Tru'ah's Meditation on Voting - An Elections Prayer
Politics, Religion

An Elections Prayer for 2016

On Tuesday, we go to the polls in a momentous election that for many of us has generated a combination of anxiety, excitement, fear, and confusion. We at Tru’ah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights to offer you this elections prayer, which you can recite this Shabbat, before you vote, or while you are waiting for returns. The text of the prayer is below, and you can download a printable version here.

A Meditation on Voting

May it be Your will, at this season of our election, to guide us towards peace.

יְהִי רָצוֹן מִלְּפָנֶיךָ, בָּעֵת הַזֹּאת זְמַן בְּחִירוֹתֵינוּ, שֶׁתָּדְרִיכֵנוּ לְשָׁלוֹם.

By voting, we commit to being full members of society, to accepting our individual responsibility for the good of the whole. May we place over ourselves officials in all our gates…who will judge the people with righteousness (Deut 16:18), and may we all merit to be counted among those who work faithfully for the public good.

בְּהַצְבָּעָתֵנוּ, אָנוּ מִתְחַיְּבִים לֶהֱיוֹתֵנוּ בְּנֵי הָאֲגוּדָּה, לְקַבָּלַת עוֹל אַחֲרָיוּתֵנוּ לְטוֹבַת הַצִּיבּוּר. שׁוֹפְטִים וְשׁוֹטְרִים נִתֵן לָנוּ בְּכָל שְׁעָרֵינוּ… וְשָׁפְטוּ אֶת הָעָם מִשְׁפָּט צֵדֶק, וְנִזְכֶּה לְהִמָּנוֹת בְּתוֹךְ “כָּל מֵי שֶׁעוֹסְקִים בְּצָרְכֵי צִיבּוּר בֶּאֱמוּנָה.”

Open our eyes to see the image of God in all candidates and elected officials, and may they see the image of God in all citizens of the earth.

פְּקַח עֵינֵינוּ לִרְאוֹת כָּל מָעֳמָד וְמָעֳמָד וְכָל שַׂר וְיוֹעֶצֶת כִּי הֵם נִבְרְאוּ בְּצֶלֶם אֱלֹהִים, וּפְקַח עֵינֵיהֶם שֶׁיַּרְאוּ שֶׁכָּל יוֹשְׁבַי תֵּבֵל נִבְרְאוּ גַּם הֵם בַּצֶּלֶם.

Grant us the courage to fulfill the mitzvah of loving our neighbors as ourselves, and place in our hearts the wisdom to understand those who do not share our views.

אָמֵץ אֶת לְבָבֵינוּ לִשְׁמוֹר מִצְוַת “וְאָהַבְתָּ לְרֵעֲךָ כָּמוֹךָ”, וְתֵן בּלִבֵּינוּ לְהָבִין אֶת אֵלּוּ הַחוֹלְקִים עָלִינוּ.

As we pray on the High Holidays, “May we become a united society, fulfilling the divine purpose with a whole heart.”

כַּכָּתוּב בִּתְפִילַּת יוֹם הַזִּכָּרוֹן, “וְיַעֲשׂוּ כּוּלָּם אֲגוּדָּה אַחַת לַעֲשׂוֹת רְצוֹנְךָ בְּלֵבָב שָׁלֵם,”

And as the Psalmist sang, “May there be shalom within your walls, peace in your strongholds. For the sake of my brothers and sisters and friends, I will speak peace to you.” (Ps. 122:7-8)

וְכָּכָּתוב עַל יְדֵי דָּוִד עַבְדְּךָ, “יְהִי שָׁלוֹם בְּחֵילֵךְ, שַׁלְוָה בְּאַרְמְנוֹתָיִךְ. לְמַעַן אַחַי וְרֵעָי אֲדַבְּרָה נָּא שָׁלוֹם בָּךְ.”

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