Eternal God, our Creator and Liberator, today on Rosh Ha-Shanah, the birthday of the world, we pause to remember Your children across the world whose lives are blighted by the curses of poverty and persecution.

We think of the many millions in flight from tyranny, violence and destitution, risking their lives as they make their escape in the hope of finding refuge and security elsewhere.

In particular, our thoughts turn at this time to the Syrian people, bereaved and traumatized by seven years of devastating war and the hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar, living in refugee camps in Bangladesh, having been driven from their homes, their villages burnt to the ground as part of a deliberate policy of ethnic cleansing.

Let us pause to reflect.

Eternal Teacher of Your people Israel, as the children and grandchildren and descendants of refugees, aware of Your teachings of justice and our sacred obligations towards the stranger, we express our commitment before You now to open our hearts and our hands and our communities to welcome those in need of refuge, and to do what we can to contribute to the alleviation of their suffering. And let us say: Amen.

Rabbi Elli Tikvah Sarah

Brighton and Hove Progressive Synagogue