Martin Luther King, Jr. Day – Call to Justice & Prayer

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We have not Reached Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Mountaintop!

As one Black writer, Rondr-martin-luther-king-1de Lee, so poignantly wrote: “Recent events are stark reminders that we have not reached the mountaintop where ‘all God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands.’ ” Read Lee’s entire blog on the Huffington Post. 

While we have made great strides in combating racism in our country, we are far from achieving Martin Luther King, Jr.’s dream of living is a land where we are all equal. We need to do more.  In a JTA oped, Maital Friedman, a young Jewish woman, describes her reaction to the deaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown, said:

In the past, my privilege has shielded me. I have not (and likely will never) personally experience this level of violence and injustice. But as these events have played out on the national stage, I have been truly rattled by the brokenness of the society I once trusted. And my shock is a result of my privilege; too many of these outrageous injustices were painfully normal. I feel a mixture of horror, sadness and betrayal that I am struggling to reconcile.  Read more of this JTA OP-ED..

Friedman is moved to make a difference not just in words, but in deed, by working with Repair the World.  Repair the World is an organization that teaches young Jewish men and women how to make a “tangible difference in lives and communities” by volunteering and applying Jewish history and values. One of their programs is called “Turn the Tables.”

Turn the Tables promotes the principles of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by asking folks to wrestle with the status quo and make progress towards the promise of a more just society. We challenge our communities to recognize the signs of inequality all around them and identify paths towards a future where race no longer determines your access to justice. Learn more about Turn the Tables

Hopefully, the outrage expressed across our country about the deaths of Eric and Michael, and the subsequent protests and revelations of ongoing discrimination in of our society, will be a wake up call that makes a difference for years to come.

Today, we offer this prayer from page 192 of the Union Prayer Book, Sinai Edition, Revised.

Almighty God, we pray for Your blessing on our nation and its diverse peoples, cultures, and faiths. May the efforts of all people of conscience be rewarded with success. May the dream first envisioned by our great Hebrew prophets and then so eloquently expressed by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. come ever closer to realization. Grant us hopeful hearts and the vision to see that each of us, in our own small way, can help to make real these prophetic aim.

Get more information about the Union Prayer Books here.

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