So we dedicate this service, this Rosh Hashanah, to Love. to Creation, and to Justice:

[Sing this verse from Psalm  xxxx, to the melody by Rabbi David Shneyer]

Of love and justice I will sing,

To you, Breath of Life, I’ll sing praises.

Chesed u’mishpat ashira, l’cha Yahhhh azamaira!

[Sing “Morning Has Broken”]

Morning has broken like the first morning;

Blackbird has spoken like the first bird.

Praise for the singing! Praise for the morning!

Praise for them springing fresh from the Word.

Sweet the rain's new fall sunlit from heaven,

like the first dew fall on the first grass.

Praise for the sweetness of the wet garden,

sprung in completeness where our feet pass.

Mine is the sunlight! Mine is the morning

born of the one light Eden saw play!

Praise with elation, praise every morning,

God's re-creation of the new day!

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

[Leader explains the relationship between “my breath” from “my God” and the breath of all life, celebrating “our God.” Leader may use two guided

visualizations for these two chants.

[For the first, follow the Breath entering each of our bodies, suffusing the body –limb by limb, organ by organ. Meanwhile the community chants:]

Elohai neshama, sheh-natata bi, tehorah hi.

[My God, the breath You have placed within me is pure.]

[While chanting, follow your in-breath to

two hemispheres of brain (Chochma & Binah),

right arm (Chesed), left arm (Gevurah),

heart (Tiferet/ Rachamim) , right leg (Netzach),

left leg (Hod), genitals (Yesod), skin (Malkhut).

Then follow CO2 back to lungs, breathe out.]

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

[Then Chant using Joey Weisenberg’s melody:]

Nishmat kol chai tivarekh et-shimcha,Yahhh – Yahhh elohenu. Yai daida dai dai dai dai dai -----]

[Same melody}

The breath of all life praises your Name,

For Your Name is the Breath,

Whispering life. Hallelu-Yahhh, Hallelu-Yahhh ----

[Second visualization: While chanting, follow the breath as it leaves your mouth and nose, goes into the world, is breathed in by grasses and trees, then is breathed out by them into frogs, honeybees, tigers, peacocks, humans. Together, chant in English:]

You Whose very Name ---

YyyyHhhhWwwwHhhh [Just breathe] --

Is the Breath of Life,

The breathing of all life

Gives joy and blessing to Your Name.

As lovers lie within each other's arms,

Whispering each the other's name

Into the other's ear,

So we lie in Your arms,

Breathing with each breath

Your Name, Your Truth, Your Unity.

You alone, Your Breath of Life alone,

Guides us, Frees us, Transforms us, Heals us,

Nurtures us, Teaches us.

First, Last, Future, Past,

Inward, Outward, Beyond, Between,

You are the breathing that gives life to all the worlds.

And we do the breathing that gives life to all the worlds.

As we breathe in what the trees breathe out,

And the trees breathe in what we breathe out,

So we breathe each other into life,

We and You.

YyyyHhhhWwwwHhhh.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Kol ha'neshama t'hallel Yahhh; Hallelu Yahhhh.

[Every breath praises Your Name; Let us praise Yahh!]

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

[The assembly sings from Psalm 148, to the melody of “Michael Row the Boat Ashore”:]

Praise God, sun and moon, Hallelu-Yah.

Praise Yah, you stars of light, Hallelu-Yah.

Praise God, you high heavens, Hallelu-Yah.

All that flows in all the world, Hallelu-Yah.

Let them all praise God's Name, Hallelu-Yah.

For God spoke and they appeared, Hallelu-Yah.

With God they take their stand, Hallelu-Yah.

God's rhythm none must break, Hallelu-Yah.

Praise Yah from the Earth, Hallelu-Yah.

You sea-monsters and all deeps, Hallelu-Yah.

Fire, hail, snow, and steam, Hallelu-Yah.

Stormy wind to do God's word, Hallelu-Yah.

!

Mountains high and tiny hills, Hallelu-Yah.

