[pullquote align=right] Will we continue to stand idly by, watching the progressive destruction of life on Earth?
[/pullquote]Join us next week for Yom Kippur 5776 at the Lincoln Memorial. We are in a season of renewal, of seeking forgiveness, and of reconnecting with what is most important in our lives. This year, as we face global, human-generated environmental deterioration, we are called upon to quickly and drastically slow the burning of fossil fuels. We are at a critical choice point: will we wake up as humanity and work together for the common good, or will we continue to stand idly by, watching the progressive destruction of life on Earth?  In the coming year, who shall live and who shall die?  who by forest fire and who by flood?  who by drought and who by unclean water?  who by earthquake and who by plague? who shall be poor and who shall be rich? who shall be humbled and who shall be raised up?   

[pullquote align=left] Words from Pope Francis’ Encyclical will be interwoven throughout the service
[/pullquote]This past June, Pope Francis published an urgent Encyclical (letter): On Care for Our Common Home. addressed to all people across the globe, urging decisive action to preserve a livable climate and build a just economy. We are blessed that this beloved Pope will be visiting the United States next week, bringing his powerful message to a joint session of Congress the day after Yom Kippur. I am part of a team of mostly Philadelphia-based rabbis and activists, who are organizing Yom Kippur at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC, sponsored by the Shalom Center.   

Our Yom Kippur services will be based on the traditional Yom Kippur liturgy as well as contemplative practices, chant, and opportunities for reflection and sharing.  Words from Pope Francis’ Encyclical will be interwoven throughout the day, and faith leaders from other traditions will offer reflections.  [pullquote align=right] We will be atoning for our sins as a community and praying for our world leaders’ wisdom
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We will be atoning for our sins as a community and praying for our world leaders’ wisdom, courage and compassion. Kol Nidrei and the morning service will be by the reflecting pond at the Lincoln Memorial, and our afternoon service will move to John Marshall Park (4th and C St, NW).  Following Neilah, the end of Yom Kippur, on Wednesday night, we are invited to join an all-night interfaith vigil, followed by a rally on the National Mall on Thursday morning, with Jumbotrons displaying the Pope’s address to Congress. 

If you are not able to join us in person, we invite your prayers from your home congregation.  More details can be found on our website: yomkippuratlincolnmemorial2015.wordpress.com