[yshavurah] Fast for Peace

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I would be interested in doing something like this--how do the rest of you 
feel? Cheryl

In a message dated 11/3/02 5:29:45 PM Eastern Standard Time, 
mail-havurah@xxxxxxxxxxx writes:


> From: Awaskow@xxxxxxx
> To: National Havurah Committee Mailing List <mail-havurah@xxxxxxxxxxx>
> Subject: [MAIL-HAVURAH:4366] Ta'anit Tzibbur/ Liturgy for calling a 
> communal Fast for Peace
> MIME-Version: 1.0
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> Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
> Date: Sun,  3 Nov 2002 17:33:18 EST
> 
> Call to a Communal Fast to Avert Calamity:
> Ta'anit Tzibbur Al Ha'Tzarah
> 
> TEXT OF LITURGY IS BELOW
> 
> November 2, 2002/ 27 Mar-Cheshvan 5763
> (Acciording to some sources, this is the day on which the Flood fully ended
> and the Rainbow appeared, promising life to all breathing life upon our
> planet. Keyn yehi ratzon!)
> 
> Dear Friends,
> 
> I thought many of our communities, havurot, and congregations might find 
> this
> liturgy useful. Please especially note the suggestion below that the 10th 
> of
> Tevet, a traditional fast day in memory of the beginning of the siege of
> ancient Jerusalem by Babylonian troops, might be especially appropriate as 
> a
> fast day this year, seeking a peaceful rather than warlike resolution of 
> the
> US-Iraq dispute. It falls this year on Sunday, December 15
> 
> The Multireligious Call to a Communal Fast for Peace has been signed by 
> such
> leaders of our community as Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, Rabbi Daniel
> Siegel, Debra Kolodny (chair of the Board of ALEPH), Rabbi Arthur Green,
> Rabbi Nancy Fuchs-Kreimer, Rabbi Elliot Dorff, Rabbi Sheila Weinberg, Rabbi
> Jeff Roth, Rabbi Mordechai Liebling, Rabbi Gerry Serrotta, and Rabbi Amy
> Eilberg, as well as leaders of the Christian and Muslim communities -- all 
> as
> individuals.
> 
> I am also personally and institutionally pleased to announce that Lee 
> Moore,
> who had a major hand in shaping this liturgy, has become the Program
> Coordinator for The Shalom Center. She studied at the University of 
> Michigan
> for her MA in religious and environmental studies, was originally brought 
> to
> our attention by a glowing recommendation from Rabbi/ Professor Elliot
> Ginsburg,  served as an intern for The Shalom Center in the summer of 2001
> and is one of the participants in our "Next Generation of Tikkun Olam
> Activists" gatherings.
> 
> She is extraordinarily skilled and a very quick study -- in her first two
> days at work, starting from  scratch, she absorbed the Mishnaic teachings
> about Ta'anit Tzibbur and shaped most of the liturgy that follows.
> 
> Shalom, Arthur.
> 
> Long ago, Jews chose when they were facing the calamities of drought, or
> plague, or famine, or war, to call the community to fast.
> 
> By the time of  the framing of the Mishnah (around 200 CE), this tradition
> had been shaped into a liturgy for calling  such a Fast.,  What follows 
> below
> is a liturgy or service that draws upon this special service as it is
> described in Mishnah Ta'anit (Chapters 1-3).  The service can  be used on 
> the
> actual day of fasting, or can be used to proclaim a later day of fasting.
> 
> For Jewish communities that need time to prepare for such a fast, we
> especially urge consideration of a Call to fast on the 10th of Tevet,
> December 15, a traditional fast day in memory of the beginning of a
> disastrous war - that is, the beginning of the siege of Jerusalem by
> Babylonian troops 2500 years ago.
> 
> We welcome other religious and spiritual communities, especially those
> stirred by the Multireligious Call to a Fast for Peace, to use whatever 
> parts
> of this liturgy appeal to them.
> 
> There are further comments about communal fasting and about the Fast of the
> 10th of Tevet, after the liturgy below.  This liturgy, the Multireligious 
> Call
> , and many essays and articles on the question of war with Iraq are posted 
> on
> the Shalom Center Website < www.shalomctr.org >
> 
> With blessings of shalom,
> 
> Lee Moore, Program Coordinator
> Rabbi Arthur Waskow, Director
> The Shalom Center
> 
> **************************************
> Ta'anit Tzibbur al HaTzarah:
> Call to a Communal Fast to Avert Calamity
> 
> Finding ourselves pressed down by the possibility of war, we gather to
> support each other and to strengthen our courage.  Regardless of our
> political views, we know that wars cause the death of innocents - mothers 
> and
> children, fathers and grandparents.  We know that the world is an
> interconnected whole, and that what we do to one part of it will in turn
> affect us, too.
> 
> The Rambam teaches that all fasts assist in the holy process of T'shuvah -
