The Shehecheyanu blessing gives thanks for the arrival of any momentous time, often a holiday or a new beginning. This year, we recite the Shehecheyanu at a time of momentous tumult and pain. We grieve the killings of Mike Brown, Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice, Raphael Briscoe, and far too many more Black and brown men and women, boys and girls. We stand with our brothers and sisters protesting in the streets and in the halls of power seeking to turn the tide of police brutality and to redress the emotional, economic, and physical violence done to Black and brown people and communities by centuries of systemic racism.
None of us asked to be born into a racist society. But we all inherit the legacy of the people who came before us – their mistakes and their cruelty, their suffering, their striving to give us better lives, their struggle for justice, and most importantly their love. It is the sum of everyone and everything that came before us that brings us to this moment. And this moment, while full of pain, is also ripe with possibility.
Tonight we are grateful for the opportunity to gather in a time of momentum for racial justice.
ָּברּוְך ַאָּתהְיָּי ֱאֹלֵּהינּו ֶׁמֶׁלְך ַהעֹוָּלם ֶׁשֶׁהֱחָּינּוְוִקְיָּמנוְוִהִגיָּענּו ַלְזַמן ַהֶׁזּה
Baruch atah adonai, eloheinu melech ha-olam, shehecheyanu vekiyemanu vehigianu lazeman hazeh.
Blessed are You, Source of All Life, Spirit of the Universe,
who has given us life, and kept us strong, and brought us to this time.
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