Rabbi Arthur Waskow
Kavannah for Torah Discussion
by Rabbi Arthur Waskow
We have gathered to wrestle with Your Torah -- for as You have taught us, the Torah is not in Heaven but in our own hearts and mouths.
From year to year we wrestle --
-- with those teachings that separate women and men into utterly different paths of serving You;
-- with those teachings to make war upon other peoples whom we meet as we gather in the Land of Israel;
-- with those teachings to set upon the margins of our community those who suffer from illnesses we dread;
-- with those teachings that exclude from our community those whose love is expressed through gay and lesbian life-paths or through relationships not defined by marriage.
We have wrestled with those teachings in the light of others of Your teachings: "You shall not oppress the stranger," "You shall love your neighbor as yourself," "There shall be one law for the homeborn and the stranger."
And in the light of these teachings we have tried to transform and transcend those other teachings, while striving to hear whatever wisdom may have lived within them.
Help us to continue our wrestling with You, help us to remain conscious that Torah comes through our own hearts and mouths.
Baruch atah Yahhh ..... ha-m'lameyd Torah l'amo Yisrael.