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God, Help Us Build Our World from Love

God, Help Us Build Our World from Love

Woman crouching on a tile floor as she plays with detained children

This Shabbat, as we prepare to march to demand justice for the immigrant families separated at our border, consider incorporating a reading of this prayer into your congregation's or community's observance.


As Jews, we know what it is like to feel unsafe in your land of birth. We know what it is like to be oppressed, to be unwanted. We have vowed “never again” and so as Hillel would say – “If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am only for myself, Who am I? And if not now, when?”

To those who would use religion to justify their bigotry we remind them of the Talmud’s teaching which  has parallels in many faiths “That which is hateful unto you do not do to your neighbor. This is the whole of the Torah, The rest is commentary. Go forth and learn it.” And we say, this, this is hateful and I will have no part in it.

“Love your neighbor as yourself - Rabbi Akiva said: this is the most important principle in the Torah” and therefore we are here today to say that we love all our neighbors.

We are commanded to “not stand idly by while our neighbor is suffering.”  And so we are here today to say, we see you and we care.

We are called upon to be a “light unto the nations” and so all of us here today are acting together to shine a light upon our nations broken immigration policies and bringing light to those who are in darkness.

“If a stranger lives with you in your land, do not wrong him. You must count him as one of your own countrymen and love him as yourself” So we are here to say, you count and we love you.

Dear God – help us today to help Your children, help us today to set aside our differences in opinion or thought, help us today to learn, really learn from our history, help us to turn our rage into hope; no, turn our rage into direct action. And God, help us to build our world from love instead of hate.

Sing Olam Hesed:

I will build this world from love
And you must build this world from love
And if we build this world from love
Then God will build this world from love

To learn what you can do, check out this post on 8 ways to take Jewish action around family separation. Follow the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism on Facebook and Twitter for continued updates on this issue and information about our Reform Jewish community’s involvement. 

In response to our current immigration crisis, this post was written by clergy from Temple Beth El of Boca Raton, Congregation of Reform Judaism (Orlando), Temple Beth Am (Miami), Temple Israel of West Palm Beach, Kol Ami-Emanuel (Plantation), Temple Israel of Greater Miami, Temple Beth Sholom of Miami Beach, Temple Beth Or (Miami), and Temple Beth Torah (Wellington).

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