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Modim anachnu lach...

06/30/2022 11:07:55 AM

Jun30

Sarah Avner, Cantorial Soloist

In our Shabbat morning liturgy, we find this beautiful poem on the theme of gratitude:

FOR THE EXPANDING GRANDEUR of Creation,

worlds known and unknown, galaxies beyond galaxies,

filling us with awe and challenging our imaginations,

מודים אנחנו לך

Modim anachnu lach, (we thank You)

For this fragile planet earth, its times and tides,

its sunsets and seasons,

מודים אנחנו לך

Modim anachnu lach, (we thank You)

For the joy of human life, its wonders and surprises,

its hopes and achievements,

מודים אנחנו לך

Modim anachnu lach, (we thank You)

For human community, our common past and future hope,

our oneness transcending all separation, our capacity to work

for peace and justice in the midst of hostility and oppression,

מודים אנחנו לך

Modim anachnu lach, (we thank You)

For high hopes and noble causes, for faith without fanaticism,

for understanding of views not shared,

מודים אנחנו לך

Modim anachnu lach, (we thank You)

For all who have labored and suffered for a fairer world,

who have lived so that others might live in dignity and freedom,

מודים אנחנו לך

Modim anachnu lach, (we thank You)

For human liberties and sacred rites:

for opportunities to change and grow, to affirm and choose,

מודים אנחנו לך

Modim anachnu lach, (we thank You)

We pray that we may live not by our fears but by our hopes,

not by our words but by our deeds.

Blessed are You, Adonai, Your Name is Goodness, and You are worthy of thanksgiving.

- Adapted from Eugene Picket

Depending on what is happening in the world on any given day different lines stand out to me. I love to sit with the third stanza and reflect on the “joy of human life”. My cousin giving birth to a new baby girl, my children working their way through young adulthood, reveling in the accomplishments of a recent b’nei mitzvah student – fortunately, the list is endless.

When we celebrate MLK Day or Juneteenth “...for human liberties and sacred rites:” reminds me that while we can feel like we have accomplished so much we still have much more to do. All members of the LGBTQ+ community deserve to feel and know love within their families and greater communities. All our Indigenous Peoples deserve the same quality of life on their reservations that are afforded to the rest of the country. All people of color should be treated fairly when interacting with law enforcement. Unfortunately, this list is also seemingly endless.

In this first week following the decision of the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade I have found myself reflecting on the fourth stanza: “…our capacity to work for peace and justice in the midst of hostility and oppression”. In between the anger, sadness, and frustration I have done as Rabbi Levy suggested in a recent Facebook post, taken deep breaths and reminded myself that soldiers have walked this path before us and we too will be able to make change.

In the meantime, I have hugged my daughter fiercely and been grateful that she lives in Israel where “abortion is healthcare”, so aptly said in the statement put out by the Women’s Rabbinic Network. I have also applied for citizenship, after years of living in America as a legal immigrant so I will be able to vote, and I have turned to words of prayer to lift me up during a dark, heavy time.

Wishing all of you a peaceful, safe, and invigorating long weekend.

Shabbat Shalom

Tue, August 16 2022 19 Av 5782