The Call of The Shofar – 9/1/17

As the days begin to shorten and chilly mornings become more common our attention turns to the fall and to the upcoming Jewish High Holidays. At sundown on August 21 the High Holiday season officially began with the ushering in of the Jewish month of Elul. During this month that precedes Rosh Hashanah it is traditional to blow the shofar each day to wake us up to the important work of Teshuvah, of repentance and renewal, that this season demands. This year we hold refugees, those who have been resettled in Madison this year and those who are now barred from coming in our hearts and use the shofar to amplify their cries. Please enjoy and share this liturgical piece written in honor of refugees and in protest of the Presidential travel ban.

A Shofar Kavanah for Refugees
Written by Rabbi Renee Bauer
The blasts of the shofar are a wordless prayer punctuated by moments of silence. The stories of courage, hope, and determination of refugees resettling in our communities are punctuated by the silent yearnings of those who are kept out by the presidential travel ban.
Tekiah is the wail of a single mom of three fleeing from the Democratic Republic of Congo who is learning to navigate life in a small midwestern town.
[blow Tekiah]
Silence is the heartbreak of a Syrian-born resident of the U.S. who cannot visit her mom in Egypt.
[pause for silence]
Shevarim is the determined steps of the young Iraqi father who begins working two jobs far beneath his skill level so he can buy a car for his family.
[blow Shevarim]
Silence is journey that is halted because of the new order that only refugees with bona fide relationships will be allowed entry.
[pause for silence]
T’ruah is the broken sounds of English of two young Syrian girls, born in Jordanian refugee camps and now in public school in the United States.
[blow T’ruah]
Silence is the empty arrivals screen on the resettlement caseworker’s computer.
[pause for silence]
Tekiah gedolah is the blast that holds on when there seems to be no energy left. It calls us to not allow xenophobia, Islamophobia, and nativism to be the new normal.
[blow Tekiah Gedolah]
This piece is published with other similar resources at https://www.jewishrecon.org/collection/wider-world#dialog
Shabbat Shalom,
Rabbi Renee Bauer and Dawn Berney

 

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