> turning ourselves toward the One.  By turning away from filling our 
> bellies,
> we more easily open our hearts to compassion, our minds to wisdom, and our
> hands to acts of peace.  Today, we ask the question -- what tshuvah, what
> turning, is it that we want to turn to, in light of this potential calamity
> of war? Near the end of the service, each person in the circle will be 
> asked
> to share what they intend to turn to.
> 
> Bringing Out the Ark
> 
> Since ancient times, the Call to a Communal Fast has begun by bringing out
> the Ark into an open space and strewing wood-ashes on the Ark, on the
> foreheads of the secular and religious leaders of the community, and then
> everyone else.  [Pause to do this, skipping anyone who prefers not to have
> the ashes. If the community has not brought an Ark outdoors, ashes may be
> strewn on the Torah cover or  on a cloth surrounding it.]
> 
> The eldest member of the group speaks:
> 
> Today, as the Prophet Joel (2:13) teaches, "Karu l'vavchem v'al bigdeichem"
> -- we gather to rend our hearts, not our garments as we do upon a death.  
> We
> have not experienced a death, but in the darkened air there hovers the
> possibility of many deaths.  By rending our hearts - tearing them more 
> open-
> we hope to prevent the needless killing that could happen during war. Let 
> us
> rend our hearts now, so that we will not need to rend our garments later.
> 
> May our hearts and the hearts of our leaders soften so that we make
> life-affirming choices in these difficult times.  As we learn (Jonah 3:
> 8-10), when Nineveh repented from the violence of their fists, God saw not
> their sackcloth and ashes  -- but  instead "God saw their deeds, that they
> turned from their evil path."
> 
> We call ourselves to alarm by blowing the shofar in the sound of alarm; we
> call ourselves to compassion by blowing the shofar in its wailing and its
> sobs.
> 
> Zichronot/ Remembrances
> 
> We remember the Power of the One to re-member us, to make us whole again.
> 
> "God remembered Noah and every living creature, and all the life-forms, all
> the animals that were with him in the ark; God brought a rushing-wind 
> across
> the earth, and the waters abated."  May we, living in a world beflooded by 
> an
> overflow of violence, remember now our covenant for life.
> 
> Just as God heard our groaning under slavery in the Narrow Place,
> re-membering the covenant of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Sarah, Rivka, Rachel
> and Leah, so may we re-member our own part in that covenant.
> 
> Blessed are You, YHWH our God, Ruler [Breathing-spirit] of the world, who 
> has
> made us holy through connectedness, and has connected us through the 
> hearing
> of the shofar. Baruch attah  YHWH elohenu melech [ruach] ha'olam asher
> kidshanu b'mitzvot vitzivanu lishmoa kol shofar .
> 
> First blowing of the shofar - Tekiah, Shevarim, Teruah, Tekiah.
> 
> Blessed are You, YHWH our God, Who re-members the covenant.
> 
> Shoferot/ Shofar-Transformations
> 
> Today, we blow the shofar to awaken ourselves and our leaders to the
> transformative possibilities of peace. For as we are taught, "All you who
> dwell upon the planet and live throughout the earth shall see when the 
> banner
> is lifted on the mountain, shall hear the Shofar when it is sounded forth."
> (Isaiah 18:3) .
> 
> -- Second blowing of the shofar -- Tekiah, Shevarim, Teruah, Tekiah Gedolah
> 
> For You hear the sound of the shofar and You heed its call.  There is none
> like You.  Blessed are You, YHWH, who in compassion hears the shofar 
> sounding
> of Your people.
> 
> Acrostic Prayer for Yom Kippur Katan
> (the "little Yom Kippur"  before the New Moon or on any communal fast)
>          (by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi)
> 
> You my God, my Helper
> Ordering my life is not easy
> My struggles are before You
> 
> Keep at my side as I strive
> I am not as good as I wish to be
> Put forth Your light and lead me
> Please guide my steps on Your path
> Up to the level I can live on
> Raise my actions to my values
> 
> Kindness plant in my heart
> Attention to the ways I am relating
> To others who cross my path
> And help me to live in balance
> Neither in haste nor in sloth
> 
> And give me joy in Your service
> Making bright the lives of my loved ones
> Embracing the lot You give me --
> Night  and morning in Your service.
> 
> How may I come to You / If I did not heed Your word?
> What You have made pure / I have polluted
> What You have loved / I despised
> 
> What You have ordered / I have disrupted
> What you have intended / I have opposed
> Take my ways and turn them
> So that I might make pure/ What I have polluted
> That I may love / What You love
> That I may order / What I have disrupted
> That I might intend / What You intend
> 
