Invocation for Texas Democratic State Convention

The dimming of America’s liberty, justice and mitzvah-centered, rather-than self-centered approach to existence is sad and frightening. Here are words of inspiration given by my colleague,
Rabbi Dan Gordon, June 9, 2012 at the Texas Democratic State Convention. As the daughter of a veteran, of blessed memory, I appreciate his words all the more.

Invocation follows the jump.
Dear Heavenly Parent,

Source of all Life and all Being. Our G-d of all of our ancestors, we, Your children, worship and revere You in many languages, from many churches, synagogues, mosques, temples, households, meeting houses and fellowships.

We come to You today as a united country and peoplehood, praying for the guidance to make wise decisions and to empower a leadership in their wisdom.

By beginning this day with prayer, I invite each person here, every Catholic, Protestant, Jew, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, Quaker, Baha’i, Jane, Sikh, Unitarian, Deist, Atheist and others, to connect with your own spirit of unity for humanity.  

Today, we are Americans. Today we are Texans.  Praying that choices we make today will better the lives of all Texans, all Americans and all humankind.

For our prayer to be valid and heartfelt, we must put aside selfish concerns and be aware the needs of all.  We must share the goal of improving the lives of others. We must show appreciation for the courageous men and women, past and present, who have bravely defended our freedom; and we must work every day toward the goal of re-creating a country and world that honors that spirited military service.  

In the Bible’s description of the beginning of the world, we are taught that every day, at the end of the day, G-d gave His sacred work a grade:  He called it “good.”  At the end of six days, He called it “very good.”  But the seventh day, was blessed — not called “good” or “very good,” but “holy.”  

Today, my friends, is the Jewish Sabbath, the seventh day that tradition teaches, “G-d blessed the seventh day and made it holy.”  We pray, dear G-d, that today, the seventh day of the week, the work we do will be better than good, better than very good, as we strive to reach the level of holiness.  

For what could be more holy, than working toward the goal that our Founding Fathers established on July 4, 1776 – allowing for all people the rights of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”  Within those unalienable rights, I pray our Founding Fathers and our present day leaders always include the rights to pursue, health, education and employment.  

Our work today is holy — because as we know, what happens in Texas does not stay in Texas!  

As we look for guidance from Scripture, we recall one of Your most sacred teachings from Deuteronomy, Chapter 6 that states “Hear O Israel, the Lord is our G-d, the Lord is One.”  This teaching begins with the word “Hear” and ends with the word “One.”  We need to hear each other to become one Nation under G-d.  

My prayer is not about defeating an opponent or denigrating someone’s character.  My prayer is for those who have chosen public service to truly serve the public.  My prayer is for our leaders, delegates and citizens to listen to each other, to hear the needs of our people, and to unite into one unified, spirited and holy nation.
As we embark on this sacred journey, our task is to make certain that the United States of America will always be a light unto the nations, the unquestioned example of goodness, righteousness, fairness and justice.  

I am honored and humbled to be the messenger to bless this delegation.  I can think of no better blessing than the one found in Numbers, Chapter 6, when the leadership of the time, Moses and Aaron, bless those who journey toward a Promised Land.  I offer the same blessing to you on your journey, to do the sacred work of leading us.

May GD bless you and watch over you.
May G-d’s face shine upon you and be gracious to you.
May G-d’s presence shine upon you and grant you peace.

And we all say, Amen.

G-d Bless you and G-d bless America.

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