We have knocked on thousands of doors, made oodles of phone calls, donated millions of dollars.
We have watched countless polls, shed worried tears, and dreamed the worst nightmares.
We have commiserated with like-minded friends and even with strangers, wondering about the madness that has come to haunt America.
We are being called to awaken to the fears of the other, fears we don’t understand, can’t fathom, fundamentally don’t share.
The old man in the senior housing block I visited today told me he lives by two principles: to make someone smile every day and to help someone every day. Sounds good to me. When I asked him if he was voting for Hillary, he asked me who she was running against. I thought he might have dementia, but he was just pulling my leg. “Who else would I be voting for?” he asked.
Indeed. Who else?
When I was in junior high and high school I had a blow-up pillow in my room that read “War is not healthy for children and other living things.”
Neither is Trump healthy for children and other living things. Even GOP strategist Ana Navarro can’t vote for him (see her scathing indictment of him here.)
Voting tomorrow will be a momentous act of affirmation and hope. I invite you to do it with real intention, real prayerfulness. This time around, it is not routine. It is a sacred act, a holy act, a hopeful act, even a defiant act.
Here is a prayer to read when you do so, by Rabbi David Seidenberg, with a couple of small emendations by me:
As I vote today, I am prepared and intending
to seek peace for this country, as it is written (Jeremiah 29:7):
“Seek the peace of the city where I cause you to roam
and pray for her sake to God,
for in her peace you all will have peace.”
May it be Your will that votes will be counted faithfully,
and may You count my vote as if I had fulfilled this verse
with all my power.
May You give a wise heart to whomever we elect today
and may it be good in Your eyes to raise for us a good government
to bring justice and peace
for all the inhabitants of this land and of all the world,
and to honor the image of God in all humanity
and in Creation, for rulership is Yours.
Just as I participated in elections today,
so may I merit to do good works and to repair the world with all my efforts,
and with the act of…[fill in your pledge]…which I pledge to do today
on behalf of all living creatures,
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 the will
to pursue righteousness and to seek peace as a unified force
in order to cause to flourish, throughout the world, good life and peace,
and may You fulfill for us the verse (Psalms 90:17):
“May the pleasure of the Eternal our God be upon us,
and establish the work of our hands for us;
make the work of our hands endure.”