An Unetaneh Tokef for Black Lives: By Rabbi Mike Rothbaum

In our hearts it is written, and on the streets it is sealed:
Who shall live, and who shall die
Who with hands up, who holding his ID;
Who while selling ciggies, who peddling CDs;
Who in cold blood, who by chokehold.

In the law books it is written, and in the courthouse it is sealed:
Who with a wallet, who with a BB gun;
Who in a project stairs, who in a police van;
Who in a parked car, who at the local bar;
Who with broken brake light, who on his wedding night.

Who while running away, who in an alleyway.

On the day of birth it is written, and on the day of death it is sealed:
Who a born suspect, who called derelict;
Who labeled predator, who forever debtor;
Who in a classroom of despair, who denied healthcare;
Who in cellblock clatter, whose black life still doesn’t matter.

In truth You are the Judge,
The Exhorter, the All knowing, the Witness,
Who Inscribes and Seals.

So why can’t tefilah and teshuvah and tzedakah
Make a damn difference