by Rabbi Katy Z. Allen
The world is on fire,
laying waste to forest and city.
G!d is my life-force and my wholeness: whom would I fear? (Ps. 27:1)**
May we remain ready and willing to engage with the world.
The ice sheets are collapsing,
and the waters are rising.
G!d is my fortress of strength for my life, whom would I dread? (Ps.27:1)**
May we always keep our feet firmly planted on the ground.
The injustice is overwhelming,
killing too, too many black and brown, indigenous and Asian peoples.
When … attitudes of fear and separation rise up within me to eat away at my energy and physical being, it is they, my thoughts of separation and feelings of being in the narrow straits that will fall (Ps. 27:2)**
May we not succumb to fear.
The plague is unceasing,
bringing poverty and despair along with death.
I ask of God oneness, wholeness. (Ps. 27:4)**
May our sense of integration with the Universe ever increase.
The storms are raging,
wreaking destruction along their way.
Hear, God, my voice when I cry, and show me grace and answer me. (Ps. 27:7)**
May we know that we are never alone.
The deceit is rampant
turning to truth in the hearts of some.
Do not hide Your face from me, don’t turn aside from Your servant in anger; You have ever been my help. (Ps. 27:9)**
May we always be willing to seek help.
The democracy is crumbling,
leaving ideals struggling for survival.
Do not forsake me, do not abandon me, G!d. You, my wholeness.
May we ever retain the vision of Eden before us.
And the New Year is upon us.
May it be sweet –
May it be healthy –
May it bring justice –
Among the rubble and the ashes, the lost votes and the powerful winds, may we find unexpected blessings,
May we, indeed, have a good year.
Rabbi Katy and Gabi
** Translations of Psalm 27 by Rabbi Ora Weiss
Rabbi Katy Allen is the founder and rabbi of Ma’yan Tikvah – A Wellspring of Hope, which holds services outdoors all year long, and the co-founder and President pro-tem of the Jewish Climate Action Network-MA. She is a board certified chaplain and a former hospital and hospice chaplain and now considers herself an eco-chaplain. She received her ordination from the Academy for Jewish Religion in Yonkers, NY in 2005 and lives in Wayland, MA with her spouse, Gabi Mezger, who leads the singing at Ma’yan Tikvah.