> May I be renewed like the moon.
> May I reflect Your light ever waxing.
> 
> Recitation of Psalms
> 
> from Psalm 120:
> In my distress, I called to YHWH and I was answered.
> God, rescue my soul/ breath from lips that lie, from a tongue that 
> deceives.
> . . .
> Too long has my soul/ breath dwelt with those who hate peace.
> I am peace, but when I speak, they are for war.
> 
> from Psalm 121:Song: Esai Einai
> I lift up my eyes unto the mountains
> >From where, from where will my help come?
> I lift up my eyes unto the mountains
> >From where, from where will my help come?
> My help will come-come  from the One,
> Maker of the heavens and the earth.
> My help will come-come  from the One,
> Maker of the heavens and the earth.
> 
> Esai Einai, el ha-harim
> Mei-ai'yin, mei-ai'yin yavo ezri?
> Esai Einai, el ha-harim
> Mei-ai'yin, mei-ai'yin yavo ezri?
> Ezri me-im Hashem oseh shamaiim v'aretz (x2).
> 
> from Psalm 130:
> >From the depths have I called You, O Eternal.
> YHWH, hear my voice.
> May your ears attend to the sound of my pleas.
> For if you were to keep track of  all misdeeds,
> Oh God, who could breathe?
> Yet with You comes forgiveness
> That fills us with awe.
> In You I place my hope,
> With every breath I place my hope in You,
> And for Your word I yearn.
> My every breath awaits You,
> More than watchmen wait for the dawn -
> Yes, more than watchmen yearn for dawn.
> You who wrestle God, take hope in YHWH!
> For with the Source of Life is loving-kindness
> And many forms of freedom --
> For the Breath of Life will free us from all our unjust acts.
> 
> from Psalm 102:
> You Who Hear prayers, hear my prayer now,
> Let my outcry reach to You.
> Do not hide your face from me on this day of distress.
> Lend  me Your ear.
> On the very day I call out, answer me.
> 
> Reading from the Prophets -
> 
> Yeshayahu, Isaiah 56
> 
> What is the fast that I demand of you? --
> What is a day that truly presses down your ego?
> Is it bending down your head like a bulrush?
> Sitting on sack-cloth and ashes?
> No!
> This is the fast that I have chosen:
> Break the handcuffs put on by wicked power;
> Undo the yoke of heavy burden;
> Let the oppressed go free.
> Share your bread with the hungry;
> Bring the homeless to your own house.
> When you see the naked, clothe them;
> Don't hide yourself; they are your flesh and blood!
> 
> And from a child of the Prophets,  Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, writing in
> 1943:
> 
> Emblazoned over  the gates of the world in which we live is the escutcheon 
> of
> the demons. The mark of Cain in the face of man has come to overshadow the
> likeness of God. Ashamed and dismayed, we ask: Who is responsible?
> 
> All may be guided by the words of the Baal Shem: If a man has beheld evil, 
> he
> may know that it was shown to him in order that he learn his own guilt and
> repent; for what is shown to him is also within him.
> 
>   Indeed, where were we when men learned to hate in the days of starvation?
> When raving madmen were sowing wrath in the hearts of the unemployed?
> 
> Let Fascism not serve as an alibi for our conscience. We have failed to 
> fight
> for right, for justice, for goodness; as a result we must fight against
> wrong, against injustice, against evil. We have failed to offer sacrifices 
> on
> the altar of peace; now we must offer sacrifices on the altar of war.
> 
> When greed, envy, and the reckless will to power, the serpents that were
> cherished in the bosom of our civilization, came to maturity, they broke 
> out
> of their dens to fall upon the helpless nations.
> 
> The conscience of the world was destroyed by those who were wont to blame
> others rather than themselves.
> 
> T'shuvah
> 
> What acts of ours will respond wholeheartedly to Isaiah's voicing of God's
> desire? What acts of ours will respond to Heschel's call that we become
> responsible?
> 
> Let each of us now look into the hearts we have torn open, and bring forth
> one action that we intend as an act of turning toward the One. --  -- Each 
> of
> us is welcome now to say what deed we intend to do in order to lessen
> violence, seek peace, and prevent war.
> 
> [Wait for words of commitment from members of the community.]
> 
> We call upon our community to undertake a communal fast and thoughtful 
> action
> in the hope of averting the calamity of war, focused on the hours from dawn
> to dusk on _________ [insert date according to the Jewish and Western
> calendars].
> 
> Closing song (by Debbie Friedman; Zechariah 4: 6, read on Shabbat Hanukkah)
> 
> Not by might, and not by power,
>   but by Spirit alone
> Shall we all live in peace.
> 
> The children sing, the children sing -
> And their tears may fall
> But we'll hear them call
> And another song will rise (x3).
> 
> Not by might, and not by power,
