Rabbi Alana Speaks at World Water Day

On March 22nd, Rabbi Alana spoke at World Water Day alongside other great water justice leaders to speak out against water shutoffs and demand clean, affordable water for all. 

You can watch her powerful remarks by clicking the photo below. Rabbi Alana speaks from 30:05 until the end of the video, with a DJJ shoutout from Congressman Andy Levin at 27:30.

Scroll down to read the transcript. 


Thank you, everyone. Happy World Water Day!

In an hour, I'm gonna sit around the Shabbat table, the sabbath table, with my family. And first we're gonna bless the wine, and then we're gonna wash our hands, and then we're gonna bless the bread. So, Jews are commanded to wash our hands before we have any meal. And I was thinking about the blessing. The Hebrew is not that we bless the washing. Actually, the words are netilat yadayim, the taking. It's actually the action of taking, of the accessing of the water, it's the taking of the water, it's the pouring of the water into the bowl, it's that first act that is actually being blessed, not the washing that comes after. 

And that made me think to myself, what if we made a blessing every time we took water? What would happen, what would happen if every time we opened the tap...what would happen if every second that Nestle pumped water out of our great lakes, that they had the consciousness that this was a resource that bridges us to the divine? That every time they take water, they had to ask for it, to thank for it. What would happen? What would happen if the Homrich trucks thought to themselves every time, the folks turning off the water tap, every time they turned off that tap, they thought about that they were cutting off a family from the bridge to the sacred? 

And so, I want to close this press conference by blessing all of our hands with water. As I've learned from my tradition, I want to share that blessing because it's our hands, all together, that are gonna win water affordability, clean water, for this city, for this state, for this country, and for this world. So I'll close with a blessing. 

The word netilat in netilat yadaiym, the taking of the water for the washing of our hands, it also means the lifting of the hands. So I'll invite you all to lift your hands for our closing blessing. 

 בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה הָ׳אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו וְצִוָּנוּ עַל נְטִילַת יָדַיִם

Baruch ata Adonai, Eloheinu Melech ha-olam, asher kidshanu b’mitzvotav vitzivanu al n’tilat yadayim.

May all of our hands be blessed as we join them together in the sacred struggle for the sanctity of water. Amen!

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