Trees of fruit and evergreens, Hallelu-Yah.

Wild beasts and quiet flocks, Hallelu-Yah.

Creeping bugs and winged birds, Hallelu-Yah.

Men and women, young and old, Hallelu-Yah!

Leaders and officials, Hallelu-Yah.

Whole societies and peoples, Hallelu-Yah.

Kol ha’neshama t’hallel Yahh, Hallelu=Yah

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

[Members of the prayer community read, one by one, each paragraph:]

Psalm 149 sings out our ecstasies in the beauty of God’s Presence in the Earth, and the Psalm reminds us that we humans are not separate from this sacred flow: we too are woven into its life.

Yet in our generation, this wonder and this beauty have been desecrated -- not in one land alone but ‘round all the Earth. So in this crisis, even as we celebrate in earth-song, we know all Earth needs also the healing human hand.

So we call ourselves into community. First we turn to each other. As the ancient rabbis said about the Torah teaching that God created human beings in God’s Image: “When Caesar puts his image on a coin, all the coins come out identical. When the Holy One Who is beyond all rulers puts the Divine Image on a coin – each coin comes out unique.”

So let us look around our circle to look deeply at the face of each one of us, and pause at each Face to say: “This is the Face of God. And this. And this…”

And now let us turn to our fellow-creatures, the myriad communities of humans and other life-forms, the myriad ecosystems who make up the community of Earth. We turn to see and welcome into our minyan

especially the Trees of Life that give us life. Without them there would be no minyan.]

Leader: Barchu et- Yahhhh ha’m’vorakh.

All respond: Baruch Yahhhh ha’m’vorakh l’olam va’ed.

[Leader explains about use of “O!” -– the vowel of “radical amazement” --- in this blessing  celebrating Creation]

YOtzer Ohr u'vOrey chOshech, Oseh shalOm u'vOrey et ha-kOl.

FOrming glOw, compOsing shadOw, Opening shalOm and compOsing the whOle.

[Then, emphasizing the vowels of Love: “Ahhhh” and “oooo”: ]

Ahavah rabbah, ahavtanu.  

[All together chant: ”Sh’ma Yisrael Yahhh elohenu Yahhhh echad.” Then, going around the room, each person reads one paragraph :]

Sh’ma for the 21st Century

All together chant: ”Sh’ma Yisrael Yahhh elohenu Yahhhh echad.” Then, going around the room, each person reads one paragraph :]

Sh’sh’sh’ma Yisra’el –
Hush’sh’sh and Listen, You Godwrestlers –
Pause from your wrestling and hush’sh’sh
To hear -- YyyyHhhhWwwwHhhh/ Yahhhhhh.
Hear in the stillness the still silent voice,
The silent breathing that intertwines life;
YyyyHhhhWwwwHhhh / Yahhhh elohenu

Breath of life is our God,
What unites all the varied
forces creating
all worlds into one-ness,
Each breath unique,
And all unified;
Listen, You Godwrestlers –
No one people alone
owns this Unify-force;
YyyyHhhhWwwwHhhh / Yahh is One.

So at the gates of your cities,
where your own culture ends,
and another begins,
And you might halt in fear –
“Here we speak the same language
“But out there is bar-bar-bar-barbaric,
“They may kill without speaking—“
Then pause in the gateway to write on its walls
And to chant in its passage:
“Each gate is unique in the world that is One.”

If you hush and then listen,
yes hush and then listen
to the teachings of YHWH/ Yahh,
the One Breath of Life,
that the world is One --
If you hear in the stillness the still silent voice,
The silent breathing that intertwines life --

If we Breathe in the quiet,
Interbreathe with all Life --
Still small Voice of us all ----
We will feel the Connections;
We will make the connections
and the rain will fall rightly
The grains will grow rightly
The rivers will run,
The heavens will smile,
The forests will flourish,
The good earth will fruitfully feed us,
And all life weave the future in fullness.
Earthlings / good Earth.

