I was thrilled to receive a call Monday morning inviting me to deliver an invocation alongside a Muslim Imam and Christian Pastor at Governor Whitmer’s election celebration Tuesday night. I immediately accepted! I have spoken from big stages before — and even a few invocations at the Michigan capital — but this was different. Imagine saying a prayer at a rock concert! Let’s just say, it was awesome!
In Jewish practice, there is a blessing that is recited when one has just come through a harrowing journey, and there is no doubt that that this election qualifies. It is a prayer of gratitude to God.
And so, for Governor Whitmer and for all of us we say:
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה אֲדֹנָי אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם
הַגּוֹמֵל לְחַיָּבִים טוֹבוֹת שֶׁגְּמָלַנִי כֹּל טוֹב
Baruch Atah Adonai Eloheinu melech ha’olam,
ha-gomel l’chayavim tovot she-g’ma-lani kol tov.
Blessed are you, O God, who showers us with goodness and who has bestowed every goodness upon us.
Tonight, we are grateful for the good. And there is so much good…
…For our community who has worked hard to reach this election day, canvasing, and calling and texting so that we could make it here.
…For the rights and privileges that we have simply because we still live in a democracy.
…For the opportunity to vote and raise our voices in order to uphold the values and the issues we hold dear.
…For those who serve our state at every level — and how exciting that here in Michigan we have strong women, brave women, tenacious women in leadership; principal among them, our own Governor Whitmer who leads with passion, with purpose and an unwavering commitment. Not to mention warmth, authenticity, and friendship. For you, Governor, we are grateful!
…And with Prop 3 on the ballot, how lucky we are to have allies who raise their voices and vote in support of women.
We have indeed been rewarded with goodness.
And now as the campaign ends and we turn to the next chapter of leadership, we pray that we will finally heal our differences and come together in unity, so as to create a common vision for Michigan — that together we can get the work done with kindness and respect across the aisle, and remind ourselves that we are meant to love our neighbors, and we are better when we do.
We have hard work ahead of us, but when we come together to celebrate the good, that’s when we can begin the real work of repairing our state, our country, and our world.
כן יהי רצון
Ken Yehi Ratzon,
May this be God’s will, as together we say, Amen.