by Sue Penn, Director of Innovation
Responsive Reading after Avodah:
We Cannot Merely Pray
We cannot merely pray to God to end war;
For the world was made in such a way
That we must find our own path of peace
Within ourselves and with our neighbor.
We cannot merely pray to God to root out prejudice; For we already have eyes
With which to see the good in all people
If we would only use them rightly.
We cannot merely pray to God to end starvation; For we already have the resources
With which to feed the entire world
If we would only use them wisely.
We cannot merely pray to God to end despair; For we already have the power
To clear away slums and give hope
If we would only use our power justly.
We cannot merely pray to God to end disease; For we already have great minds
With which to search out cures and healings
If we would only use them constructively. Therefore we pray instead
For strength, determination, and will power.
To do instead of merely pray
To become instead of merely to wish;
That our world may be safe,
And that our lives may be blessed.
Responsive Reading after Hoda’ah
For the expanding grandeur of Creation,
Worlds known and unknown, galaxies beyond galaxies, Filling us with awe and challenging our imaginations.
(Jack Riemer, adapted) childrensdefense.org
Sitting here in this temporary dwelling, built to remind us of traveling through the dessert for 40 years, we cannot help but think of a world struggling to cope with an international pandemic.
* What lessons can we take from this poem?