Rabbi… Is There A Prayer To Recite While Voting, or at least Waiting in This Long Line at the Poll?

As American citizens go to the polls across the United States and its territories and cast their votes, there have been reports of long waits, in some cases hours. So we ask, is there a prayer to recite for voting in a democracy or having the honor and right to register to and cast one’s vote?

The Rabbinical Assembly of the Conservative (Masorti) Jewish movement composed the following prayer (see here):

By Rabbi Julie Schonfeld, Executive Vice President of the Rabbinical Assembly

Atah Honayn hAdadm Da’at U’mlemed La’Enosh Benah

Adonai, You grant us knowledge, and teach us understanding

Help us to recognize the gift of our vibrant and open democracy and the responsibility to nurture it.

Strengthen us to take our duties as citizens seriously, to hold in our minds and our hearts all that is at stake in this election and to fulfill our obligations with integrity

May we discern Your Divine presence and amplify Your teachings through our actions and commitments.

Remind us of the goodness and diversity of the United States of America.
May we strive to care about those with whom we disagree as dearly as we care about our own ideals.

Guide our hands to reach out to one another, certain in the truth that what unites us is greater than anything that divides us.

Hanaynu MayAtaH Da’ah Ve’na V’Hashkal

May you grace us with knowledge, understanding and discernment

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Also a rabbinic group called T’Ruah, which fights for human rights, published this prayer. (click HERE)

A Meditation on Voting:

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

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.

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.

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

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)

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The Velveteen Rabbi posted a revision to the 2008 prayer by Reb David Seidenberg (neohasid.org):

Prayer for Voting

With my vote today I am prepared and intending to seek peace for this country, as it is written:

“Seek out the peace of the city where I cause you to roam and pray for her sake to Yah Adonai, for in her peace you all will have peace.” (Jeremiah 29:7)

May it be Your will that votes will be counted faithfully and may You account my vote as if I had fulfilled this verse with all my power.

May it be good in Your eyes to give a wise heart to whomever we elect today and may You raise for us a government whose rule is for good and blessing to bring justice and peace to all the inhabitants of the world and to Jerusalem, for rulership is Yours!

Just as I participated in elections today so may I merit to do good deeds and repair the world with all my actions, and with the act of…[fill in your pledge] which I pledge to do today on behalf of all living beings and 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 will to pursue righteousness and to seek peace as unified force in order to cause to flourish, throughout the world, good life and peace and may You fulfill for us the verse:

“May the pleasure of Yah Adonai our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands for us, may the work of our hands endure.” (Psalm 90:17)

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Rabbi Samuel Barth wrote:

“Ata … melamed le’enosh binah” “You … teach humanity to make distinctions”

Transcendent God, we turn to You as the source of wholeness and holiness, it is through the visions of Your Prophets and Sages that we are inspired to dream of the great unity that will one day embrace all Humanity and all Creation. But that day has not yet dawned, and we live as free people in a land of freedom, a land embracing great diversity in describing the way forward.

On this day we are called to discern and choose, to embrace a vision and cast our vote. Through this profound and critical act, an act of our freewill, we accept responsibility for deciding the pathway into the future forourcountry. Grant us Your gift of a pure heart and mind, that we may choose wisely, inspired by Your teachings and the wisdom of those whose lives have been touched by Your spirit. Let our vote be inspired by love and not by rancour, and when the choice is made let our loyalty be to all our fellow citizens, for our destinies are linked together.

“Vetaher libeinu le’ovd’kha be’emet” “Purify our hearts that we may serve You in truth.”?

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