We thank you for the cycle of life and the opportunities afforded to us by the calendar to mark the passage of time
With the beginning of the new month of Sivan, we pray as we do daily for peace in the world and in our individuals lives
We pray that in the new month to come all of us will further develop our capacity to be better human beings seeking knowledge, sharing love and making this world a better place for all to live in.
While we pray that we will be deserving of wisdom, we more importantly hope that we will be more humble in relations with others while never hesitating to seek justice. Help us to be more patient with and understanding of those with our fellow Jews and with Gentiles with whom we may have profound disagreements.
We pray that in spite of our faith and love for You, we will never become so presumptuous as to assume that we have a monopoly on understanding your mitzvot.
As patient and loving as you were with our father Abraham when he pleaded with you to not destroy the good along with the wicked of Sodom and Gomorrah, may we be just as patient and tolerant of our Jewish brothers and sisters who regrettably feel compelled to insist that You and Torah and can only be understood through their eyes
Just as no two snowflakes are alike we celebrate the diversity of humanity and recognize that every person is created in the Divine Image.
May the time come soon when every Jew will be allowed to practice Judaism in the land of our ancestors Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel and Leah according his or her own understanding of Torah. May every Jew come to recognize and celebrate that being a Jew is a lot like taking a journey for which there is no single path that is better or holier than any other. Regardless of what route each of us may choose, may we have the emotional, spiritual and cognitive maturity to recognize that every road traveled in the hope of encountering You and building a better world is worthy of our respect.
Mitch Gilbert is a social worker, writer, and religious educator. A native of Brooklyn, New York, he has done community development work in Washington DC, Cleveland, Akron, Vancouver, San Francisco, and Las Vegas. Mitch earned a BA at Brooklyn College (CUNY), a Master of Science in Social Administration degree from Case Western Reserve University. In addition, Mitch has done graduate studies in Jewish tradition, history, and culture at New York University and the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. Mitch is actively involved with in progressive causes and organizations that advance human rights, protect animals and save the environment. He currently resides in Columbus, Ohio.