The invocation I delivered at the Washington State House of Representatives on March 6, 2018. You can watch the video clip here:
Last week Jews around the world celebrated Purim, a festival that commemorates the story told in the biblical book of Esther. In this story, Esther, a Jewish woman, becomes the Queen of Persia, and is forced to confront a difficult situation when the king’s counselor Haman initiates a plot to destroy the Jewish population.
Struggling with her desire to help her people and her fear of confronting the king, her cousin Mordecai encourages her saying, “who knows, perhaps you have attained your position for such a time as this.”
She then appeals to the king, exposes Haman, overturns the plot, and saves her people.
As we gather at a different time in a different place in a different seat of government, let this be our prayer:
You, the members of this body, duly chosen to be our representatives and lawmakers, have attained your position for such a time as this. May you respond to this call to meet the demands of the day.
To safeguard the residents of this state from violence, so that we all can be safe in our homes, on our streets, in our schools.
To look after the welfare of our bodies through access to health care, and the welfare of our minds through access to education and information.
To guarantee to those who struggle the basic human needs of shelter and food and clothing.
To ensure the integrity of our individual choices.
To welcome those who are new, or different, or from somewhere else.
To balance rights with responsibilities, liberties with obligations.
To protect our freedoms to, and our freedoms from.
And to create a state that is more just and more equitable, where we can live free from discrimination and hate, where all are honored and uplifted, celebrated and respected.
Ken yehi ratzon. May it be so.