18 Rituals for Social Activism

This piece was originally published at Ritualwell.org.

In partnership with the podcast Hashivenu: Jewish teachings on resilience, created by Rabbi Deborah Waxman, we are highlighting rituals that have sustained the Jewish people throughout history. The fifth episode addresses social activism. Below are 18 rituals which address, inspire, and motivate social activism, as recommended by Ritualwell.

1. 8 Nights, 8 Actions

A Hanukkah dedicated to the spirit of resistance and the movement to end police violence more

2. A Blessing for Interfaith Encounter

A blessing for meeting across differences and the story behind its creation. more

3. Amidah for Peace, Justice, and Immigration

Amidah in honor of immigrants. more

4. #BlackLivesMatter Haggadah Supplement

A haggadah supplement focusing on the theme of #BlackLivesMatter and the experiences of Jews of color. more

5. Bringing Light to the Darkness

Additional Hanukkah blessings for each night to encourage us to transform the darkness of the year into light more

6. The Climate Ribbon: A DIY Kit for Faith Communities

The Climate Ribbon ritual creates a space to express our fears and hopes in response to the climate crisis more

7. El Maley Rakhamim for Victims of Gun Violence

Our neighborhood has lost dozens and dozens of community members and beloveds, to gun violence in just the last few years, and we are not alone more

8. El Maley Rakhamim for Victims of Racial Violence

The El Maley Rakhamim prayer reconstructed to honor the lives lost to racial violence more

9. Eco-Kashrut Prayer

A kavannah before eating to strive to make just choices more

10. Hashkiveinu for Standing Rock

A Hashkivenu prayer in solidarity with Native peoples defending Standing Rock more

11. Human Rights Shabbat: Campaign to End Mass Incarceration

But we must recall the innate human dignity of every person, every prisoner, and recognize their need for healing, too. T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights supports communities in marking…  more

12. If Not Now: A Prayer for Women

A poem on taking a stand, inspired by the model of Shifra and Puah. more

13. Kindling the Lights of Justice

Prayer for Hanukkah designed for immigration advocacy, but can be applied across the social justice world.more

14. Prayer for Inclusion of People with Disabilities

A prayer to be said by individuals working toward making Jewish communities more inclusive for people with disabilities. more

15. Prayer for our Nation

A prayer for the new U.S. president that asks for love and justice to trump hate. more

16. Prayer for Self-Care During the Struggle

“If my knees begin to buckle, may I take them out for a walk or dance.” more

17. A Pre-March Dip

A mikveh ritual to prepare oneself for a march for justice. more

18. Yizkor: Remembering Victims of Sexual Assault

Our most holy texts make it clear that we may not stand idly by while violence is perpetrated in our midst. Our most holy texts make it clear that we may not stand idly by while violence is… more

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