But if we break the One Breath into pieces
And erect into idols these pieces of Truth,
If we choose these mere pieces to worship:
gods of race or of nation 
gods of wealth and of power, 
gods of greed and addiction – 
Big Oil or Big Coal –
If we Do and we Make and Produce without Pausing to Be; 

If we heat the One Breath with our burnings -- 
Then the Breath will flare up into scorching,
Great ice fields will melt 
And great storms will erupt:
Floods will drown our homes and our cities.

The rain will not fall —
or will turn to sharp acid —
The rivers won't run —
or flood homes and cities;
The corn will parch in the field,
The poor will find little to eat,
The heavens themselves
will take arms against us:
the ozone will fail us,
the oil that we burn
will scorch our whole planet

The Breath, Holy Wind, Holy Spirit
Will become Hurricanes of Disaster.
and from the good earth
that the Breath of Life gives us,
We will vanish;
yes, perish.

What must we do?

At the gates of our cities,
where our own culture ends,
and another begins,
Where we might halt in fear –
“Here we speak the same language
“But out there is barbaric,
“They may kill without speaking—“
Then pause in the gateway to write on its walls
And to chant in its passage:
“Each gate is unique in the world that is One.”

On the edges of each Self
take care to weave fringes,
threads of connection.
So we end not with sharpness,
A fence or a wall,
But with sacred mixing
of cloth and of air —
A fringe that is fuzzy,
part ours and part God's:
They bind us together,
Make One from our one-ness.
Good fringes/ good neighbors.
Deep mirrors/ true seeing.
Time loving/ right action.
The Infinite/ One.
 
Connect what we see with our eyes
To what we do with our hands.
If we see that a day is coming
That will burn like a furnace --
Turn for our healing to a sun of justice,
To its wings of wind and its rays of light
To empower all peoples.

Then the rains will fall
Time by time, time by time;
The rivers will run,
The heavens will smile,
The grass will grow,
The forests will flourish,
The good earth will fruitfully feed us,
And all life weave the future in fullness.

[ALL SAY IN UNISON}

Honor the web that all of us weave  --
Breathe together the Breath of all Life. 
 
[The community simply breathes quietly for several minutes, staying aware that each breath comes from all breath.]


[This mdrashic translation//transformation of the Sh’ma waswritten by Rabbi Arthur Waskow, The Shalom Center <https://theshalomcenter.org>
Sh’ma for the 21st Century

All together chant: ”Sh’ma Yisrael Yahhh elohenu Yahhhh echad.” Then, going around the room, each person reads one paragraph :]

Sh’sh’sh’ma Yisra’el –
Hush’sh’sh and Listen, You Godwrestlers –
Pause from your wrestling and hush’sh’sh
To hear -- YyyyHhhhWwwwHhhh/ Yahhhhhh.
Hear in the stillness the still silent voice,
The silent breathing that intertwines life;
YyyyHhhhWwwwHhhh / Yahhhh elohenu

Breath of life is our God,
What unites all the varied
forces creating
all worlds into one-ness,
Each breath unique,
And all unified;
Listen, You Godwrestlers –
No one people alone
owns this Unify-force;
YyyyHhhhWwwwHhhh / Yahh is One.

So at the gates of your cities,
where your own culture ends,
and another begins,
And you might halt in fear –
“Here we speak the same language
“But out there is bar-bar-bar-barbaric,
“They may kill without speaking—“
Then pause in the gateway to write on its walls
And to chant in its passage:
“Each gate is unique in the world that is One.”

If you hush and then listen,
yes hush and then listen
to the teachings of YHWH/ Yahh,
the One Breath of Life,
that the world is One --
If you hear in the stillness the still silent voice,
The silent breathing that intertwines life --

If we Breathe in the quiet,
Interbreathe with all Life --
Still small Voice of us all ----
We will feel the Connections;
We will make the connections
and the rain will fall rightly
The grains will grow rightly
The rivers will run,
The heavens will smile,
The forests will flourish,
The good earth will fruitfully feed us,
And all life weave the future in fullness.
Earthlings / good Earth.

