Ritualwell

Tradition & Innovation

Grand Aleinu for the Burning West

light-skinned man with brown hair kneeling in prayer with hands clasped in a forest
If we weep
if we sob, wail, keen
every one of us
tears coursing down 
millions of faces
                        can we put out the fires?
 
If we mourn together
rend our garments,
lament, howl,
grieve the loss of each
woodpecker, egret, Steller’s jay,
squirrel, bear, deer, chipmunk,
fox, raccoon, lizard, 
banana slug, beetle, 
every redwood
 
If anguish shakes us
so hard we can’t stand
and we drop to our knees
we fall to our bellies prostrate 
as in the Grand Aleinu
 
If, facedown on the seared earth,
we open our lips to declare
it’s up to us to mend the broken world
and our mouths fill with ash?
 
                        Would that be a new beginning, God?
 
Could we save the blazing forests
with the rain
of our repentance?

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