The Rainbow Covenant in Our Generation

The Rainbow Covenant in Our Generation

by Rabbi Arthur Waskow


You, My people, burnt in fire,
still staring blinded
by the flame and smoke
from Auschwitz and from Hiroshima
and from the burning forest of the Amazon;

You, My people,
Battered by the earthquakes
of a planet in convulsion;

You, My people,
Drowning in the flood of words and images
That beckon you to eat and eat,
to drink and drink,
to fill and overfill
your bellies
at the tables of
the gods of wealth and power;

You, My people,
Drowning in the flood of words and images
That—poured unceasing on your eyes and ears—
    drown out My words of Torah,
    My visions of the earth made whole;

Be comforted:

I have for you a mission full of joy.
I call you to a task of celebration.

I call you to make from fire not an all-consuming blaze
But the light in which all beings see each other fully.
All different,
All bearing One Spark.
I call you to light a flame to see more clearly
That the earth and all who live as part of it
Are not for burning:
A flame to see
The rainbow
in the many-colored faces
of all life.

I call you:
I, the Breath of Life,
Within you and beyond,
Among you and beyond,
That One Who breathes from redwood into grizzly,
That One Who breathes from human into swampgrass,
That One Who breathes the great pulsations of the galaxies.
In every breath you breathe Me,
In every breath I breathe you.


I call you—
In every croak of every frog I call you,
In every rustle of each leaf,
    each life,
I call you,
In the wailings of the wounded earth
I call you.

I call you to a peoplehood renewed:
I call you to reweave the fabric of your folk
and so to join in healing
the weave of life upon your planet.
I call you to a journey of seven generations.

For seven generations past,
the earth has not been able to make Shabbos.
    And so in your own generation
    You tremble on the verge of Flood.
    Your air is filled with poison.
    The rain, the seas, with poison.
    The earth hides arsenals of poisonous fire,
    Seeds of light surcharged with fatal darkness.
    The ice is melting,
    The seas are rising,
    The air is dark with smoke and rising heat.

And so—I call you to carry to all peoples
the teaching that for seven generations
the earth and all her earthlings learn to rest.
   
I call you once again
To speak for Me,
To speak for Me because I have no voice,
To speak the Name of the One who has no Name,
To speak for all the Voiceless of the planet.

Who speaks for the redwood and the rock,
the lion and the beetle?

My Breath I blow through you into a voicing:
Speak for the redwood and the rock,
the lion and the beetle.

I call you to a task of joy:
For seven generations,
this is what I call for you to do:

To make once more the seasons of your joy
into celebrations of the seasons of the earth;
To welcome with your candles the dark of moon and sun,
To bless with careful chewing
    the fruits of every tree
For when you meet to bless
    the rising juice of life
    in every tree trunk—
I am the Tree of Life.

To live seven days in the open, windy huts,
And call out truth to all who live beside you—
You are part of the weave and breath of life,
You cannot make walls to wall it out.

I call you to a covenant between the generations:
That when you gather for a blessing of your children
as they take on the tasks of new tomorrows,
You say to them, they say to you,
That you are all My prophet
Come to turn the hearts of parents
and of children toward each other,
Lest my earth be smashed in utter desolation.

I call you
To eat what
I
call
kosher:
Food that springs from an earth you do not poison,
Oil that flows from an earth you do not drain,
Paper that comes from an earth you do not slash,
Air that comes from an earth you do not choke.

I call you to speak
to all the peoples,
all the rulers.

I call you to walk forth before all nations,
    to pour out water that is free of poison
    and call them all to clean and clarify the rains of winter.

I call you to beat your willows on the earth
    and shout its healing to all peoples.


I call on you to call on all the peoples
to cleanse My Breath, My air,
from all the gases
that turn My earth into a furnace.

I call you to light the colors of the Rainbow,
To raise once more before all eyes
That banner of the covenant between Me,
and all the children of Noah and Naamah,
and all that lives and breathes upon the Earth—
So that
never again,
all the days of the earth, shall
    sowing and harvest,
    cold and heat,
    summer and winter,
    day and night
    ever cease!

I call you to love the Breath of Life—
    For love is the fire
    That blazes in the Rainbow.

I call you so to live for seven generations
As in the days when you went forth from slavery;
So in these seven generations
The earth will bring forth manna,
The bread of joy and freedom—
and all earth can sing together
Songs of Sabbath.


(Transmitted through Rabbi Arthur Waskow.  )




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