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 in our individuals lives
We pray that in the new month to come, each of will prove to be better human beings who are more aware of our capacity to learn, love and contribute to building a better world
We pray we will be wiser, but more humble, more assertive in seeking justice for others but more understanding and gentle with those people with whom we have disagreements
We pray that in spite of our faith and love for You, we will never become so presumptuous as to assume that we know how You want each person to pray to you and practice Judaism
We pray that we will never become so arrogant as to presume that our understanding of Torah is the only possible understanding of our rich Jewish heritage.
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, may we be just as patient and tolerant of our Jewish brothers and sisters who insist that their way is the only way
Just as no two snow flakes are a like 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 according his or her own understanding of Torah and while there are many different journeys one can take through our rich heritage, all Jews will come to appreciate that each path is sacred.
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 the Democratic Party and progressive causes and organizations that advance human rights, protect animals and save the environment. He currently resides in Bexley, Ohio.