Jewish Prayers From the Heart and Pen of Alden Solovy

Against Worker Exploitation

Farm WorkerHere’s a social justice prayer for Labor Day, also appropriate for Passover and May Day. It’s from a series of prayers including: “Against Poverty,” “Against Human Trafficking” and “Against Tyranny.” They follow a common format and focus on tikkun olam, repairing the world. This appears in This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day.

Against Worker Exploitation
G-d of the laborer,
G-d of the migrant and the ensnared,
The voice of the misused echoes across the land,
Overworked and undervalued in the name of profit.
Our children,
Our brothers
And our sisters
Toil in misery,
Chained to taskmasters
By slavery, poverty or misfortune.
Bound to unbearable hours
And cruel conditions
So that few may reap the rewards
Of their suffering and endurance.

Source of abundance and grace,
Creator of affluence and wealth,
You call upon us to stand in the name of justice and fairness,
To witness against the abuse of economic power,
To battle theft by dominance and clout,
To fight corporate neglect of human beings,
To speak out against exploitation.

Bless those who dedicate their lives to the voiceless
And the forgotten
To expose greed and callousness in factory and field.
Give them courage and determination.
Bless those who plead on behalf of the oppressed and the subjugated
Before the seats of power,
Governments and corporations.
Give them wisdom and skill.
May the work of their hands never falter
Nor despair deter them from this holy calling.

Bless those in financial bondage with resources.
Release them from want.
Hasten the day of their self-sufficiency and bounty.

Blessed are You, G-d of All Being,
Who summons us to oppose oppression.

© 2017 CCAR Press from This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers For a New Day

Postscript: Does the idea of praying “Against…”something resonate with you? What else should we pray against? Please drop me a note, if you’re so moved. Related prayers include: “Upon Losing Employment” and “For Work.”

Please check out my Meet the Author video and This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day. For reprint permissions and usage guidelines and reprint permissions, see “Share the Prayer!” For notices of new prayers, please subscribe. You can also connect on Facebook and Twitter.

Photo Credit: Food Chain via Care 2

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