Shabbat Intentions for the Fourth Week of Elul

On this final Shabbat of the year, the Torah reminds us:

We stand here today, in this very moment,

With all those we love,

With all those with whom we joyfully share this passage through life.


And we stand here today with all those with whom we deeply and profoundly disagree,

And with all those we have come to demonize and hate.


We stand here today with all those who came before us:

The generations upon whose shoulders we stand.

And we stand here today with all who will come after us:

Our children’s children’s, children’s children,

Who will some day call us ancestor.


And together we are called to enter into a covenant,

To make a commitment

To live in harmony with each other

And all the world,          

To step across boundaries of fear, rage, disappointment and pain, 

And make a commitment  

To love, 

To act with kindness, 

To seek understanding,

To offer forgiveness,

To be of service,

To see the Divine in all.


This is not too much for you, the Infinite declares.

It is not beyond your capacity.

It is not beyond your grasp.

All this is very close to you

It is in your mouth and in your heart to do.  

May the shalom of this last Shabbat of 5777 fill us to overflowing and may each of us be the peace we so long for.

Shabbat Shalom, love to all.

— Rabbi Yael Levy