>   but by Spirit alone
> Shall we all live in peace.
> 
> ********************************************************************
> 
> The liturgy above and the comments below were shaped by Lee Moore, Program
> Coordinator for The Shalom Center, and Rabbi Arthur Waskow, its director.
> 
> As our nation and the world face the serious possibility of war,  The 
> Shalom
> Center encourages  communities - whether Jewish or multireligious - to 
> gather
> to fast, to reflect, to pray, and to act. We encourage you to use the 
> service
> above, and to modify it as befits your situation.
> 
> We also encourage you to read the Multireligious Call to a Fast for Peace
> (which you have already received), as part of this liturgy. It, and a set 
> of
> suggestions for action and study called "What is the Fast that We Propose?"
> are on the Shalom Center Website at
> < www.shalomctr.org > along with a great deal of other information about
> Iraq.
> 
> It is a mitzvah to call out to God any time danger looms.  In ancient 
> times,
> the rabbis would call for a fast to engage the whole community in changing
> its behavior.  In so doing, the people hoped to re-establish right
> relationship with the Divine and avert an impending calamity.  The liturgy
> above is based on this traditional practice of calling for a fast in times 
> of
> calamity.
> 
> The call is timely this year.  In ancient times, if the rains did not come 
> by
> the first of the month of Kislev, the entire community would be called to
> fast for three days from dawn to dusk.  This year, we need inward rains of
> healing - our own tears of contrition and compassion  --  and so we
> inaugurate a season of conscious fasting.
> 
> The first fast could be held on Yom Kippur Katan - the daylight just before
> Rosh Chodesh begins, the new moon of Kislev.  This corresponds to November 
> 4.
>   But, God forbid, that we still find ourselves with a threat of imminent 
> war
> in one month's time, we may need to fast again, from dawn to dusk, on the
> next Yom Kippur Katan, just before the new moon of Tevet.
> 
> If we STILL are hearing words of war by the tenth of Tevet, December 15, it
> would be appropriate for us to fast then, as well.  Some Jews do this every
> year, to remember the beginnings of the siege on Jerusalem in Babylonian
> times.
> 
> To understand the memorializing of this date is to realize how deep ran the
> scars of disastrous war in Jewish consciousness - a war that some within 
> the
> People Israel actually welcomed because they were so sure that God would 
> not
> allow the Babylonians to triumph.
> 
> It was Jeremiah who warned that only internal transformation could save the
> people, and he was ignored and ultimately imprisoned by the king.
> 
> So proclaiming a Fast for the daylight hours of  the 10th of Tevet, Sunday
> December 15, may be especially appropriate this year.
> 
> On that day, Jews might gather, pray by using the service above, share with
> each other the fears they hold, study together in a teach-in that draws on
> Jewish wisdom about peace and war and on contemporary knowledge about Iraq,
> oil, power, and the world community, undertake some action to advance the
> possibility of peace, and after sundown break the fast together in communal
> celebration.
> 
> Ta'anit Tzibbur is not intended for private, individual reflection.  It 
> aims
> at communal recognition of the impending calamity, and communal
> transformation.  The root of the word "ta'anit" relates to the notion of
> being pressed, afflicted, like the bread of affliction during Passover.  
> It's
> crucial that we come together in this time in groups of three or more to
> acknowledge that we feel pressed by the threat of war.  And then, as a
> community we can break the fast together, with hopes of a brighter 
> immediate
> future.
> 
> The Rambam (Hilkhot Ta'anit 1:1-2) highlights a fast day as one of 
> teshuvah,
> or turning/ returning.  Constraints on eating focus attention upon our
> behavior and the resulting crisis.
> 
> Mincha-time, late afternoon, is a critical moment for teshuvah during a
> ta'anit.  Ezra (9:5) writes, "During the Mincha time I arose from my 
> ta'anit,
> tore my clothing, fell upon my knees, and spread my hands upward to YHWH my
> God."
> 
> This liturgy is perhaps best used, then, by a community of fasters who
> assemble if possible during the day to study and reflect and act. Then in 
> the
> late afternoon or early evening, the might pray together for a shifting of
> the winds away from destruction and possible further destruction, and 
> finally
>   in celebration of community together break their fast.
> 
> With blessings of shalom,
> Lee  Moore  and Rabbi Arthur Waskow
> The Shalom Center  < www.shalomctr.org >
> 
> 
> 
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> 
> 


