Tradition & Innovation

A Kaddish for 2020

dozens of lit memorial candles fill the image. The flames create an orange/yellow hue to an otherwise dark image.
We cannot count the losses of 2020. 
We lament the deaths of 2020. 1.8 million from the coronavirus. Deaths of healthcare workers, deaths of incarcerated people, deaths in refugee camps, deaths from homelessness during this pandemic. 
We lament the deaths from police violence. Deaths of Black and Brown people. Deaths of trans people, murdered for existing. 
We cannot count the losses of 2020. 
We mourn time lost from family and friends. Cancelled weddings, funerals in isolation. 
We mourn the loss of in-person education for our children and the socioeconomic barriers to education during a pandemic. 
We mourn jobs lost, increased hunger and poverty. Evictions and unpayable bills. 
We cannot count the losses of 2020. 
We cry and we cry out. 
We cry out against fascism. Against white supremacy. 
We cry out for stolen indigenous land. 
We cry out for those whose voices have been silenced.
We cry out for the injustice of our race, gender, socioeconomic class, and location determining how we experience this pandemic. 
We cannot count the losses of 2020.
We grieve. 
We grieve the damage humanity has inflicted on precious Earth. 
We grieve poisoned water, poisoned air, drought and erosion. Floods, hurricanes, wildfires. 
We cannot count the losses of 2020. 
We grapple with new phrases we’ve come to say daily: Unprecedented. New normal. Pivot. Unforeseen. Abundance of caution. Surreal. Isolation. Difficult. Mute & unmute. Technical difficulties. Silver lining.  Streaming. Quarantine & shelter in place & Lockdown. Masks. Misinformation. 
We cannot count the losses of 2020. 
May the One who makes peace in the heavens give us courage and resilience to make peace amongst our communities, our nations, and our world. 
May the anguished learnings of this year lead to building better access for people on the margins of community. 
May the memory of this year spark a revolution within us to build a stronger, more just and loving world. 
May we know the privilege we hold by being alive as we say, Amen. 

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