A Healing Prayer for Us All (Mi Sheberach)
Mi Sheberach A Healing Prayer for Us All
“Every one of us is a cantor; everyone of us is called to intone a song, to put into prayer the anguish of all.” - Abraham Joshua Heschel
When my journey to becoming a rabbi began, I found musical inspiration in Jewish prayer, which started me on a musical journey of singing, writing, and playing music. Songwriting allows me to express my joy, grief, and sadness of the world around me.
Today I find myself in a pretty unique position. I'm a rabbi, a Jewish faith leader, a sought-after public speaker, and in subtle and often not so subtle ways, people still treat me like an outsider in the Jewish community. No matter what I do, I am often not seen as Jewish or seen as less than Jewish, or our community is not ready for a black rabbi. These are constant reminders that I live in a society that sees my blackness before seeing me or getting to know me.
For almost four years now, the leader of our country is a man who expresses racist, xenophobic and misogynistic views making people who look like me fearful. And he has led a racist environment that harkens back to the good ole days with the phrase Make America Great Again. This phrase can only mean a time in America when white people felt they were the dominant culture and group in our society. Black people were either enslaved, suffered under Jim Crow in the south, and redlining throughout the rest of the country.
When CNN announced the winner of the 2020 presidential election, I cried. I cried, and I felt like I had been holding my breath for days waiting for the results; today, I am hopeful our country is moving in the right direction
In Judaism, we offer a Mi Sheberach prayer for those who are ill or recovering from a sickness. I offer this song as a prayer for healing for all of us. Our country is sick. We are sick from an actual pandemic, and we are sick from a society that values some more than others. And we need healing from COVID-19, and America is waking up to the idea that we are also sick from racism, sexism, antisemitism, homophobia, and xenophobia. Now that we know we are sick we can begin to heal and after almost four years I Am Hopeful Again.