But if we break the One Breath into pieces
And erect into idols these pieces of Truth,
If we choose these mere pieces to worship:
gods of race or of nation 
gods of wealth and of power, 
gods of greed and addiction – 
Big Oil or Big Coal –
If we Do and we Make and Produce without Pausing to Be; 

If we heat the One Breath with our burnings -- 
Then the Breath will flare up into scorching,
Great ice fields will melt 
And great storms will erupt:
Floods will drown our homes and our cities.

The rain will not fall —
or will turn to sharp acid —
The rivers won't run —
or flood homes and cities;
The corn will parch in the field,
The poor will find little to eat,
The heavens themselves
will take arms against us:
the ozone will fail us,
the oil that we burn
will scorch our whole planet

The Breath, Holy Wind, Holy Spirit
Will become Hurricanes of Disaster.
and from the good earth
that the Breath of Life gives us,
We will vanish;
yes, perish.

What must we do?

At the gates of our cities,
where our own culture ends,
and another begins,
Where we might halt in fear –
“Here we speak the same language
“But out there is barbaric,
“They may kill without speaking—“
Then pause in the gateway to write on its walls
And to chant in its passage:
“Each gate is unique in the world that is One.”

On the edges of each Self
take care to weave fringes,
threads of connection.
So we end not with sharpness,
A fence or a wall,
But with sacred mixing
of cloth and of air —
A fringe that is fuzzy,
part ours and part God's:
They bind us together,
Make One from our one-ness.
Good fringes/ good neighbors.
Deep mirrors/ true seeing.
Time loving/ right action.
The Infinite/ One.
 
Connect what we see with our eyes
To what we do with our hands.
If we see that a day is coming
That will burn like a furnace --
Turn for our healing to a sun of justice,
To its wings of wind and its rays of light
To empower all peoples.

Then the rains will fall
Time by time, time by time;
The rivers will run,
The heavens will smile,
The grass will grow,
The forests will flourish,
The good earth will fruitfully feed us,
And all life weave the future in fullness.

[ALL SAY IN UNISON}

Honor the web that all of us weave  --
Breathe together the Breath of all Life. 
 
[The community simply breathes quietly for several minutes, staying aware that each breath comes from all breath.]


[This mdrashic translation//transformation of the Sh’ma waswritten by Rabbi Arthur Waskow, The Shalom Center <https://theshalomcenter.org>

 

____________________

[Leader says]:

Mi Chamocha : As once we stood at the Red Sea which threatened to be our waters of death -- yet became the waters of birth for a new people --  so we stand here, watching our seas rise. Consider how we may act to change our seas from waters of drowning to waters of birth and renewal.

[Leader says:  We are about to enter the Amidah, where we take our own stance in the Breath of life, murmuring prayer with our own breathing. Though we often call the amidah “silent,”  as long as we are alive, there is no silence, as we are always breathing. The trees are breathing with us. For this breathing Amidah, we invite you to stand near a tree and breathe together. Hear the tree’s Amidah. Listen to what the tree is praying. [The people disperse to stand with trees.]

To call people back from Amidah :

Etz Chayyim Hi (by Hanna Tiferet Siegel)

She is a tree of life

More precious than gold

Hold Her in your heart

And you will understand

Etz chayyim hi

Her roots are deep and wise

Her branches full of light

And all Her pathways are peace

[Amidah Sharing Popcorn style… share about your experience in Amidah with the tree. What did you hear in the prayers of the tree?]

[Responses transcribed. We include these only to give a feeling of what can happen. In your own service, do not include these in your prayer-book. Leave this time open for the direct experience of the people.]

1. I couldn’t move out into the trees. I couldn’t understand why. Everyone else was moving out into the trees, and I just had to stand and connect with the roots, and then I realized how holy the ground is, and I removed my shoes.

