Saturday, July 28, 2012
Benediction for the Human Trafficking School at St. Thomas U
The very first chapter of the Bible teaches about an intense week as well. God creates the entire world and everything in it. On the sixth day God fills the earth with animals, and finishes with human beings. Genesis 1:27 says: Vayiv’ra elohim et ha’adam b’tzal’mo, b’tzelem elohim bara oto. Zachar un’keivah bara otam. God created human in the Divine image. In the image of God humans were created. God created male and female. We learn from this that all human beings are created in the Divine Image and should be treated as godly. God’s week ended with a day of rest. Of course, God was not tired. God did not need to sit down for a day on the Lazy Boy in frnt of the TV. God wanted to create a day of rest for us. The Sabbath is a way for human beings to spend time in reflection of the holiness that we create over the course of a given week. My friends, you have created much holiness here this week, and there will not be much rest for you. There is much to be done with the tools you have acquired this week. You will be building upon the foundation of support and education that you have created. It is written in an ancient text, “Be among the disciples of Aaron—a lover of peace and a pursuer of peace.” The sages of antiquity knew very well how easy it is for people to pay lip service to justice, and to mouth platitudes of righteousness, virtue, and of loving kindness. They understood that to be an ahuv shalom, a lover of peace, was not really sufficient. One must also be a rodef shalom, a pursuer of peace. It is also written in that same text, “Students bring peace into the world.” May it be the will of the Divine that we will be the generation of students that puts our knowledge to its highest and most noble purposes. May we be the ones who become pursuers of peace, and to rid the world of violence, war, and atrocity. May we become disciples of Aaron—lovers of peace, and pursuers of peace, acknowledging the godliness that is implanted in every human being. Ribono shel olam, Master of the Universe, favor us with knowledge, understanding, and discernment. Give our hands the strength to fight evil, and the tenderness to care for its victims. Give our hearts compassion and fortitude, that we might take on our mission with steadfastness of purpose. Enable us to go from strength to strength on behalf of our people, our community, and our nation. Amen.