A Mi Shebeirach for Us and the Earth

April 26, 2021Rabbi Julie Saxe-Taller

This prayer was written by RAC-CA leaders Sarah Daniel, Jane Nichol and Rabbi Julie Saxe-Taller, and is focused on RAC-CA's 2021 legislative focus: SB 467, an environmental justice campaign. Please feel free to adapt this prayer to include environmental health and justice issues relevant to your location.

Introduction: Today we offer a special Mi Sheberach (a prayer for healing) for ourselves and our planet together. The Jewish morning blessing for our health talks about the human body’s pathways and openings. Like us, the earth’s pathways and openings are vital to its health. Our planet is in need of healing as are we.

As the Source of Life breathed life into the first person in our sacred story of Creation, the breath of life is given to us moment by moment, and it must be clean air for that breath to sustain life,

For human bodies are not separate from the body of the earth.

We ask for healing for people in communities where the impacts of climate change, pollution, and industrial activity such as oil and gas extraction, are felt the hardest…

Because our bodies are not separate from the body of the earth.

Because of racism and economic oppression, drilling and its impacts disproportionately affect low income communities and majority People of Color communities…

And human bodies are not separate from the body of the earth.

We have learned that one in three people in Los Angeles lives within one mile of an active drilling site, and that some of the sites are hidden in the midst of “good” neighborhoods...

But none of our bodies are separate from the body of the earth.

Things we do that seem to be without immediate consequences can hurt people, including ourselves...

Because our bodies are not separate from the body of the earth.

The earth sustains us, and what we do to it impacts us,

Because our bodies are not separate from the body of the earth.

When we care for the land, air and water, we can eat, breathe and swim, like salmon, returning to healed rivers,

Because our bodies are not separate from the body of the earth.

When we slow down to connect with people, animals, and the natural world, our connections nourish us…

Because our bodies are not separate from the body of the earth.

Mi Sheberach Imoteinu, Sarah, Rivka, Rachel, v’Leah, v’Avoteinu, Avraham, Yitzhak v’Ya’akov, May the One who blessed our ancestors nurture us with courage to join in the fight for clean air and a healthy environment for all of us.

For our bodies are connected to the body of the earth,

And we say together, Amen.

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