In the cracked and barren wastes
that always must be passed through
to reach the Promised Land,
we invoke you, we call to you:
Light of Darkness, Solace of Light,
Moon which guides us, Sun which blesses us,
Giver of Life, we beseech you.
In this land dry without relief
we give thanks to you
for the waters beneath these sands.
We give thanks that you are those waters.
in this land without trees
we give thanks in gratitude
for the unexpected fruit plucked from nothing.
In this land without sustenance
We give thanks that you are the fruit
which nourishes and sustains us.
In this land without shade
we give thanks that you are the shade
which shelters and cools us.
Through your grace we discover
that this waste land bears its own seeds of liberation
before even the Promised Land is reached;
before even the taste of the old land left far behind
with its towers and temples, its fields and vineyards,
its giving wells of water, has faded from our memory.
We invoke you, Blessed One of the water-jar,
of the amphora, of the wine-press,
of the wheat, of the grain,
of the songs and laughter of our children’s games
as they played in the fields,
of the smiles of our elders
who once watched them playing
and whose smiles remain in our hearts
even though they themselves are faded into air.
In the desert of emancipation we call on you, Blessed Shekinah.
Give your breath to the breathless ones
who feel that they cannot journey farther.
Grant your sanctuary to those women
who are forced to leave their homes,
who are fleeing with their children
to seek refuge in tents and shelters.
Give your blessings to those women
who bury their own talents away for the sake of others.
Light the way for those women who search for themselves,
and imagine that they search in vain.
Enfold these women in your compassionate light,
give them their own voice once more
give them the power to sing
give them the power to believe that they can do so.
It is to Your spirit that we pray, Blessed Shekinah.
We pray for all women who are captive and long for release,
we pray for all women who are suffering through their race,
or through abuse, or through violation,
or through social or religious customs
which deny them their voice, and even their very femininity.
We pray for all women who are suffering for their beliefs,
or because of the beliefs of others.
We pray for all women who are suffering for their ideals,
or for their dreams unable to be realised,
or for no other reason than that they are female.
We commend all these women to your grace, Blessed Shekinah,
May they find solace in the shadow of your shining wings.
invocation - emma bergen