Ribon Ha-Olam, Sovereign of the Universe and Master of all creation, as we prepare to inaugurate a new president to lead this great country, we ask for Your blessing. But what should that blessing be?
We need not ask You for freedom, for we are already blessed to live in a country that endows all who live here with the unalienable right to choose our leaders, to speak our mind openly and without fear of recrimination, to pursue our dreams and to fulfill our potential, to be who we are and wish to be, and to believe what we wish to believe.
We need not ask You for material sustenance, for You have already blessed us with more than we could possibly need or use. There is ample food and shelter for every person who lives in this great land so that no human being needs to be hungry or homeless. We need only learn how to share what we have with those in need.
We need not ask You to make our communities safe from gratuitous violence and crime, for You have already shown us the supreme importance of treating every human being as sacred and made in Your image.
We need not ask You to protect this marvelous and beautiful Earth You have bequeathed to us, for You have already given us the skill and wisdom to correct the harm that has been done to our planet and to chart a course that will prevent us from permanently damaging the world we live in and endangering the life it sustains.
We have already received a great many blessings from You. So, as we welcome a new president and begin a new chapter in our nation’s life, let us ask for this simple blessing: open our eyes that we may see one another with honesty and truth. As we see one another for who we are, remind us not to judge one another harshly and to try to see the best in one another. Bless us with the capacity to trust one another. Reinforce in each of us the message of your prophet Malachi, who said: ”Have we not all one Creator? Has not one God fashioned us? Why do we deal treacherously every person against his brother and sister, profaning the covenant of our ancestors?” Bless us by reaffirming Your holy truth that whatever our skin color may be, whatever our nationality or ethnicity may be, whatever religion we may choose to practice, whatever our sexual orientation or gender identity may be, we are all Your children and all deserving of respect and love.
Bless us by calming the fears of those who are afraid that our newly elected leaders may not uphold this truth and may seek to place divisions between the people of our nation and our world. Inspire them to see the best in all humankind and to work honestly and uprightly for the good of all.
Open our eyes, Lord, and give us the courage and desire to see one another, to accept one another, and to love one another.