Dedication for First Cup of Wine

blurry image of a book with the words Dedication for First Cup of Wine

Avinu She-ba-shamayim, dear God in Heaven, as we watch on as a huge nation headed by a despot attempts to swallow up a neighboring state merely because it can, we are brought back to a different era not that long ago when a different nation headed by a different despot sought to swallow up neighboring nations large and small merely because it could. 

And that memory, for all it terrifies, also energizes. 

Ukraine has a long, complicated, and not at all happy, history with its Jewish citizens. We refuse to forget the past, as the Torah commands, and always to remember. But we also understand that the right to self-determination is the basic right of all peoples and that freedom cannot be a prize offered to some but not to all. 

Therefore, Ribono shel Olam, we pray that You hear the groaning of Ukraine as it endures ruthless and merciless attacks against its citizenry, just as You once heard the Israelites in Egypt when they cried out to You in their misery. And that You prompt the aggressor to open his heart to peace and to understand that, in geopolitics as in life itself, restraint is power and peace is the great end towards which humankind must strive if it is to endure.

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