2. The tree I befriended had prickly pine needles, and  I could hear it saying to me, ‘You who breathe me in and out, I am breathing out to you –- a prickly scent just like my prickly needles — a prickly scent to say to you, "Wake up!”  A scent of more than sleep. "Wake up. Wake up. Wake up. Wake up. Breathe with me. I may be in danger but my prickly needles, my prickly scent, I’m sending to awaken you."

3. My Daily Minyan is made up of trees, and when I say that I am made in God’s image, I imagine the Yod of myself and the Yod of the tree, the Hey of the branches and the Hey of me, the Vav of the trunk and the Vav of me, and the roots of my body and the roots of the tree.

4.  So all week we were living in the Maple Lodge, but now as we’re outside we’re in the Maple Mishkan.

5. My tree said, ‘You and I are safe here. Take care of our brothers and sisters . . .’

6. The bamboo growth was just really insistent and kept saying, ‘You know, we’re really hard to kill. We’re really hard to kill. Don’t despair. It’s really hard to kill us.’

7. My tree kept reaching up to God – a steady stream of energy reaching right up to God.

8. ‘My roots are wider and more intricately connected to everybody else – much wider and more intricate than you can possibly imagine.’

9. My tree spoke as a vibration, and as I felt closer to that, beyond words, I noticed that my molecules and its molecules were very happy to spin around each other.

10.  My tree said, ‘Take care of us so we can take care of you.’

11. My tree said, ‘I’m going to let the birds speak for me.’

12. Mine said, ‘I was your first friend, and I will be your last friend.’

13. Mine said, ‘Help, please help.’ And "I notice my bark is thick and hard to get to. It protects me, the same way your shells protect you. And I share your DNA. I’m your cousin. … help me."

14. My tree said ‘L’dor vador.’

15. My tree said, ‘Thank you for hugging me.’

16. My tiny green sprout on the sidewalk here said, ‘Notice me, touch me, I’m growing in the crack.’

17. I heard my son’s voice, ‘Mommy!’ whispering from the tree, and I felt the wind rustling the canopy of branches. And then part of me remembered how some trees are hurt because crowds of tourists walk over their ground, on their roots, they’re hurt. So I ask the trees’ forgiveness.

18. The trees showed me the diversity of their forms, their different greens. It was beautiful.

19. The branches of my tree began just barely taller than me. It was a young tree, and it spoke to me of the vulnerability of future generations. Concern.

20. My tree said, ‘Ahh, water! Ahh, air!’

21. My tree, I felt -- that tiny little one behind us, a very skinny little tree, not far away – and I touched it, and I felt it. We were feeling each other. I felt that it connected me to me, to the Divine. The Divine was stabilizing in me and the tree, but the tree . . .

22. I just want to add that I was so convinced by the bamboo growth that they were hard to decimate that I felt very safe in there, and I didn’t want to leave and come back into community. It was very, very difficult to leave the grove and rejoin the community of humans.

23. I had a different experience in the bamboo. Under my foot there was something that made it very hard to stand, and I looked down and there was bamboo – the one that had been cut, and I felt apologetic -- standing on a cemetery, on a grave.

24. Hearing that vision of the Yod Hey Vav Hey in the tree and in the human, what came to me was God's Name as a Tree, the Tree of Life: The Yod — tiny, a seed in the ground. The Hey — curvy, the roots growing out of that seed. The straight tall Vav, the trunk. The other curvy Hey, the leaves, the foliage, and in the foliage, hanging, ready to fall into the earth is the next generation, another seed, another Yod. So the real Name, the full Name,  is: Yod Hey Vav Hey Yod. And on and on: Yod Heh Vav Hey Yod. . . A spiral. Always returning, always becoming.

[Leaders brings people together by chanting the one word, “Shalom.”

[The community turns now to read from the Torah Scroll . Use the passages quoted above for Torah study, or choose another passage. Aftr putting the Scroll away, sing this song as an Alenu -- expressing the responsibility we accept in ”Alenu, Upon ourselves" is the joyful task:]

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

“WE HAVE THE WHOLE WORLD IN OUR HANDS!”

