April 16, 2014   16 Nisan 5774
www.flickr.com
Tashlich for a Just City
Aug. 10, 2010
An alternative Tashlich service that raises awareness of injustice and inequality.

by Emily Bass

[This piece of liturgy was written for Jews For Racial & Economic Justicein New York City. Its themes will be resonant for residents of so many of our cities and towns. It may be used in your congregation's High Holiday services or Tashlich ceremony, or in other gatherings for worship or protest. You may also want to include Sowing Bread in the Sea: A Psalm for Tashlich in this service.]

It is our city, built of our silences and strengths, that is in the balance, here today.
In the shadows of shortening days, on the bright edge of the New Year,
We come bearing the heft, the inevitable weight of a full year's
Decisions and inactions, movements and hesitations.
We come to fill our hands with what we have not done
And what we have. To empty them, to free them for work.
To empty them until there is nothing left but the space of a doorway that we can step
into, together
With a New Year's commitment to the balance of our city.

[Italicized text to be spoken by all:]

We commit ourselves to the repair of education in our city.

We cast away:

Acceptance of classrooms where hatred grows;
tolerance of crowded spaces;
silence over inadequate resources

We take on:

Demanding funded classrooms filled with pride and dignity
We commit ourselves to the repair of housing in our city.

We cast away:

Acceptance of substandard living conditions;
Tolerance of unaffordable rents;
Silence over inadequate, insecure dwellings

We take on:

Creating safe, humane living conditions for every person in this city.
We commit ourselves to the repair of policing in our city.

We cast away:

Acceptance of brutality;
Tolerance of the persecution of immigrants;
Silence over homophobia and racism in the name of "quality of life."

We take on:

Bearing witness and raising our voices until the city is safe by
Standards we define.
We commit ourselves to the repair of jobs in our city.

We cast away:

Acceptance of workfare’s exploitation and impermanence;
Tolerance of unsafe conditions;
Silence over wep workers’ lack of choice and control.

We take on:

Fighting for jobs that pay a living wage, that uphold dignity and offer Opportunity.
Together we cast away our despair.
Together we commit to action.
Together we will right the balance of our city.

Emily Bass is a writer and educator who has worked with the Teachers & Writers Collaborative. She is a member of Jews for Racial & Economic Justice including its Strategic Action Committee, and helped create the alternative Tashlich ritual/street theater action.

Options  
Related Items  
Chai Impact Action Center
Take action on these top issues!

 

Travel Justly, Social Action Prayers, Program Bank, Holiday Guides Travel Justly Social Action Prayers Social Action Program Bank Holiday Guides
© Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, 1996-2011
View our Privacy Statement.
The work of the Religious Action Center is supported by the congregations of the URJ.
URJ CCAR