Unetaneh Tokef for 5780

By Rabbi Lauren Grabelle Herrmann
person in silouette sitting on mountain looking at gray clouds

On Rosh HaShanah it is written, on Yom Kippur it is sealed:
Who will die from unclean water? Who will die from an assault weapon?
Who will die because they were of a particular race or religion?
Who will die because of lack of shelter?
Who will die because of hunger?
Who will die because they were banned from entering a country to seek asylum?
Who will die because they contracted the flu inside a detention camp?
Who will die because they were returned to the country of their birth?
Who will die because they were walking down the street at night, black and trans?
Who will die because they were caught in the crossfire of neighborhood gun violence?

But our tradition teaches:
We can turn in teshuvah. We can live with greater awareness, compassion, and involvement.
We can offer tefilah. Our prayers may not save those at risk but they can motivate us to act.
We can give tzedakah and be involved with tzedek – give charity and promote justice.

Our tradition teaches, “You do not have to complete the task but you are not absolved from it.”

Prayer

Found in: Yom Kippur

Tags: teshuvah

NEW Sources of Light: Hanukkah Inspiration Cards