Hope all of y'all had a wonderful Yom Kippur!
Earlier this summer the folks at Rabbis for Human Rights North America asked if I would write a Sukkot prayer which touches on the situation of the Israeli Bedouin. I was honored to be asked, and took on the task with some trepidation; I hope the result is meaningful.
Here's how my prayer begins:
Ribbono Shel Olam, Master of the Universe --
Shekhinah, Whose wings shelter creation --
Once our people wandered the desert sands.
Now we merely vacation in rootlessness
While our Bedouin neighbors perch
Without permission, their goats forbidden to graze.
Time after time the bulldozers tear down homes
And playgrounds, uprooting spindly olive trees
To make room for someone else's future forest,
As though saplings mattered more than children...
You can find the whole prayer on the RHR-NA website, in the Sukkot section -- A Sukkot Prayer for the Bedouin -- or in the Prayers section (Prayers | A Sukkot Prayer for the Bedouin) where the prayer appears alongside an image of, as it happens, me in prayer during the last Rabbis for Human Rights conference I was blessed to attend.
Sukkot begins on Sunday at sundown. May this prayer help us to remain mindful of the Bedouin and their situation even as we celebrate Sukkot, the season of our rejoicing. Stay tuned -- I'll share more Bedouin resources from RHR once they're online.