"Thank you for making the dew fall"
This simple prayer is added every summer to our daily prayers. In the rainy winter months (in Israel’s climate) Jews freely pray for wind and rain. But it’s audacious to ask for such abundance in a season of natural scarcity. And yet, the prayer for dew expresses our gratitude for continued sustenance, insufficient as it may seem, during the dry summer season.
This summer, while many of us will be enjoying vacations walking along a beach or hiking in the mountains, others getting away to new destinations or sharing extended family time, we feel another kind of scarcity. That is the scarcity of relief and respite from these troubled times. You don’t need to be an activist to feel an overwhelming sense of unease these days.
In our current drought of compassion, we can all appreciate a few drops of dew. The rallies this coming Shabbat can nurture our sense of purpose, the power of community, hope for the future, and gratitude for all the gifts that we have. We need this dew to drive despair from our souls. I applaud each of you for acts of kindness, generosity, and sharing, small and large. I admire each act of courage, to speak out and to stand up for others, especially if this is your first time. You bring the dewdrops that water our souls.
I want to give you an update on some work that I’ll be doing this summer and in the coming year to nurture my own soul. I’ve just been selected for the Global Justice Fellows program of the American Jewish World Service (AJWS). With the stellar staff of AJWS, including Ruth Messinger, our group of rabbis will be trained to become better advocates for human rights. This learning will be highlighted by spending a week in Guatemala in January and a trip to lobby our representatives in Washington, DC in March.
In anticipation of that trip, I’ve chosen to spend my summer learning Spanish at BU through the Evergreen Program. Spanish will also come in handy when I visit Immokalee, Florida in a few weeks and talk to workers of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW). I enjoy learning languages, so this should be fun.
In the increasing moral turmoil of this moment, it is important to enjoy the pleasures of relaxation and renewal even as we continue to work for justice and compassion. As each of us finds some space for the joys of summertime, I hope that you will join me in finding time to give thanks for the dew that sustains us each day.