Cheryl B. Levine, Psy.D.
Clinical and Consulting Psychologist
       Positive Perspectives, Inc.
       680 E. Dayton Yellow Springs Road
       Fairborn, OH  45324
       (937) 390-3800

Behavioral Science Coordinator
       The OSU-Oakhill Rural Family Practice Residency
       4879 US Route 68 South
       West Liberty, OH  43311
         (937) 465-0080

    And the end of all our exploring
    Will be to arrive where we started
    And know the place for the first time.
                            --T.S. Eliot



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                MAIL-HAVURAH Digest 922

Topics covered in this issue include:

  1)  Jewish Tales of Holy Women: Yitzhak Buxbaum Storytelling in NYC
    by Yitzhak@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
  2)  Ta'anit Tzibbur/ Liturgy for calling a communal Fast for Peace
    by Awaskow@xxxxxxx

----------------------------------------------------------------------
From: Yitzhak@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
To: National Havurah Committee Mailing List <mail-havurah@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Subject: [MAIL-HAVURAH:4365] Jewish Tales of Holy Women: Yitzhak Buxbaum 
Storytelling in NYC
Date: Sun,  3 Nov 2002 17:31:42 EST

Dear Friends: Yitzhak Buxbaum (who has smicha as a maggid from Rabbi
Shlomo Carlebach) will be telling stories from his new
book, "Jewish Tales of Holy Women," at The 92nd Street Y in Manhattan
on November 14th, Thursday, 8 p.m. It is a special event to be able
to celebrate our holy women of the last few centuries by means of these
rare traditional tales. Come to enjoy the tales and the spiritual
discussion about them. Call 212-996-1100 for tickets. Yitzhak's other
new book, "Jewish Tales of Mystic Joy" is also, like the other, now in
stores and available from amazon.


_________________________________________________________________
Get a speedy connection with MSN Broadband.  Join now! 
http://resourcecenter.msn.com/access/plans/freeactivation.asp


------------------------------
From: Awaskow@xxxxxxx
To: National Havurah Committee Mailing List <mail-havurah@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Subject: [MAIL-HAVURAH:4366] Ta'anit Tzibbur/ Liturgy for calling a communal 
Fast for Peace
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="US-ASCII"
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
Date: Sun,  3 Nov 2002 17:33:18 EST

Call to a Communal Fast to Avert Calamity:
Ta'anit Tzibbur Al Ha'Tzarah

TEXT OF LITURGY IS BELOW

November 2, 2002/ 27 Mar-Cheshvan 5763
(Acciording to some sources, this is the day on which the Flood fully ended
and the Rainbow appeared, promising life to all breathing life upon our
planet. Keyn yehi ratzon!)

Dear Friends,

I thought many of our communities, havurot, and congregations might find 
this
liturgy useful. Please especially note the suggestion below that the 10th of
Tevet, a traditional fast day in memory of the beginning of the siege of
ancient Jerusalem by Babylonian troops, might be especially appropriate as a
fast day this year, seeking a peaceful rather than warlike resolution of the
US-Iraq dispute. It falls this year on Sunday, December 15

The Multireligious Call to a Communal Fast for Peace has been signed by such
leaders of our community as Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, Rabbi Daniel
Siegel, Debra Kolodny (chair of the Board of ALEPH), Rabbi Arthur Green,
Rabbi Nancy Fuchs-Kreimer, Rabbi Elliot Dorff, Rabbi Sheila Weinberg, Rabbi
Jeff Roth, Rabbi Mordechai Liebling, Rabbi Gerry Serrotta, and Rabbi Amy
Eilberg, as well as leaders of the Christian and Muslim communities -- all 
as
individuals.

I am also personally and institutionally pleased to announce that Lee Moore,
who had a major hand in shaping this liturgy, has become the Program
Coordinator for The Shalom Center. She studied at the University of Michigan
for her MA in religious and environmental studies, was originally brought to
our attention by a glowing recommendation from Rabbi/ Professor Elliot
Ginsburg,  served as an intern for The Shalom Center in the summer of 2001
and is one of the participants in our "Next Generation of Tikkun Olam
Activists" gatherings.

She is extraordinarily skilled and a very quick study -- in her first two
days at work, starting from  scratch, she absorbed the Mishnaic teachings
about Ta'anit Tzibbur and shaped most of the liturgy that follows.

Shalom, Arthur.

Long ago, Jews chose when they were facing the calamities of drought, or
plague, or famine, or war, to call the community to fast.

