Isaiah, Trayvon Martin, and Yom Kippur (A sermon for Yom Kippur morning)
Six jewels from this year's Days of Awe

Yom Kippur is over; Sukkot is almost here!

Prayer Before Building the Sukkah

for the sturdiness of my house
and for the willingness to leave it

for this chance to build
a temporary home, to remember

nomad desert wandering
and harvest houses: thank You.

Connect me, God, with all who labor
here and everywhere.

Increase my compassion
for anyone who has no home.

There is no Temple, and I do not farm:
all I can offer You

is the work of my hands
my heart, open as these walls.



The festival of Sukkot begins four days after Yom Kippur. Many of us will be building our sukkot, our little temporary houses, today in preparation for the coming festival. Here's a prayer intended for recitation before that work begins; if it's helpful to you, please feel free to use it and/or share it! This will appear in my forthcoming volume of Jewish liturgical poetry, hooray.