Rabbi writes voting prayer
by: JTA - Last updated: 2008-11-03
A Massachusetts rabbi has written a prayer to say before voting. The prayer is nonpartisan, says Rabbi David Seidenberg, a Conservative and Renewal rabbi in Northhampton, and based in part on the custom of pledging tzedakah when called to the Torah.
The prayer also includes a promise to engage in "tikkun olam." "Just as I participated in elections today, so may I merit to do good deeds and repair the world with all my actions," reads the prayer, which then asks the reciter of the prayer to fill in a specific pledge to undertake "on behalf of all living creatures, and in remembrance of the covenant of Noah's waters to protect and to not destroy the earth and her plenitude."
"The voting booth felt like a sacred space to me," said Seidenberg, and thus he hopes the prayer will put those who recite it "in a different frame of mind" when voting. Seidenberg said he plans to say the prayer in the voting booth, but that others might want to say it while waiting in line to cast their ballot or when they wake up the morning of Election Day.