A Prayer for Election Day Eve: November 2, 2020

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Adon olam, sovereign of space and time, look with favor upon all who serve our country, along with all who pursue justice and peace in Your world.We go to the polls in a time of unprecedented upheaval, with a plague still upending our lives, a recession still ravaging our communities, and a contentious and consequential election season keeping us all on edge.

We pray that You help us hold fast to the rabbinic wisdom that justice, truth, and peace make up the very foundations upon which the world rests (Mishnah Avot 1:18). Fortify our resolve to secure, strengthen, and advance the ideals and institutions that are the glory of our Republic.

Source of light and life, tradition teaches that You created all humanity in Your image. Enable us to recognize the infinite dignity and equal value of every individual — regardless of the shade of our skin or the country of our origin, regardless of whether we were born in privilege or in poverty, regardless of the anatomy with which we were born or the language we speak, regardless of our gender identity or our sexual orientation. Embolden us to eradicate bigotry, to root out prejudice not only from our hearts but also from our laws, and usher in a new era of inclusion and equity.

And, just as You champion justice for the wronged, free the bound, lift up the downtrodden, protect the stranger, and encourage the orphan and the widow (Psalm 146), empower us to uphold the cause of the impoverished, the marginalized, the vulnerable, and the oppressed, ensuring equality and justice for all.

When ‎the cause of the just is too readily sold for silver, and the needs of the poor are betrayed to benefit the wealthy (Amos 2:6), when public policy is so often rooted in ignorance, shaped by cruelty, and sold through falsehood; and when the pursuit of power routinely triumphs over the demands of justice, encourage us to demand our leaders discharge the duties of their offices with honesty and integrity, compassion and decency. Give us the courage and resolve to remind our leaders who they serve, and before Whom they stand.

Ready us to remain mindful of our unique privileges and responsibilities as Americans. Work through us so that we never become complacent or stand idly by, so that we always support the meditations of our hearts with the words of our mouths, the deeds of our hands, the marching of our feet, and the casting of our ballots.

And even as we mobilize and organize, even as we wait in lines for hours to exercise our most basic democratic right of voting, help us remember that winning elections is not an end to itself; that such victories are vanity unless they become the means through which we make “justice well up like water, and righteousness like an unfailing stream” (Amos 5:24). Grant us the wisdom to recognize that waves, regardless of their color, are insignificant unless they wash away degradation and persecution, cruelty and tyranny, and unless they bring in the great tide of liberation and love.

May our voting inspire us to join together, bound by common cause and shared destiny, to speedily bring about the day when the shackles of evil are loosed, when the chains of bondage are broken, and when all who are oppressed are set free. On that day, our light will burst forth like the dawn, our healing will spring up, our redemption will advance, and our oneness in God and each other will prevail (cf. Isaiah 58).

May it happen speedily, and in our time. And let us say, “Amen.”

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