Text of the Invocation (pdf)
Surrounded by many top level state government officials together with the legislators from the House and Senate, Rabbi Pesner spoke truth to power with this invocation. Reminding those gathered that although we are made up of different people, we are one commonwealth.
Each one unique
Reflecting the very image
Of the divine
Each one from a common source
A single, sacred family.
During the campaign, when Kerry Healey was asked to name one positive thing about Deval Patrick she said that he could give a good speech, but that it was only words. Deval reminded us of the words of FDR, MLK and the Kennedys and how those words, spoken with conviction could be a call to action. You can’t help but be inspired as you read the words of Rabbi Pesner.
Hide so many secrets.
Private, painful secrets of suffering.
If only we would find your Wisdom O God
Revealing all the secrets,
The pained suffering
Of parents who watch helpless
As their children are plagued
By guns, drugs and gangs
The private pain
Of children struggling to care for their parents
As they age and grow frail,
The secret suffering of immigrants
Who like us came to this place
To seek a better life
And labor hidden and underpaid in jobs
Upon which the rest of us depend,
But wont do ourselves
Of our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters
Who daily confront blatant discrimination,
Inequality and humiliation
Of those who sleep in the streets,
Those who are overworked and underpaid
Those who are abused in their own homes
Those who are left behind
By their disabilities
So many secrets,
We have so many challenges ahead of us. We are all passionate about our causes and sometimes that passion spills over. Please do not let that passion separate us. We have so much work to do. We will accomplish so much more if we work together.
And the stories
God grant us your wisdom
That we may never forget that
Democracy happens out here-
Face to face-
Among the people
As we join together
In one spirit
And write one shared story:
The story of a commonwealth
That acts like a commonweath
Where secrets of private suffering
Where tales of lonely languish
Through the power of the people
Encountering one another
Face to face
And writing a new story
I stood with my son in the crowd listening to Rabbi Pesner. Some people nodded their heads. Some had tears in their eyes (I know I did). Some said, “uh, huh” or “that’s right” along with the invocation. It was a very powerful moment and I was so grateful to have been there.
You can see the video at alexwill’s user post It’s video #4
Were you at the swearing in? What was your favorite moment?
I’d like to send a big THANK YOU to Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner for providing the text of the invocation and permission to quote it here.