Al Het for 2021/5782: Striking Balance

O Lord, please forgive us:
For spending time helping the community, when our children and spouse need us at home;
         For spending time with our family at home, when we are needed in the community;
For spending leisure time working;
         For spending work time at leisure;
For spending money to repair the world, when our family must do without;
         For spending money on our family, when they already have so much more than so many;
For overcommitting our time and our money when we are already overburdened;
         For saying “no” when our time and our money could help a worthy cause;
For continuing to spend our energy on our community and our world when our bodies tell us it is too much;
         For conserving our energy for our health when it could be spent repairing our world;
For paying close attention to current events and participating in citizen actions for tikkun olam when our mental health suffers;
         For avoiding current events to preserve our mental health when our attention and participation might help repair our world.
For participating in protests for social justice, knowing that might endanger us from the pandemic or violent counter-protesters, police officers or federal agents;
         For not participating in protests for social justice to protect ourselves, while ignoring that our tradition demands we pursue justice, when so many are endangered due to the color of their skin.
For lacking compassion for those whose minds have been overtaken by conspiracy theorists regarding the election, vaccines and/or masks;
         For having compassion for those whose minds have been overtaken by conspiracy theorists when they can endanger our democracy and/or our health.
For staying in bed an extra 45 minutes and missing morning minyan because our bodies tell us we need the rest;
         For participating in morning minyan because we know it’s a great way to start the day, ignoring the needs of our bodies.
For agreeing to get a booster shot to protect our health when there are those around the world who do not even have access to a first shot;
         For refusing the third shot to preserve our supply for sharing with other countries when that action can endanger our health.
O God, please forgive us for spending another year in vain, in a liminal space, attempting to find the perfect balance.
         For all these, O God of forgiveness, forgive us, pardon us, grant us atonement.
Ve’al kulam eloha selikhot, selakh lanu, mekhal lanu, kaper lanu.

Copyright © 1992, 2003, 2010, 2013, 2018, 2019, 2020 & 2021 by Jules Mermelstein. Used with permission.

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