A Prayer for Love

June 22, 2016

Delivered by Cantor Frankel on June 17:

Hashkiveinu Adonai Eloheinu L’Shalom, V’haamideinu Shomreinu L’chayim, Let us lie down in peace O God and rise up, our guardian, to life renewed. We pray for protection, that in our most vulnerable moments we won’t have to focus on just how vulnerable we can be… And then we’re reminded how our sense of safety, how the sense of safety of those who have worked for equality and acceptance, can be rocked to its core.

Where is the symbol of God’s brit, God’s covenant, with all of us in those moments? Where is the rainbow?

After God destroyed the world in the flood, saving Noah and his family to continue human kind, God chose the rainbow to be a symbol of the promise not to destroy humanity again. The rainbow is so beautiful, it appears magically and without warning, it’s colors share space harmoniously in such a way that all kinds of people seem to be represented in its bands.

But as a symbol the rainbow is more than just beauty and harmony. It is a reminder of a two-way covenant, a reminder of the part we must play in repairing a world that after Orlando once again seems so broken.

There is such fear and shock after last weekend’s events. Such pain in the LGBTQ and Latino communities.

So we must remember the rainbow, and repeat the question, as Sen. Chris Murphy did on the Senate floor this week, “What can you do? What is your part?”

We pray for protection, we pray for peace, we pray for tolerance, we pray for sanity, we pray for the day when cultural differences, sexual equality, and gun control are all accepted, because on that day we all will agree, as Lin-Manuel Miranda said at the Tony awards last week, that love is love is love is love is love.

Remember the rainbow, remember the covenant. What is your part?


Have You Tried Turning It Off and On Again?

June 10, 2016

My husband, the I.T. professional, appreciates a certain tech-British sitcom he recently discovered.  On the show, the help desk repeats to each and every caller:

“Hello, I.T. Have you tried turning it off and on again?”

Not a bad response to our own challenges, I.T. or not.  Shabbat is here to say: “Have you tried turning it off and on again?”  Most things work better if, now and again, they get unplugged.  Shabbat shalom.

–Rabbi Jill Maderer