Jews the world over will be kneeling on next Shabbat to pledge allegiance to values that transcends bigotry, hatred, senseless conflicts, and more evils that befoul life. The pledge, “Alenu Li-Shabe’ach,” as it appears at a climactic moment in our Yom Kippur worship:
To seal the moment of kneeling, we prostrate ourselves before the Holy Ark, gazing at the sacred Torah scrolls as we declare our fidelity to the Creator’s will alone.
“Ours is to praise the Master of all;
to recognize the greatness of the
One who fashioned our beginning.
Not as a nation-state, nor as a tribe;
but by giving us a particular task, a particular fate:
to bow, to bend, to acknowledge
The Authority over all authority,
the Blessed Holy One . . .
“And so we put our hope in You, Adonai our God,
to see your power revealed in its beauty,
erasing that which is wicked, that which is false.
To restore Creation under Your nurturing rule;
that all life can call upon You,
and even the evil will bow to the light.
To fix the breaches in His world,
making it a Kingdom of God
through the allegiance of His creations.”
Do we ever screw up? Of course we do.
That’s why we will kneel again on the next Day of Atonement to be ashamed by our shortcomings and exalted even more by blessings that we can awaken. We draw ever closer “to fixing the breaches in His world, making it a Kingdom of God by the allegiance of His creations.”
Lots of breaches still to be fixed. So let the congregation of the (trying to be) faithful all say, Amen!
WILUDI (AKA Marc Wiludjanski-Wilson) is a rabbi who writes from Greenville, SC. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org