Shabbat Shuvah 5777
We are getting better
At executing complex evacuation plans
During weather crises
Mom, 87, got to a shelter around 1:30am this morning
Amazed, I was able to reach her by cell phone
Felt relieved to hear she is settling in,
Knowing she was not alone.
Called Dad – didn’t get through the first time
Thought the cell phone service was already out,
But was comforted to hear his voice when I tried later.
He was getting ready to join all the residents of his assisted care community
In the main building.
Mom, Dad and many others will be safe.
Hopefully others have evacuated themselves and will be safe.
In this moment we know that nothing matters more
Than saving a life.
Got me thinking
That sometimes it is easier to
Get people to physical safety
Than to emotional or spiritual safety.
There isn’t a plan executed by the spiritual armed forces
For those who need help
And for those who must choose to help themselves
They may even believe there is nowhere to go
This breaks my heart – and should break yours as well
The storm of disruptive change is upon us
We have inadequate, or in some cases non-existing, evacuation plans
People are suffering; souls searching
Avinu Malkeinu, forgive us, pardon us, grant us atonement
For having only partial evacuation strategies
For failing to prepare adequately for the anticipated and the unexpected
And for not grasping the depth of what is at stake –
Avinu Malkeinu, forgive us, pardon us, grant us atonement.
Help us turn inward to recover connection with Center of DIVINE LOVE.
Help us turn outward to our family and friends in reconciliation and peace.
Then we will be ready to listen
Reveal to us a plan for reclaiming community as a central part of our lives
Help us trust this plan
Guide us as we conceive of a sacred evacuation plan
Through which we save ourselves
And get to safety those at risk of being lost to us
Open our eyes with vision, our hearts with courage and our hands with perseverance
Return us to the path of community
Even if what we build is markedly different from what once was,
New life will be breathed into our days together.
And hope restored.
Rabbi Nina J. Mizrahi, Community Rabbi ©2016