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Justice, Soon and in Our Days: A Prayer, Sitting at the Steps of the Supreme Court

Justice, Soon and in Our Days: A Prayer, Sitting at the Steps of the Supreme Court
© Rabbi Menachem Creditor

Dear God,

Too many of us are denied our rights,
the gradual change
promised over and over again
a cruel canard
in the face of enduring structural disregard.

Where are You, Just One,
when the color of our skin
seals our fate in the eyes of the law?

Where are You, God,
when we are denied the vote
after serving long sentences
for minor offences?

Where are You, Merciful One,
when we inject poison
into Your Images
punishing them for wrongs
we are often wrong in deciding?

God, I sit at the foot of a building
on which is emblazoned
"justice the guardian of liberty"
and I remember:

This prayer long ago,
when the words
"justice, justice shall You pursue"
rang forth like a bell.

We are our sisters' keepers.
We are our brothers' keepers.
We just keeping forgetting our way,
closing our eyes through the unjust luxury of inherited privilege.

God, may we remember that the answer to societal injustice is more justice, that Mercy is a human choice, and that we can make a more perfect union. We are, after all, fragments of You.

May we remember that You are where we let You in, where we must come recognize You once again: in each other's eyes.


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Sometimes, it isn't about nuance.
Sometimes it just comes down to facing the storm,
calling God out,
standing at the center of a whirlwind
holding your ground.

No cathedral is immune to agony,
no soul impervious to life itself no nation purely noble.
If it were any other way,
there would be no need for cathedrals
in the first place.

Kneel,  stand,  sit,  rise up.

To kneel is
to submit  to lower oneself  to step down  to pause.
To kneel is to call attention  to touch the Earth's face to listen to those  whose blood saturates  the very roots of our story.
To kneel is to step aside  to step outside  to invite others to come closer  to remember.
To kneel is not to stand not to stand not to stand idly by.
Speak your truth,
God damn it.

That's what God wants most of all.

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