I Call You


You, My people, burnt in fire,

still staring blinded

by the flame and smoke

that rose from Auschwitz and from Hiroshima;

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.

Images above: From top (and on front-page mastheads) — “Bonfires” by *Chuck Hoffman and Peg Carlson-Hoffman; second from top — digital photography by *Kathy Bozzuti-Jones; third from top — “Breaking Down the Walls” by *Lucy Janjigian; bottom: photograph by **Diane Walker.

Words above: Excerpted from “New Haftarah for the Rainbow Covenant: An Outcry of Hope” by Rabbi Arthur Waskow, Director of The Shalom Center and author and editor of numerous books, including “Torah of the Earth: Exploring 4,000 Years of Ecology in Jewish Thought” (A. Waskow, ed.).

*These images are part of ECVA’s “Justice & Peace” exhibition.

** Curator for ECVA’s “Justice & Peace” exhibition.

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