[Eric Greene is a board member of the Jewish Multiracial Network. --  AW, edito

Shalom Friends,

This coming Shabbat coincides with Juneteenth, the commemoration of the official ending of mass enslavement of Black people in the United States.  Too often in American culture holidays are times to turn away from our obligations, but as Jews we know that holidays are precisely when we should turn towards our most cherished values and ask how we can best live up to them.  At a time of heightened reckoning with America's legacy--and ongoing reality--of racial inequality, Juneteenth is an opportnity for all of us to reflect on our commitment to racial justice and to creating a more perfect union free from bigotry and discrimination.  

In remembrance of the countless Black Americans we have lost to racist violence, we are again asking our friends and allies in the Jewish community—Jews of Color and White Jews, Sephardic and Mizrachi and Ashkenasi, religious and secular, at home, in shul or on Zoom—to recite a Kaddish for Black Lives during this Shabbat. 

The text of Jewish Multiracial Network’s “Kaddish for Black Lives" is below. We ask that you share our request and forward this email to your networks, friends and contacts throughout the Jewish Community so we may remember and honor those we have lost.  May their memories be a blessing.   ---  Eric Greene                 


Creator of life, source of compassion: Your breath remains the source of our spirit, even as too many of us cry out that we cannot breathe. Lovingly created in your image, the color of our bodies has imperiled our lives.

 Black lives are commodified yet devalued, imitated but feared, exhibited but not seen. 

Black lives have been pursued by hatred, abandoned by indifference and betrayed by complacency. 

Black lives have been lost to the violence of the vigilante, the cruelty of the marketplace and the silence of the comfortable.

We understand that Black lives are sacred, inherently valuable, and irreplaceable.

We know that to oppress the body of the human, is to break the heart of the divine.

We yearn for the day when the bent will stand straight.

We pray that the hearts of our country will soften to the pain endured for centuries.

We will do all we must to bind up the wounds, to heal the shattered hearts, to break the yoke of oppression.

As the beauty of the heavens is revealed to us each day, may each day reveal to us the beauty of our common humanity. 


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