Posts Tagged ‘social action’

 

Against Worker Exploitation, Revised

Posted on: August 7th, 2023 by Alden No Comments

This revision of my 2011 prayer is inspired by my daughter Dana’s dedication to the Writers Guild of America strike. Dana is a member of the Art Directors Guild and a television writer. She’s creating strike ‘swag’ with the profits supporting the Entertainment Community Fund, which gave her the opportunity to meet Teamster Local 399 leader Lindsay Dougherty. I’ve updated this prayer by including some of the jobs that Teamsters represent, as well as the entertainment world. The original version appears in the Labor Day section of my book, This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day.

Against Worker Exploitation, Revised
G-d of the laborer,
The trucker and the writer,
G-d of those who build and bake and fly and act,
Those beside our hospital beds and hauling our trash,
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 and our parents,
Our brothers and our sisters,
Toil, economically chained to taskmasters,
By need, by poverty, or by misfortune.
Bound to unbearable hours
And cruel conditions
So that others may reap the rewards
Of their labor, their suffering, and their 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 forgotten,
To expose callousness in field and factory,
And greed in boardrooms and negotiations.
Bless those who plead on behalf of workers
Before the seats of power,
Before governments and corporations.
Give them wisdom and skill, courage and determination.
May the work of their hands never falter
Nor despair deter them from this holy calling.

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

Revised by the author from “Against Worker Exploitation” © 2017 CCAR Press from This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers For a New Day

Postscript: This prayer is from my series of prayers “Against…” The series includes: “Against Poverty,” “Against Human Trafficking” and “Against Tyranny.” They follow a common format and focus on tikkun olam, repairing the world. Other related prayers include: “Upon Losing Employment” and “For Work.” For Vayigash 5773, I posted a prayer for family healing called “Dear Brother, Dear Sister.” This prayer first appeared on this site on October 21, 2011.

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

For Children at Our Borders

Posted on: June 17th, 2018 by Alden No Comments

A prayer against the injustice of children taken from parents by U.S. immigration authorities, parents seeking asylum in this free democratic nation. In six weeks, some 2,000 children have been separated from their parents at the border.

For Children at Our Borders
G-d of mothers and fathers,
G-d of babies and children,
Youth and teens,
The voice of agony echoes across the land,
As children are taken from their parents,
Perverting our history as a nation of immigrants,
Perverting our values,
Perverting the ways of justice and peace.
These children
Wait in misery
To be reunited with their families
So that a few may reap the political rewards
Of their suffering
By playing tough at our borders.

Source of grace,
Creator of kindness and goodness,
You call upon us to stand in the name of justice and fairness,
To witness against this abuse of power,
To battle the systematic assault on human beings,
To speak out against their suffering.

Bless those who rise up against this horror.
Give them courage and determination.
Bless those who plead on behalf of the oppressed and the subjugated
Before the seats of power.
May the work of their hands never falter
Nor despair deter them from this holy calling.

Bless those now in bondage at the hand of the U.S. government.
Grant them shelter and solace,
Comfort and consolation,
Blessing and renewal.
Release them. Free them. Heal them from trauma.
Reunite them with their families.
Hasten the day of their reunion.

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

© 2018 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

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Postscript: See also “Sleeping Prophets,” a prayer calling for each of us to rise up to stand for justice. “For Government” is a prayer for just and righteous political leaders.

Please check out my ELItalk video, “Falling in Love with Prayer,” and This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day. For reprint permissions and usage guidelines and reprint permissions, see “Share the Prayer!” To receive my latest prayers via email, please subscribe (on the home page). You can also connect on Facebook and Twitter.

Photo Source: NPR/Eric Gay/AP

Lesser Children

Posted on: December 13th, 2015 by Alden No Comments

Lange-MigrantMother02This is a new prayer about social justice and tikun olam, repairing the world. Let us build a sukkat shalom, a tabernacle of peace, over the lesser children” and all of the world. Here’s a link to more prayers for social justice.

