The Baal Shem Tov, or Besht —  the founder of Chasidism — 
met the soul of the Messiah during an ascent to heaven. 
The Besht asked him, "When will the Master come?" 
The Messiah answered, "When your wellsprings break forth to the outside!" 
(from a letter written by the Besht to his brother-in-law about one of his soul ascents) 

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A Prayer For Voting

If you can't pray in a voting booth, where can you pray? And where would you need more to pray?
Here is the text of the prayer:

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)


The version I wrote for inauguration 2008:

May it be good in Your eyes to give a wise heart to this government
to bring justice and peace to all the inhabitants of the world and to Jerusalem,
as it is said, "The one who rules through justice upholds the land" (Prov. 29:4)
and may its rule be for good and blessing
for rulership is Yours!

As I stand in witness of this inauguration and in prayer,
I also pray that I may seek peace for this country,
and I pledge to..[fill in your pledge]...
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 it be Your will that I do good deeds and repair the world with all my actions. . .


Download a pdf with interlinear English and Hebrew (with vowels)

You can also download just the English, and both are available above in PDF and editable format. If you distribute a modified version, please keep the name and please keep it non-partisan.

* YHVH and Adonai are Hebrew names for God.
The first is usually translated as "The Lord" and is the source of the name "Jehovah", but it is actually derived from the verb "to be". It means something like "Source of Being". The second means "my Lord", and is the word we traditionally say when we read YHVH, which is considered too holy to pronounce. But Adonai is also a name of God in its own right.

Download the prayer with full Hebrew:
PDF    Davkawriter

Download the prayer with just English:


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This prayer is broadly speaking a prayer that we learn to work together to create a better future, and it incorporates a pledge to do one thing for healing the world, for tikkun olam, that will make this future a reality. It's not a prayer about winning or getting other people to see things our way, like some of the others I've seen.

The synchronicity in 2006 of the election with the end date of Noah's flood inspired me to focus the voting prayer on the covenant after the flood, which was a covenant with all creation. stoptheflood eco-Torah

Each person has their own way of expressing the essence of tikkun olam, so please change those lines according to your own vision of a perfected world. What is important is that we need both to vote and to take action to make our prayers a reality. What can you personally commit to doing? Pick something you can fulfill before the spring, and incorporate it into your prayer.



Posted by: Morton Gale at February 5, 2008 12:07 AM

Thank you for this beautiful prayer. I am going to share it with my congregation this Shabbat.
Shabbat Shalom! Francine

Posted by: Francine Roston at October 31, 2008 7:36 PM

Kol Ha'kavod!
We will share this with our community this Shabbat.

Posted by: Kay Magilavy at October 31, 2008 9:03 PM

What a beautiful and truthful prayer. I will share it with those I see before voting day.

Posted by: S Rutkowski at November 3, 2008 12:43 AM

Reading this beautiful prayer on my blackberry while waiting in line to vote with the hundreds of others from my neighborhood.

Posted by: ketzirah at November 4, 2008 12:34 PM

Kol HaKavod, David, both on the prayer itself, and the coverage it garned in the media. Even the JTA had a story. Wish I;d seen it before Election Day. Nothing like voting with kavanah.

Posted by: Migdalor Guy (aka Adrian Durlester) at November 6, 2008 3:37 AM


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