This prayer is shared as part of a collection of resources linking the Days of Awe with care for our living planet. Stay tuned for others in coming days.
Adonai Eloheinu, v’Elohei Avoteinu v’Imoteinu—
Lord our God and God of our Ancestors—
God who separated the light from the darkness,
upper waters from lower waters,
and seas from land.
God who appears in a whirlwind,
in a burning bush, and
as strangers standing at an open tent.
Do You remember?
You freed us from that Narrow Place and
guided us through the wilderness,
appearing as a pillar of cloud by day,
and as a pillar of fire by night.
Do we remember?
You thundered, shook the mountain, and gave us Torah.
We were awestruck. We said:
“We will do and we will hear!”
Help us remember.
God, we’ve kind of messed things up.
We didn’t mean to. It was science and progress,
electricity and cars and plastic!
Plastic is amazing, God.
But now, we’ve upset the delicate balance of Your Creation—
this beautiful, wildly diverse, interconnected,
pulsing, breathing planet full of life—
The storms are stronger now.
Drought more frequent, more severe.
Ice is melting, seas are rising, crops are shifting.
Hunger and disease, disaster and thirst
lead to suffering
and people—so many people—
having to leave home
in search of a safe place to live.
We didn’t mean for this to happen.
But now we know.
And now that we know, we are responsible—
we must act.
Please help us, God.
We need to make some changes, and fast—
but it’s hard.
We can do it—but it’s going to require a lot of work,
and we’ve never had to cooperate quite like this before—
all of us, all your diverse peoples, all over the world.
Climate change is a big challenge.
We’re going to have to work together,
But it’s really, really hard.
God, please help our leaders.
Give them wisdom, and the courage to do what’s right—
rather than what’s politically expedient.
God, please help us.
Global warming is scary.
Change is hard.
Give us strength, imagination, and hope.
There’s so much we can do, right here at home.
Help us meet new challenges with hearts that are open
and attuned to You.
For this little blue planet,
gift of water and breath and life amazing—
Thank you, God.
Please be with us.
Help us mend our ways,
And let us say: amen.
Yaira A. Robinson is on leave from the ALEPH Rabbinic Ordination Program.