Lesser Children
The least of Your children,
G-d of compassion,
Are mirrors of Your face.
The abandoned,
The broken-hearted and rejected,
The persecuted and pursued,
The uneducated and the unwashed,
The tortured and the abused,
The addict and the insane,
Reflect Your light.

The least of Your children,
G-d of secrets,
Are mirrors of Your creation.
The hidden and the unwanted,
The drifter and the locked away,
The lonely and the desolate,
The pauper, the streetwalker, the homeless,
Those who yearn
And those who rail in madness,
Echo Your voice.

Where is mercy?
Where is kindness?
Where is justice?
Where is tikun olam?

The least of Your children,
G-d of righteousness,
Are ours to bless
With the gifts You have given us.
In Your name
We will take to the streets,
We will go out into the country side,
We will serve Your law and Your truth,
By repairing the world.

The least of Your children,
G-d of healing,
Are our sisters and brothers.
Let us build a sukkat shalom,
A tabernacle of peace,
Over all in need.

© 2015 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: Other prayers for social justice include: “To the Streets,” “Against Worker Exploitation,” “Against Hunger” and “Against Human Trafficking.”

Tweetable! Click here to tweet this: “The least of Your children, G-d of compassion, are mirrors of Your face…” New prayer from @ToBendLight https://tobendlight.com/?p=13910

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Photo Source: WikiMedia Commons

Vayigash: Against Worker Exploitation

Posted on: December 23rd, 2014 by Alden No Comments

Farm WorkerThis is a social justice prayer for Shabbat Vayigash. In this week’s Torah portion, Joseph saves the Egyptians. He also also enslaves them. In his weekly commentary, Rabbi Shai Held grapples with understanding this contradiction. He concludes by saying that “…the greatest test of character may lie elsewhere – in the empathy we display towards those who stand powerless before us.” This prayer appears in the Labor Day section of my book, 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 others 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 field and factory.
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: This prayer is from my series of prayers “Against…” The series includes: “Against Poverty,” “Against Human Trafficking” and “Against Tyranny.” They follow a common format and focus on tikkun olam, repairing the world. Other related prayers include: “Upon Losing Employment” and “For Work.” For Vayigash 5773, I posted a prayer for family healing called “Dear Brother, Dear Sister.” This prayer first appeared on this site on October 21, 2011.

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

For Nelson Mandela: Against Tyranny, Revised

Posted on: December 8th, 2013 by Alden No Comments

Nelson_Mandela-2008_(edit)In memory of Nelson Mandela, z”l, this is a revision of my prayer “Against Tyranny.” I wrote the original version in the wake of the armed struggles against oppressive regimes that collectively became known as the Arab Spring. Hopefully, perhaps naively, I wrote a series of prayers that envisioned freedom prevailing quickly in those nations and the flowering of democratic governments throughout the Middle East. This revision anticipates non-violent struggle for freedom and justice, making it into a true tribute to Mr. Mandela. It also includes a new stanza honoring his memory. The memory of the righteous is a blessing.

For Nelson Mandela: Against Tyranny, Revised
G-d of the oppressed,
G-d of the dominated and exploited,
The voice of freedom echoes across the land,
A hunger for liberation
And an end to the reign of tyrants.
Our brothers,
Subjugated and abused,
Our sisters,
Smothered and forgotten,
Face the despot with dignity and honor,
Risking their personal safety
In the name of the future,
With the dream of emancipation.

Source of mercy,
Rock of generations,
You have led people to deliverance in every age.
Bless those who struggle against repression.
Grant them courage and fortitude,
Safety and strength.
May their purpose remain righteous
And their vision focused on peace.

Bring an end to the rule of dictators in every land.
Release the hand of cruelty and evil.
Thwart the hand of brutality.
Grant a swift end to tyranny wherever it’s found,
So that renewal can begin
And hope renewed.

