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A Tekhine to Honor Mother Earth

Woman sitting on a rocky beach overlooking the calm water with pink clouds above
This tekhine connects the mitzvah of honoring our parents with the mitzvah of caring for Mother Earth. Some understand the human abuse of Mother Earth as an extension of patriarchal violence against women. If we read our relationship with Earth as that of children toward a parent and bring in the mitzvah of honoring our parents, then our use of the word “mother” in this context shifts to one of respect and responsibility. This tekhine helps to realign ourselves with our ethical obligations. I chose to call this a tekhine and not tefillahspecifically because I wanted to connect it to the long tradition of women’s liturgy, which was often used as a kavannah (intention) before preforming a mitzvah.

 

A Tekhine to Honor Mother Earth

May the one who blessed Eve, mother of all living and fashioned us Humans, humus from the soil, and blew the breath of life into our nostrils, so we became a living creature: May She bless us with Heart-Wisdom and Body-Knowledge to guard the sacred commandment of “Honor your father and your mother, so that your days me be long on the soil that Adonai your God has given you.” And may we remember that life’s web springs from Earth and from the rush of waters on and within Her as we remember that “wetness would well from the earth to water all the soil…and Adonai our God caused to sprout from the soil every tree lovely to look at and good for food…” And she the soil-ground is our Mother: We arrive from her dust and return to her when our spirit leaves us. So may our Goddess of all mercy “Return children’s hearts to their parents” and we shall once again fulfil the mitzvah of reverence and respect to Earth as due to a parent so that “I (Adonai) do not strike the whole land with utter destruction.” And may we merit to clean the Earth with our own hands and beautify her together with all our brothers and sisters: The Crawlers, Swimmers, Flyers, Swarmers, those who grow, those who suckle, those who spore and the silent ones.

A silence calling out from one end of the world to another.

Amen.

תחינה לחזק ידינו במצוות "כיבוד אב ואם" ביחס לאמנו, האדמה 

מִי שֶׁבֵּרַךְ חַוָּה אִמֵּנוּ, אֵם כָּל חַי, וְיָצַר אוֹתָנוּ עָפָר מִן־הָאֲדָמָה וַיִּפַּח בְּאַפֵּנוּ נִשְׁמַת חַיִּים וְנִהְיֶה לְנֶפֶשׁ חַיָּה, הִיא תִּבְרַךְ אוֹתָנוּ בְּחָכְמַת הַלֵּב וּבְבִינַת הַגּוּף לִשְׁמֹר אֶת הַמִּצְוָה הַקְּדוֹשָׁה מִן הַתּוֹרָה, דִּבְרֵי אֱלֹהִים חַיִּים: "כַּבֵּד אֶת־אָבִיךָ וְאֶת־אִמֶּךָ לְמַעַן יַאֲרִכּוּן יָמֶיךָ עַל הָאֲדָמָה אֲשֶׁר־יהוה אֱלֹהֶיךָ נָתַן לָךְ" (שׁמוֹת כ, יא) וְנִזְכֹּר שֶׁכָּל קְרוּמֵי קִיּוּם הָעוֹלָם נוֹבְעִים מִקַּרְקַע הָאֲדָמָה וּמִמִּשְׂחַק הַמַּיִם הַזּוֹרְמִים עָלֶיהָ וּבְתוֹכָהּ, בִּבְחִינַת "וְאֵד יַעֲלֶה מִן־הָאָרֶץ וְהִשְׁקָה אֶת־כָּל־פְּנֵי הָאֲדָמָה" (בְּרֵאשִׁית ב, ו), "וַיַּצְמֵחַ יהוה אֱלֹהִים מִן־הָאֲדָמָה כָּל־עֵץ נֶחְמָד לְמַרְאֶה וְטוֹב לְמַאֲכָל" (בְּרֵאשִׁית ב, ט). וְהִיא, קַרְקַע הָעוֹלָם, אֵם כֻּלָּנוּ, וּמֵעֲפָרָהּ אָנוּ בָּאִים וְאֶל עֲפָרָהּ נָשׁוּב כַּאֲשֶׁר תַּעֲזֹב אוֹתָנוּ הָרוּחַ. וְלָכֵן בַּעֲלַת הַרַחֲמִים תָּשִׁיב "לֵב בָּנִים עַל־אֲבוֹתָם" (מַלְאָכִי ג, כד), וּנְמַלֵּא בְּנֶפֶשׁ חֲפֵצָה מִצְוַת מוֹרָאָהּ וּכְבוֹדָהּ שֶׁל אֲדָמָה, "פֶּן־אָבוֹא וְהִכֵּיתִי אֶת־הָאָרֶץ חֵרֶם" (שָׁם). וְנִזְכֶּה לַעֲסֹק בְּמוֹ יָדֵינוּ בְּנִקְיוֹן הָאֲדָמָה וּבְתִקּוּנָהּ יַחַד עָם כֹּל אַחֵינוּ וְאַחֲיוֹתֵינוּ: הַזּוֹחֲלִים, הַשּׂוֹחִים, הַמְּעוֹפְפִים, הָרוֹמְשִׂים, הַצּוֹמְחִים, הַיּוֹנְקִים, הַנּוֹבְגִים וְהַדּוֹמְמִים.

דְּמָמָה מִסּוֹף הָעוֹלָם וְעַד סוֹפוֹ.

וְנֹאמַר, אָמֵן.

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