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Embracing the Stranger

statue of liberty shown against sunset

They say we should not bring politics onto the bimah.
But worship brings us to the brink of soul searching:
where we heed the cries of the dispossessed,
the fallen,
the bent over.
Out of the morass
of our stupor,
and insensitivity.

I visited migrants,
who left their homelands,
pressed by violence and danger.
they came from Cambodia, Bangladesh,
From Haiti, Croatia and Trinidad.
They are the strangers of this moment,
who come seeking a new beginning,
who heard about the promise
of possibilities given to generations
of my ancestors.

America, America,
“give me your tired, your poor
the wretched refuse of your teeming shore”
And I will put them in detention.
Oh lady liberty
What would you say?

Let us embrace the stranger,
granting him the shelter of peace,
and safe passage
to freedom and opportunity.

Let us transcend ourselves and be the arms
of Shekhinah,
lifting the stranger
out of harm’s way,
with an unending love

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