by Rabbi Katy Z. Allen
On this fourth night, half way through Hanukkah, we light four candles, continue the “Litany of Harm” and the “Call to Action,” and consider a fourth way to move our lives forward in a way that adds goodness to the world.
Hanukkah Night 4:
The Litany of Harm:
For all those in island nations, where rising sea levels and superstorms threaten their very existence. We stand in witness!
For all coastal cities and villages, where storm swells and flooding put lives and homes at risk. We stand in witness!
For all those who suffer from tropical diseases, and those at risk from spreading diseases and heat waves. We stand in witness!
For farmers and all who eat, as droughts ruin crops, incomes, and food supplies. We stand in witness!
For people of color around the world, who are at risk from climate change and environmental injustice. We stand in witness!
For the human populations, plants, and animals who are losing or have lost access to enough fresh water. We stand in witness!
For the countless animals who suffer in factory farms, in a system that causes misery and carbon pollution. We stand in witness!
For all the habitats already lost and which are disappearing. We stand in witness!*
The Call to Action:
We’re ready to act because we have a favorite place on Earth that we want our great-grandchildren to experience. With love in our hearts, Compassionate One, move us to action.
We’re ready to act because somewhere we heard John Muir’s voice, reminding us that in the beauty of nature we see the beginning of creation. With beauty in our hearts, Creator, move us to action.
We’re ready to act because someone in our life once shared something with us – something we needed; something we could not live without – and we want to do the same for the next generation and beyond. With generosity in our hearts, Holy One of Blessing, move us to action.
We’re ready to act because we’ve read texts we consider sacred, and they make clear that the Earth is a gift, and we are stewards of that gift. With responsibility in our hearts, G!d of Judgment, move us to action.**
We add a fourth promise to ourselves.
For the fourth night, we consider our finances. Where do you spend your money and how? What does the cost of an item say about the wages of the people who made it? What resources went into making it? If you have money invested, do you know how it is being used? How does your bank use your money? Are the ways your money is invested consistent with your values? (Click here for some resources with changes you might make.)
Here are my thoughts for this fourth night of Hanukkah:
Eloheinu v’elohei avoteinu v’imoteinu, Our G!d and G!d of our ancestors, give me strength on this fourth night of Hanukkah, and help me to re-dedicate myself to remembering that I am created in the image of the Holy One of Blessing, to eating organic, local food, to speaking out about racism, and to maintaining my values in my finances.
What do you feel moved to add to your list tonight?
Chag Urim Sameach – Happy Hanukkah,
* by Rabbi Shoshana Meira Friedman
** by Rev. Jim Antal