I was honored today to bestow blessing upon the Maine State Senate. I also was honored by the State Senate for my recognition in the Jewish Daily Forward. Thank you Senator Lachowicz for the official sentiment.
Here was the text of my invocation:
Thank you for the great honor of bestowing blessing upon you today. May the wisdom of our past and the noble aspirations for our future guide your actions today. May the great responsibility that you all share guide you in making decisions that strengthen the weak, satiate the needy, educate those thirsting for knowledge, and heal all those who are ill. May you use the power with which you have been entrusted to create a society that not only fulfills its basic obligations, but also inspires us to be deeply proud and thankful of the space we share -- a space that makes manifest our most cherished values: equality, justice, and compassion.
May we all heed the warning of Prophet Isaiah:
"Woe to those who decree iniquitous decrees, and the writers who keep writing oppression, to turn aside the needy from justice, and to rob the poor of my people of their right." (Is. 10:1-3)
And instead fulfill the words laid out in the Book of Amos,
“Seek good, and not evil,
that you may live;
and so the Lord, the God of hosts, will be with you,
as you have said.
Hate evil, and love good,
and establish justice in the gate (Amos 5:14-15)
As we approach the festivals of Passover and Easter, let us remember that justice and redemption can be achieved, and that we must be partners in freeing those bound by hunger, illness, and desperation.
May God bless you and keep you, May God shine the Divine Countenance Upon you, and may you be blessed with peace. May this day, a day created for our sake, be worthy of celebration. And let us say, “Amen.”