Rabbi Fred Scherlinder-Dobb, Adat Shalom Bethesda, MD
“Chasal siddur Pesach, the ritual is completed.” Yet of course, the work of liberation – for ourselves, for those who are marginalized, for our own descendants,
for Earth – is anything but over. We end the seder not only with songs, but on an unresolved note, aware that we’re never done even as we wrap up our ritual with conviction. Though today Israel is a manageable (if high-cost and high-carbon) plane ride away, generations of diaspora Jews with zero chance of seeing the Holy Land still fervently chanted “ Bashanah Ha’ba’ah B’Y’rushalayim, Next Year in Jerusalem.” This statement is a near-messianic expression of hope and faith.
We can’t afford to pray and hope alone, of course; we need to work, diligently, to make the world just a little more ready for redemption, for sustainability. Let us declare all we’ve done so far dayenu, enough for us. And for all that must yet be done, together, let us say “ od LO dayenu, it’s not yet enough.” Let us dream of that far-off mythic day when we are “done” with the work of Creation care: when the climate is stabilized, pollution is ended, environmental justice is established, and everyone has become a shomer Adamah, guardian of the Earth. Tonight, let us celebrate the work we’ve done so far in that direction, and declare it “good,” and “done.”
Tomorrow, let’s pick up where all previous efforts have left off, and bring our world one more small step towards redemption. Together.
Moadim l’simcha, a blessing upon each other for joyous sacred seasons, whose lessons reverberate throughout our weeks, years, and lifetimes...
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