L’Takeyn olam b’malkhut shaddai; To Heal the world through the Majesty of Nurture.”]

[If possible, while singing PASS a GLOBE FROM HAND TO HAND]

We have the whole world in our hands,

We have the rain and the forests in our hands,

We have the wind and the honeybees in our hands,

WE HAVE THE WHOLE WORLD IN OUR HANDS!

We have the rivers and the mountains in our hands,

We have the lakes and the oceans in our hands

We have you and me in our hands,

We have the whole world in our hands.

We have trees and tigers in our hands,

We have our sisters and our brothers in our hands,

We have our children and their children in our hands,

WE HAVE THE WHOLE WORLD IN OUR HANDS!

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Mourners Kaddish in a Time of War and Violence

Yitgadal V’yit’kadash Shmei Rabah

B’alma di vra chi’rooteh v’yamlich malchuteh b’chayeichon,

u’v’yomeichon, u’v’chayei d’chol beit yisrael, b’agalah u’vizman kariv,

v’imru: -- Amein.

Y’hei sh’mei rabbah, me’vorach, l’olam almei almaya.

Yitbarach, v’yishtabach, v’yitpa’ar, v’yitromam, v’yitnasei, v’yit'hadar,

v’yit’aleh, v’yit'halal -- Shmei di’kudshah, -- Brich hu, (Cong: Brich Hu)

L’eylah min kol bir’chatah v’shir’atah tush’be’chatah v’nehematah,

de’amiran be’alma, v’imru: Amein (Cong: Amein)

Yehei Shlama Rabah min Shemaya v’chayyim { aleinu v’al kol Yisrael,

v’imru Amein.

Oseh Shalom bi’m’romav, hu ya’aseh shalom aleinu v’al kol yisrael v'al kol

yishmael v'al kol yoshvei tevel -- v’imru: Amein.

May Your Great Name, through our expanding awareness and our fuller action, lift You to become still higher and more holy.

For Your Great Name weaves together all the names of all the beings in the universe, among them our own names and the names of those we mourn -- (Cong: Amein)

--- Throughout the world that You have offered us, a world of majestic peaceful order that gives life to the Godwrestling folk through time and through eternity ---- And let's say, Amein

So may the Great Name be blessed, through every Mystery and Mastery of every universe.

May Your Name be blessed and celebrated, Its beauty honored and raised high, may It be lifted and carried, may Its radiance be praised in all Its

Holiness –-- Blessed be!

Even though we cannot give You enough blessing, enough song, enough praise, enough consolation to match what we wish to lay before you –

And though we know that today there is no way to console You when among us some who bear Your Image in our being are slaughtering others who bear Your Image in our being --

Still, may it be that from the unity of Your Great Name there flows a great and joyful harmony and life for us and for all who wrestle God; (Cong:Amein)

You who make harmony in the ultimate reaches of the universe, teach us to make harmony within ourselves, among ourselves --- and peace for the children of Israel, the children of Ishmael, and for all who dwell upon this planet. (Cong: Amein)

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[For the Blowing of the Shofar, explain its meanings to the community:]

There are three "stanzas" of the Shofar: Zikhronot, Malkhuyot, and Shoferot. The first is about "Remembering" not in the sense of evoking the past, but as the opposite of "dismembering." That is, it is about compassionate reconnection. The second, Majesty, is about justice, which must be kept in balance with compassion. The third is about Transformation, which absorbs both compassion and justice and integrates them both into a new level of society.

In each stanza, there are four distinct notes of the Shofar. (Consult the Machzor for their order.) "Tekiah" means "Awake!"  to the crisis that we face.  "Sh'varim, Broken," evokes our broken-heartedness at the crisis that is shattering our habitual patterns. "T'ruah" is the sobbing of sorrow as we realize the pain of those who are suffering in the disruption. "Tekiah gedolah" is the long long breath of life in a new dimension -- once again, Transformation.


[This service was shaped by Rabbi Arthur Waskow, director of The Shalom Center <https://theshalomcenter.org>

 

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