A Jewish Prayer as a New American Political Era Dawns

Avinu she-bashamayim, our heavenly parent:

You created the first man and woman in Your image, according to Your likeness, and made it so that all of us descended from a single parentage.

Through our origins You have taught us that we are all their children, and Yours. Not one of us can say, "My father was greater than your father," or "My mother was greater than your mother" (Mishnah Sanhedrin 4:5). We are grateful to You, God, for creating humanity.

Help us remember that our diversity is a sign of Your greatness, for humanity has blossomed into extraordinary diversity even though we share a common origin.

Help us remember not to let our diversity obscure the basic truth that we all equally bear Your image.

Help us remember that we are all of us, regardless of the shade of our skin or the country of our origin, regardless of whether we were born in privilege or in bondage, regardless of the anatomy with which we were born or the language we speak, regardless of our gender identity or our sexual orientation, brothers and sisters.

Help us remember that, as brothers and sisters, Your love extends fully and equally to all, and no individual or group can lay claim to a disproportionate share of Your love: "To Me, O Israelites, you are Just like the Ethiopians --declares the LORD. True, I brought Israel up From the land of Egypt, But also the Philistines from Caphtor And the Arameans from Kir" (Amos 9:7).

Help us remember that, as brothers and sisters, our destinies are intertwined, and that we are all responsible for each other. We are all our brothers and sisters keepers.

Help us remember that, just as a parent is happiest when his children act with love toward each other, nothing pleases You more than peace between us, for brother to dwell with brother and sister to dwell with sister (Psalm 133:1).

"Uproot from our hearts hatred and malice, jealousy and strife" (Siddur Lev Shalem). Help us recognize our unconscious prejudices and the acts of oppression we unintentionally commit. Grant us sharp eyes to see clearly the manifestation of bigotry, discerning minds to identify the most subtle evidence of racism, sensitive ears to hear the cries of the oppressed, and compassionate hearts so that we will be moved to alleviate their pain. Grant us the courage to stop all forms of persecution, to speak up on behalf of the persecuted, and to rectify historic injustices. Grant victims of racism strength and perseverance to overcome, and turn the hearts of those born with privilege to become allies.

Lead us to "love and companionship, peace and friendship" (Siddur Lev Shalem); toward a complete healing of our communities and country. For You, God, are the Source of all healing. We are grateful to You, God, healer of all that afflicts Your children.

Amen.