By the time of  the framing of the Mishnah (around 200 CE), this tradition
had been shaped into a liturgy for calling  such a Fast.,  What follows 
below
is a liturgy or service that draws upon this special service as it is
described in Mishnah Ta'anit (Chapters 1-3).  The service can  be used on 
the
actual day of fasting, or can be used to proclaim a later day of fasting.

For Jewish communities that need time to prepare for such a fast, we
especially urge consideration of a Call to fast on the 10th of Tevet,
December 15, a traditional fast day in memory of the beginning of a
disastrous war - that is, the beginning of the siege of Jerusalem by
Babylonian troops 2500 years ago.

We welcome other religious and spiritual communities, especially those
stirred by the Multireligious Call to a Fast for Peace, to use whatever 
parts
of this liturgy appeal to them.

There are further comments about communal fasting and about the Fast of the
10th of Tevet, after the liturgy below.  This liturgy, the Multireligious 
Call
, and many essays and articles on the question of war with Iraq are posted 
on
the Shalom Center Website < www.shalomctr.org >

With blessings of shalom,

Lee Moore, Program Coordinator
Rabbi Arthur Waskow, Director
The Shalom Center

**************************************
Ta'anit Tzibbur al HaTzarah:
Call to a Communal Fast to Avert Calamity

Finding ourselves pressed down by the possibility of war, we gather to
support each other and to strengthen our courage.  Regardless of our
political views, we know that wars cause the death of innocents - mothers 
and
children, fathers and grandparents.  We know that the world is an
interconnected whole, and that what we do to one part of it will in turn
affect us, too.

The Rambam teaches that all fasts assist in the holy process of T'shuvah -
turning ourselves toward the One.  By turning away from filling our bellies,
we more easily open our hearts to compassion, our minds to wisdom, and our
hands to acts of peace.  Today, we ask the question -- what tshuvah, what
turning, is it that we want to turn to, in light of this potential calamity
of war? Near the end of the service, each person in the circle will be asked
to share what they intend to turn to.

Bringing Out the Ark

Since ancient times, the Call to a Communal Fast has begun by bringing out
the Ark into an open space and strewing wood-ashes on the Ark, on the
foreheads of the secular and religious leaders of the community, and then
everyone else.  [Pause to do this, skipping anyone who prefers not to have
the ashes. If the community has not brought an Ark outdoors, ashes may be
strewn on the Torah cover or  on a cloth surrounding it.]

The eldest member of the group speaks:

Today, as the Prophet Joel (2:13) teaches, "Karu l'vavchem v'al bigdeichem"
-- we gather to rend our hearts, not our garments as we do upon a death.  We
have not experienced a death, but in the darkened air there hovers the
possibility of many deaths.  By rending our hearts - tearing them more open-
we hope to prevent the needless killing that could happen during war. Let us
rend our hearts now, so that we will not need to rend our garments later.

May our hearts and the hearts of our leaders soften so that we make
life-affirming choices in these difficult times.  As we learn (Jonah 3:
8-10), when Nineveh repented from the violence of their fists, God saw not
their sackcloth and ashes  -- but  instead "God saw their deeds, that they
turned from their evil path."

We call ourselves to alarm by blowing the shofar in the sound of alarm; we
call ourselves to compassion by blowing the shofar in its wailing and its
sobs.

Zichronot/ Remembrances

We remember the Power of the One to re-member us, to make us whole again.

"God remembered Noah and every living creature, and all the life-forms, all
the animals that were with him in the ark; God brought a rushing-wind across
the earth, and the waters abated."  May we, living in a world beflooded by 
an
overflow of violence, remember now our covenant for life.

Just as God heard our groaning under slavery in the Narrow Place,
re-membering the covenant of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Sarah, Rivka, Rachel
and Leah, so may we re-member our own part in that covenant.

Blessed are You, YHWH our God, Ruler [Breathing-spirit] of the world, who 
has
made us holy through connectedness, and has connected us through the hearing
of the shofar. Baruch attah  YHWH elohenu melech [ruach] ha'olam asher
kidshanu b'mitzvot vitzivanu lishmoa kol shofar .

First blowing of the shofar - Tekiah, Shevarim, Teruah, Tekiah.

Blessed are You, YHWH our God, Who re-members the covenant.

Shoferot/ Shofar-Transformations

Today, we blow the shofar to awaken ourselves and our leaders to the
transformative possibilities of peace. For as we are taught, "All you who
dwell upon the planet and live throughout the earth shall see when the 
banner
is lifted on the mountain, shall hear the Shofar when it is sounded forth."
(Isaiah 18:3) .

-- Second blowing of the shofar -- Tekiah, Shevarim, Teruah, Tekiah Gedolah

For You hear the sound of the shofar and You heed its call.  There is none
like You.  Blessed are You, YHWH, who in compassion hears the shofar 
sounding
of Your people.