G-d of heroes,
Ancient and new,
Grant a perfect rest among the souls of the righteous
To Nelson Mandela,
Whose path of non-violence
Inspired humanity and freed peoples.
May his dedication to justice and forgiveness
Serve as a shining lamp of love.
May the works of his hands
Bring us all merit in heaven
And let his memory bring the world
Devotion to love and liberty on earth.

Blessed are You, G-d of All,
Who summons us to free the captive,
Pursue justice
And build a world of peace.

© 2013 Alden Solovy and www.tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: Other prayers for social justice include: “Against Human Trafficking” and “Against Poverty.” Here’s a link to a list of all of my prayers for social justice. The original version of this prayer first appeared here on February 24, 2011.

If you use this prayer, please click take a moment to post a link to your Facebook page, your blog or mention it in a tweet.

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Photo Source: WikiMedia Commons

Mikeitz 5773: Against Hunger

Posted on: December 12th, 2012 by tobendlight No Comments

Miketz“And the seven years of famine began to come, just as Joseph had said; and there was famine in all lands; but in all the land of Egypt there was bread.” – Genesis 41:54

In a world of plenty, we still face hunger in wealthy nations and famine in impoverished lands. This is from my series of prayers for social justice including: “Against Poverty,” “Against Human Trafficking” and “Against Tyranny.” To listen along, click on the triangle in the bar below. The text follows.

 

Against Hunger
G-d of the poor,
G-d of the starving and the malnourished,
The voice of grief echoes across the land.
Dismayed and abandoned in a world of abundance,
Our children,
Our brothers
And our sisters
Struggle to feed their families,
Struggle to put food on the table,
As they watch emptiness and longing
Consume their kin,
As they watch disease and death,
Encircle their homes and their lives.

Source of bounty and plenty,
Rock of compassion and mercy,
You call upon us to stand in the name of justice and healing,
To witness against indifference and neglect,
To solve issues of scarcity and distribution,
To create a world of agricultural success in every land,
And among every people.

Bless those who dedicate their lives to the hungry and the forgotten.
Bless those who take to the cities and the countryside to offer food and sustenance.
Bless those who teach others to feed themselves.
Bless those whose ideas and research will lead to new solutions for ending this plague.
Bless those who plead on behalf of the needy and the poor before the seats of power.
Give them courage and determination.
Give them wisdom and skill.
May the work of their hands never falter
Nor despair deter them from this holy calling.

Bless the hungry 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 the tyranny of hunger.

© 2011 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: Click here for more prayers about social justice. This prayer would also make a lovely addition to your Pesach seder. It was first posted on November 2, 2011, for Global Hunger Shabbat of the American Jewish World Service.

If you use this prayer, please click “like” on this page and subscribe. Please take a moment to post a link to your Facebook page, your blog or mention it in a tweet. Thanks. For usage guidelines and reprint permissions, see “Share the Prayer!

Photo Credit: Chabad World.

Against Hunger – A Prayer for Global Hunger Shabbat

Posted on: November 2nd, 2011 by tobendlight No Comments

This prayer “Against Hunger” can be used during your Passover seder, perhaps as a supplement to “ha lachma anya,” and for Global Hunger Shabbat promoted by the American Jewish World Service, which is on Nov. 2-3, 2012. It is part of my series of prayers for social justice including: “Against Poverty,” “Against Human Trafficking” and “Against Tyranny.”

Against Hunger
G-d of the poor,
G-d of the starving and the malnourished,
The voice of grief echoes across the land.
Dismayed and abandoned in a world of abundance,
Our children,
Our brothers
And our sisters,
Struggle to feed their families,
Struggle to put food on the table,
As they watch emptiness and longing
Consume their kin,
As they watch disease and death,
Encircle their homes and their lives.

Source of bounty and plenty,
Rock of compassion and mercy,
You call upon us to stand in the name of justice and healing,
To witness against indifference and neglect,
To solve issues of scarcity and distribution,
To create a world of agricultural success in every land,
And among every people.

