Thursday, October 30, 2008

Guest post from the Velveteen Rabbi:

A Prayer for Voting - from R' David Seidenberg

Reb David Seidenberg has posted a revised 2008 version of his beautiful prayer for voting, in Hebrew and English. Here's the English version:

Prayer for Voting

With my vote today I am prepared and intending
to seek peace for this country, as it is written:

"Seek out the peace of the city where I cause you to roam
and pray for her sake to Yah Adonai, for in her peace you all will have peace."
(Jer. 29:7)

May it be Your will that votes will be counted faithfully
and may You account my vote as if I had fulfilled this verse with all my power.

May it be good in Your eyes to give a wise heart
to whomever we elect today
and may You raise for us a government whose rule is for good and blessing
to bring justice and peace to all the inhabitants of the world and to Jerusalem,
for rulership is Yours!

Just as I participated in elections today
so may I merit to do good deeds and repair the world with all my actions,
and with the act of...[fill in your pledge] which I pledge to do today
on behalf of all living beings and in remembrance of the covenant of Noah's waters
to protect and to not destroy the earth and her plenitude.

May You give to all the peoples of this country, the strength and will
to pursue righteousness and to seek peace as unified force
in order to cause to flourish, throughout the world, good life and peace
and may You fulfill for us the verse:

"May the pleasure of Yah Adonai our God be upon us,
and establish the work of our hands for us, may the work of our hands endure."
(Ps. 90:17)

You can find the prayer here; that page includes the English version alongside links to an interlinear Hebrew-and-English version in .doc and .pdf formats. I'm especially moved by the reference to Noah's waters -- as you know if you read this week's Torah poem (or if you keep up with the Jewish weekly lectionary), we're reading the story of Noah this week, which makes this feel all the more timely.

May we be blessed in in the process of democracy -- and in its outcome.


Allyson here. I don't always agree with the politics of others, but this prayer really struck a chord for me. It is civic-minded, a very Hellenic thing, imo. It is spiritual, but not overly religious (by which I mean that I did not feel that the prayer didn't apply to me because I am not Jewish; instead, I felt drawn in). And so I repeat this prayer, for all!

Blessings on this voting season. The choices are tough. Neither candidate is perfect. Some people favor one over the other, all for good reasons. Let us put away our emnity for one another, and embrace the fact that our country is built on change and diversity. No matter which candidate gets into office, he will attempt to do the best job he can - that is simply a part of the make-up of human beings. In order to reach the pinacle that these two men have, they must have basic decency, even if it's not always obvious during the campaign madness. No one who wants to do harm would have made it this far.

So let us pray that, whoever is in office, they work hard with their advisors and administrators, to straighten up the mess we're currently in. Let us pray that tolerance is the watchword of our new leader. Let us pray that personal beliefs held by our new leader remain just what they are - personal.


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