Acrostic Prayer for Yom Kippur Katan
(the "little Yom Kippur"  before the New Moon or on any communal fast)
         (by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi)

You my God, my Helper
Ordering my life is not easy
My struggles are before You

Keep at my side as I strive
I am not as good as I wish to be
Put forth Your light and lead me
Please guide my steps on Your path
Up to the level I can live on
Raise my actions to my values

Kindness plant in my heart
Attention to the ways I am relating
To others who cross my path
And help me to live in balance
Neither in haste nor in sloth

And give me joy in Your service
Making bright the lives of my loved ones
Embracing the lot You give me --
Night  and morning in Your service.

How may I come to You / If I did not heed Your word?
What You have made pure / I have polluted
What You have loved / I despised

What You have ordered / I have disrupted
What you have intended / I have opposed
Take my ways and turn them
So that I might make pure/ What I have polluted
That I may love / What You love
That I may order / What I have disrupted
That I might intend / What You intend

May I be renewed like the moon.
May I reflect Your light ever waxing.

Recitation of Psalms

from Psalm 120:
In my distress, I called to YHWH and I was answered.
God, rescue my soul/ breath from lips that lie, from a tongue that deceives.
. . .
Too long has my soul/ breath dwelt with those who hate peace.
I am peace, but when I speak, they are for war.

from Psalm 121:Song: Esai Einai
I lift up my eyes unto the mountains
 >From where, from where will my help come?
I lift up my eyes unto the mountains
 >From where, from where will my help come?
My help will come-come  from the One,
Maker of the heavens and the earth.
My help will come-come  from the One,
Maker of the heavens and the earth.

Esai Einai, el ha-harim
Mei-ai'yin, mei-ai'yin yavo ezri?
Esai Einai, el ha-harim
Mei-ai'yin, mei-ai'yin yavo ezri?
Ezri me-im Hashem oseh shamaiim v'aretz (x2).

from Psalm 130:
 >From the depths have I called You, O Eternal.
YHWH, hear my voice.
May your ears attend to the sound of my pleas.
For if you were to keep track of  all misdeeds,
Oh God, who could breathe?
Yet with You comes forgiveness
That fills us with awe.
In You I place my hope,
With every breath I place my hope in You,
And for Your word I yearn.
My every breath awaits You,
More than watchmen wait for the dawn -
Yes, more than watchmen yearn for dawn.
You who wrestle God, take hope in YHWH!
For with the Source of Life is loving-kindness
And many forms of freedom --
For the Breath of Life will free us from all our unjust acts.

from Psalm 102:
You Who Hear prayers, hear my prayer now,
Let my outcry reach to You.
Do not hide your face from me on this day of distress.
Lend  me Your ear.
On the very day I call out, answer me.

Reading from the Prophets -

Yeshayahu, Isaiah 56

What is the fast that I demand of you? --
What is a day that truly presses down your ego?
Is it bending down your head like a bulrush?
Sitting on sack-cloth and ashes?
No!
This is the fast that I have chosen:
Break the handcuffs put on by wicked power;
Undo the yoke of heavy burden;
Let the oppressed go free.
Share your bread with the hungry;
Bring the homeless to your own house.
When you see the naked, clothe them;
Don't hide yourself; they are your flesh and blood!

And from a child of the Prophets,  Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, writing in
1943:

Emblazoned over  the gates of the world in which we live is the escutcheon 
of
the demons. The mark of Cain in the face of man has come to overshadow the
likeness of God. Ashamed and dismayed, we ask: Who is responsible?

All may be guided by the words of the Baal Shem: If a man has beheld evil, 
he
may know that it was shown to him in order that he learn his own guilt and
repent; for what is shown to him is also within him.

  Indeed, where were we when men learned to hate in the days of starvation?
When raving madmen were sowing wrath in the hearts of the unemployed?

Let Fascism not serve as an alibi for our conscience. We have failed to 
fight
for right, for justice, for goodness; as a result we must fight against
wrong, against injustice, against evil. We have failed to offer sacrifices 
on
the altar of peace; now we must offer sacrifices on the altar of war.

When greed, envy, and the reckless will to power, the serpents that were
cherished in the bosom of our civilization, came to maturity, they broke out
of their dens to fall upon the helpless nations.

The conscience of the world was destroyed by those who were wont to blame
others rather than themselves.

T'shuvah

What acts of ours will respond wholeheartedly to Isaiah's voicing of God's
desire? What acts of ours will respond to Heschel's call that we become
responsible?

