תפילה בין השריפות | Abridged Prayer Between the Fires (between the 32nd and 42nd days of the Omer, neohasid.org)

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On this day, the day when (or: after) the Flood began,
this day when we prepare to kindle fires for Lag Ba’Omer,
we share a unique burden.

We are the first generation to understand
what the Floods could mean:
The Flood of Noaḥ, when the Water of Life undid Life,
and the Flood of Malachi, the Flood of Fire.

We are the generation standing
between the fires:

Behind us the flame and smoke
that rose from Auschwitz, from Hiroshima.
Before us the nightmare of a Flood of Fire and Water,
from the burning of the Amazon and the melting of the Antarctic,
“the day that comes burning like an oven,”[1]Malachi 4:1
a day when our flames could consume so much of the earth.

It is our task to make from fire not an all-consuming blaze
but a light in which we can see each other fully.
All of us different, All of us bearing
One Spark.

Let us light the fires of Lag Ba’Omer to see more clearly
that the earth and all who live as part of it
are not for burning.

Let us light our fires to see more clearly
the rainbow in the many-hued faces
Of all life.

Blessed is the One within the many.
Blessed are the many who embody the One.

“Here! I am sending you
Elijah the Prophet
Before the coming
of the great and terrible day
of YAH, the Breath of Life.
And he shall turn the heart
Of fathers for children
And the heart of children
for their fathers.
Lest I come and
strike the earth
utterly.”[2]Malachi 4:5-6

Here we stand
before the great and terrible day —

Let us turn the hearts
of parents to their children
and the hearts of children to their parents
so that this day of smiting
does not fall upon us or our children.
[3]Cf. Malachi 4:5-6

“And then the Sun of Righteousness will shine forth
and heal with her wings.”
[4]Malachi 4:2

Ken Y’hi Ratzon, So May It Be.

“Between the Fires” by Rabbi David Seidenberg, originally published at neohasid.org, is derived from the prayer of Rabbi Arthur Waskow (the Shalom Center), “Between the Fires: A Prayer for lighting Candles of Commitment” which draws on traditional midrash about the danger of a Flood of Fire, and the passage from Malachi. Another version of this prayer by Rabbi David Seidenberg, “A Prayer between the Fires (between the 32nd and 42nd days of the Omer)” is available, here. Text in green is added by Rabbi Seidenberg. Text in black by Rabbi Waskow.

Notes   [ + ]

1. Malachi 4:1
2. Malachi 4:5-6
3. Cf. Malachi 4:5-6
4. Malachi 4:2

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