As I write this reflection, our Jewish brothers and sisters are celebrating one of their High Holy Days, Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year (Sept 25-27). It is the time when prayers are offered for a good, sweet year ahead.
This celebration ushers in ten days of repentance, of intentionally turning back to G-d (as many Jewish folks render the Holy Name, not writing it fully out of deep respect). The Ten Days culminate in Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement (Oct 4-5), when the intention is set and sealed for placing one’s life in God’s hands.
One of the key elements of Rosh Hashanah is thanksgiving for the sweet gift of creation, acknowledging the Creator for all our blessings on this earth. It seems right that we will also celebrate God’s sweet gift of creation on this coming Sunday and intentionally share a blessing prayer with our fellow creatures. We also will acknowledge and pray for guidance in how we might pursue the necessary healing of our planet home. Rabbi Bonnie Margulis writes:
Judaism teaches us we are all partners with G-d in the ongoing work of creation and that it is our responsibility to engage in acts of ‘tikkun olam’, the repair of the world, or what we call today ‘social justice’.
We know today that the work of tikkun olam and seeking justice must extend beyond the human community to acts of ecological justice- restoring right relationship with all beings in G-d’s good, sweet world. Let us bow our heads and open our hearts along with the Jewish faith community during these Days of Awe, that we too might be filled with gratitude, seek forgiveness, repair relationships and help restore the well-being of Creation.