Let each of us now look into the hearts we have torn open, and bring forth
one action that we intend as an act of turning toward the One. --  -- Each 
of
us is welcome now to say what deed we intend to do in order to lessen
violence, seek peace, and prevent war.

[Wait for words of commitment from members of the community.]

We call upon our community to undertake a communal fast and thoughtful 
action
in the hope of averting the calamity of war, focused on the hours from dawn
to dusk on _________ [insert date according to the Jewish and Western
calendars].

Closing song (by Debbie Friedman; Zechariah 4: 6, read on Shabbat Hanukkah)

Not by might, and not by power,
  but by Spirit alone
Shall we all live in peace.

The children sing, the children sing -
And their tears may fall
But we'll hear them call
And another song will rise (x3).

Not by might, and not by power,
  but by Spirit alone
Shall we all live in peace.

********************************************************************

The liturgy above and the comments below were shaped by Lee Moore, Program
Coordinator for The Shalom Center, and Rabbi Arthur Waskow, its director.

As our nation and the world face the serious possibility of war,  The Shalom
Center encourages  communities - whether Jewish or multireligious - to 
gather
to fast, to reflect, to pray, and to act. We encourage you to use the 
service
above, and to modify it as befits your situation.

We also encourage you to read the Multireligious Call to a Fast for Peace
(which you have already received), as part of this liturgy. It, and a set of
suggestions for action and study called "What is the Fast that We Propose?"
are on the Shalom Center Website at
< www.shalomctr.org > along with a great deal of other information about
Iraq.

It is a mitzvah to call out to God any time danger looms.  In ancient times,
the rabbis would call for a fast to engage the whole community in changing
its behavior.  In so doing, the people hoped to re-establish right
relationship with the Divine and avert an impending calamity.  The liturgy
above is based on this traditional practice of calling for a fast in times 
of
calamity.

The call is timely this year.  In ancient times, if the rains did not come 
by
the first of the month of Kislev, the entire community would be called to
fast for three days from dawn to dusk.  This year, we need inward rains of
healing - our own tears of contrition and compassion  --  and so we
inaugurate a season of conscious fasting.

The first fast could be held on Yom Kippur Katan - the daylight just before
Rosh Chodesh begins, the new moon of Kislev.  This corresponds to November 
4.
  But, God forbid, that we still find ourselves with a threat of imminent 
war
in one month's time, we may need to fast again, from dawn to dusk, on the
next Yom Kippur Katan, just before the new moon of Tevet.

If we STILL are hearing words of war by the tenth of Tevet, December 15, it
would be appropriate for us to fast then, as well.  Some Jews do this every
year, to remember the beginnings of the siege on Jerusalem in Babylonian
times.

To understand the memorializing of this date is to realize how deep ran the
scars of disastrous war in Jewish consciousness - a war that some within the
People Israel actually welcomed because they were so sure that God would not
allow the Babylonians to triumph.

It was Jeremiah who warned that only internal transformation could save the
people, and he was ignored and ultimately imprisoned by the king.

So proclaiming a Fast for the daylight hours of  the 10th of Tevet, Sunday
December 15, may be especially appropriate this year.

On that day, Jews might gather, pray by using the service above, share with
each other the fears they hold, study together in a teach-in that draws on
Jewish wisdom about peace and war and on contemporary knowledge about Iraq,
oil, power, and the world community, undertake some action to advance the
possibility of peace, and after sundown break the fast together in communal
celebration.

Ta'anit Tzibbur is not intended for private, individual reflection.  It aims
at communal recognition of the impending calamity, and communal
transformation.  The root of the word "ta'anit" relates to the notion of
being pressed, afflicted, like the bread of affliction during Passover.  
It's
crucial that we come together in this time in groups of three or more to
acknowledge that we feel pressed by the threat of war.  And then, as a
community we can break the fast together, with hopes of a brighter immediate
future.

The Rambam (Hilkhot Ta'anit 1:1-2) highlights a fast day as one of teshuvah,
or turning/ returning.  Constraints on eating focus attention upon our
behavior and the resulting crisis.

Mincha-time, late afternoon, is a critical moment for teshuvah during a
ta'anit.  Ezra (9:5) writes, "During the Mincha time I arose from my 
ta'anit,
tore my clothing, fell upon my knees, and spread my hands upward to YHWH my
God."

This liturgy is perhaps best used, then, by a community of fasters who
assemble if possible during the day to study and reflect and act. Then in 
the
late afternoon or early evening, the might pray together for a shifting of
the winds away from destruction and possible further destruction, and 
finally
  in celebration of community together break their fast.

With blessings of shalom,
Lee  Moore  and Rabbi Arthur Waskow
The Shalom Center  < www.shalomctr.org >
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