I remember as a child feeling like I was a part of political events. I remember going to vote with my parents and being told that the world was changing for the better.
Now, as an adult, I will be praying on this election day. Praying that we can find a way to meet the needs of the people who live in this country. Praying that the future looks brighter for our children. Praying that we can come together to teach each other right from wrong.
I’m horrified at the state of our country’s current affairs. Horrified by the enormous amount of debt it takes to become an educated individual in this country. Horrified by the ways in which we are behind developed nations in family medical leave, public transportation, living wages, affordable housing, environmental justice, the way we treat immigrants and so much more.
I hope this election cycle has taught us a great deal about the work that still needs to be done in our country. The ways we must learn to respect one another and work towards positive change.
As we go to the polls this November 8th, let us remember that it is a shehecheyanu moment.
We have reached this day and this particular occasion and so we mark that with the blessing for reaching this moment in our lives:
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ אֱלֹהֵֽינוּ מֶֽלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, שֶהֶחֱיָנוּ וְקיְּמָנוּ וְהִגִיעָנוּ לַזְּמַן הַזֶּה.
Baruch Ata Adonai Elohaynu Melech ha’olam she-he-kheyanu v’ki-y’manu v’higi-anu laz’man hazeh. Amen
Blessed are you Yah who has kept us in life
who has sustained us and who has permitted us
to reach this precious moment
But then there is the Jewish notion as well that we need to be busy with the work of our communities:
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ אֱלֹהֵֽינוּ מֶֽלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, אֲשֶׁר קִדְשָֽׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו, וְצִוָּֽנוּ לַעֲסוֹק בְּצָרְכֵי צִבּוּר
Barukh atah adonai eloheinu melekh ha'olam asher kidshanu b’mitzvotav v’tzivanu la'asok betzorkhei tzibur.
How full of blessing you are, Eternal One, our God, majesty of the Universe, who has consecrated us with Your commands,and commanded us to occupy ourselves with the needs of the community.
A prayer for this election:
May we feel driven toward creating a world full of respect, kindness and love
Let us embody the vision we want to see realized
While we note there is still so much work to be done
It is incumbent upon us to recognize that we are not alone
But we work in community with our families, our neighborhoods, our cities, our towns, our state and our country.
We will not rest until our world looks better for the nation’s children
May we be able to make voting a ritual moment, and say a prayer as we vote.
This ritual originally appeared on ritualwell.