In the 1st paragraph  of Unetanneh Tokef it is stated

“”Let us now relate the power of this day’s holiness, for it is awesome and frightening. On it Your Kingship will be exalted; Your throne will be firmed with kindness and You will sit upon it in truth. It is true that You alone are the One Who judges, proves, knows, and bears witness; Who writes and seals, Who counts and Who calculates. You will remember all that was forgotten…

…And the great shofar will be sounded and a still, thin voice will be heard. Angels will be frenzied, a trembling and terror will seize them — and they will say, ‘Behold, it is the Day of Judgment, to muster the heavenly host for judgment!’ — for even they are not guiltless in Your eyes in judgment.”


In 2014 Rabbi Lord Sacks, former Chief Rabbi of the U.K. said about  “A great shofar sounds, and a still small voice is heard.’, here is God Himself, blowing the shofar. He doesn’t scream in your ears; it’s a still small voice. And then it says, ‘The angels tremble.’ That still small voice is what terrifies the angels. Not the big noise. But if God whispers in your ear and tells you you’re an angel, that’s terrifying. You think to yourself, ‘Wow, I could be that big and look how small I am.’” [23]


At the end of the 2nd paragraph we read that: But Repentance, Prayer, and Charity annul the severe Decree.”


Rosh Hashanah was the birthday of the world, the day that Adam was created.  We now are the stewards of this creation, of our fragile planet.  Sadly, the accelerated effect of various components, especially by our own species, has created unprecedented events.  We can easily see these in the brutal hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Jose and Maria during the hurricane season of 2017. Also during this summer, there was record breaking heat in western Europe and the northwest of America. The global experiences of fracking-induced earthquakes in the US midwest plus the melting of the ice sheet of Greenland as well as the tsunamis of southeast Asia all add up to the results that we are now living: radical shifts in nature.


In the NYTimes on September 12, 2017, David Brooks quoted Rabbi Lord Sacks who said that there is no Hebrew word for “obey”.  Instead the verb the Torah uses is shema/lishmoa, “to listen, hear, attend, understand, internalize, respond.”


Please allow me to share with you a prayer I recently composed that concerns this Divine physical creation, our world.  It is called “Embracing Earth”and is in memory of The Holocaust and my parents, Kate and Mathew Klein.  As many of you know, my father was a pioneering environmentalist here in NJ.  “Embracing Earth” is in the form of a meditation.  I do hope you will listen to and internalize it.  Below are a few quotes from it – and Anne Frank and Albert Einstein relating to nature.  Perhaps you shall even hear your own small voice while you are being still this Yom Kippur.  Then perhaps our repentance, prayer and charity – and good deeds of environmental sustainability – can annul the severe decree.


For it is written in Genesis ix:12, “I have set my rainbow in the cloud.  It shall be for a token of a covenant between Me and the earth.”

Anne Frank wrote: The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quiet, alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be. 

The very centre of each and every cell in your body vibrates with peace, love and health. You are peace.  Your cellular consciousness is releasedilluminating your soul, filling your whole being here and now.  It surrounds you in a glow of green light. You are in your circle of power: you emanate loving rejuvenation – for yourself and for the earth..

As your breath helps to relax your body, now it will help you to focus your mind.  Please see the planet earth in your mind’s eye.  Allow your mental distractions to easily float by as gentle clouds in the sky.  When you inhale, focus on the planet by coloring her with the healing green.  As you begin to encircle the globe with this light, may your meditation ascend in prayer empowered by your sincerity – straight from the heart!

Albert Einstein wrote:  Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.

Please see this powerful Light, Force and Consciousness flowing in a clockwise direction, encircling the globe: bathing all sentient beings, all of Nature.  Radiating out to all peoples, birds and the sky, horses running wild, the forests of old growth trees, dolphins swimming in big pods, large cats stalking the savannahs as herds of elephants roam.

Also include the creations of the ancients: the Great Wall of  the undulating dragon, the vortex of golden Jerusalem, Stonehenge, Machu Picchu climbing upward to the heavens.

As we embrace earth, both planetary and in each of our bodies –we pray for Peace and for the Divine compassion to stop the ecocide and revitalize the environment.  

Feel with total certitude and joy this happening now! It is the truth of the moment.

Pure water/clean air, blue sky/green grass, rich soil, vibrant health and strength saturating everyone, every species so precious to the ecological web. See this Golden Consciousness flowing around and through our fragile globe, Mother Earth, and your own being—as Matter and Spirit unite, evolving by the Supramental Light.  Embracing earth: be peaceAmen