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.
Here’s the full prayer (with a link to printable Hebrew and English versions here:
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 God YHVH, for in her peace you all will
have peace." (Jer. 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 creatures
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 Adonai our God be upon us,
and establish the work of our hands for us,
may the work of our hands endure." (Ps. 90:17)