May 24, 2019
For today's message, mindful that we are entering Memorial Day weekend, I want to share with you in its entirety the prayer Service and Sacrifice: A Prayer for Memorial Day, by Rabbi David Wirtschafter.
"God of Life and Death, Service and Sacrifice, Courage, and Compassion.
On this Sabbath, we gather together to remember those who died while serving our nation.
And to recognize the veterans who served, whether decades ago or only yesterday.
We are internally conflicted on the cost of our conflicts.
As idealists, we wish there were never any need for defense forces.
Yet as pragmatists, we know there will always be a need for them.
As dreamers, we pray for a day when "nation shall not lift up sword against nation, nor ever again study war."
Yet as realists, we accept that there are circumstances where force must be met with force.
Torah teaches us to "seek peace and pursue it."
Yet, it also declares that there are enemies that must be destroyed.
We thank our soldiers, sailors, and pilots, for doing that which we wish never needed to be done.
And we pray for a world where time and talent, strength, and intellect, can be spent in fighting disease, defeating poverty, and defending the downtrodden without having to take up arms.
God of Peace and War, Concord and Conflict, Hope and Heartbreak; We pray that the sacrifices of our fallen will forever be remembered, and that recognition of our veterans not merely convey thanks but demonstrate it.
May we not merely "proclaim peace to those near and far" but bring peace by doing the work required to realize it.
May this be our blessing and let us say:
See you Sunday,
p.s. Help! I'm looking for four volunteers to help me set up, and then four other volunteers to help us take back down, our "booth" for the Memorial Day Festival. HERE is a sign-up genius if you're in town Monday and can help. (there are also a few slots left for greeting -- but even if all slots are filled, stop on by!)