Bless those who dedicate their lives to the hungry and the forgotten.
Bless those who take to the cities and the countryside to offer food and sustenance.
Bless those who teach others to feed themselves.
Bless those whose ideas and research will lead to new solutions for ending this plague.
Bless those who plead on behalf of the needy and the poor before the seats of power.
Give them courage and determination.
Give them wisdom and skill.
May the work of their hands never falter
Nor despair deter them from this holy calling.

Bless the hungry 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 the tyranny of hunger.

© 2011 Alden Solovy and www.tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: Click here for more prayers about social justice. This prayer would also make a lovely addition to your Pesach seder.

If you like this prayer, post a link to your Facebook page, to your blog or as part of a tweet. And don’t forget to click “like” on this page. Thanks.

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Prayers for Social Justice

Posted on: October 27th, 2011 by tobendlight No Comments

social_justice

Here’s a list of my prayers for social justice divided into three categories: the forgotten, global village and personal responsibility. These prayers would make meaningful additions to a Passover seder, to special events such as Global Hunger Shabbat or to honor the memory of civil rights leaders like the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. To read a prayer, click on the title:

The Forgotten

Prayers for those who need our dedication and our voices:

Global Village
Prayers for justice around the world:

Personal Responsibility

Prayers for strength to act and for sensitivity to the suffering of others:

 If you use any of these prayers, please click “like” on the page and subscribe. Please take a moment to post a link to your Facebook page, your blog or mention it in a tweet. Thanks. For usage guidelines and reprint permissions, see “Share the Prayer!

Photo Credit: Who Is Adam Clark

Against Worker Exploitation

Posted on: October 21st, 2011 by tobendlight No Comments

Farm WorkerHere’s a social justice prayer for Labor Day, 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 prayer appears in the Passover section of 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

New here? Subscribe here to get my newest prayers by email.
Share the prayer! Email this to a friend.

Postscript: Related prayers include: “Upon Losing Employment” and “For Work.”

Please check out my ELItalk video, “Falling in Love with Prayer,” and This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day. For reprint permissions and usage guidelines and reprint permissions, see “Share the Prayer!” To receive my latest prayers via email, please subscribe (on the home page). You can also connect on Facebook and Twitter.

Photo Credit: Food Chain via Care 2

Against Poverty

Posted on: April 27th, 2011 by tobendlight No Comments

Teach-Girls-End-World-PovertyThis prayer is good for your Passover Seder and daily worship. It’s from my series “Against…” including: “Against Human Trafficking” and “Against Tyranny.” The idea for this series began as I looked over a list of the titles of my prayers. There were 49, roughly a third of my work at the time, beginning with the word “For…” So I wondered, can we pray ‘against’? To listen along, click on the triangle in the bar below. The text follows.

 

Against Poverty
G-d of the hungry,
G-d of the sick and the homeless,
The voice of the forgotten echoes across the land,
Dismayed and abandoned in a world of abundance.
Our children,
Our brothers
And our sisters
Are left to beg in the streets,
To find shelter in abandoned structures,
To suffer illness without physician or medication.

Source of hope and mercy,
Rock of strength and fortitude,
You call upon us to stand in the name of healing and honor,
To witness against human life ignored,
To fight society neglecting human beings,
To muster our power and energy against this plague.

Bless those who dedicate their lives to the poor, the sick and the homeless.
Bless those who take to the streets to offer food, clothing and shelter.
Give them courage and determination.
Bless those who plead on behalf of the poor 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 poverty 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 the tyranny of poverty.

© 2011 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: Does the idea of praying “against” resonate with you? What else should we pray against? Please drop me a note, if you’re so moved.

If you use this prayer, please click “like” on this page and subscribe. Please take a moment to post a link to your Facebook page, your blog or mention it in a tweet. Thanks. For usage guidelines and reprint permissions, see “Share the Prayer!

Photo Credit: Teach Girls, End World Poverty on ProductiveFlourishing.com

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