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) 


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, updated for 2016 -- you can also use it on Election Day (saying "my prayer" instead of "my vote"), even if you've voted early.

Behold, I am intending through my vote | my prayer today
    to seek peace for this country,
    as it is written (Jer. 29:7):

"Seek the peace of the city
    where I cause you to roam
    and pray for her to YHVH (Adonai/God),
    for in her peace you all will have peace."

May it be Your will, YHVH, that votes
    be counted faithfully
    and may You count my vote
    as if I had fulfilled this verse
    with all my power.

May You give a listening heart
    to whomever we elect today
    and may it be good in Your eyes
    to raise for us a good government
    to bring justice and peace
    to all living in this land
    and all the world, and upon Jerusalem,
    and to honor the image of God
    in all humanity and in Creation,
    for rulership is Yours.

Just as I have participated in elections
    so may I merit to do good works
    and to repair the world through all my efforts,
    and through the act of. . .[fill in your pledge]
    which I pledge to do today
    on behalf of all living creatures,
    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 fulfill for us the verse:

"May the pleasure of Adonai our God
    be upon us, and establish
    the work of our hands for us,
    and make the work of our hands endure." (Ps. 90:17)


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 living creatures. 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.


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.

"A listening heart" or lev shomei'a is what Solomon asks God for when he becomes king of Israel.

Download the prayer with full Hebrew:
PDF    Davkawriter

Download the prayer with just English:

You can copy the Hebrew at the bottom right for editing. Please modify, rewrite and reprint in any way you need to fit your own hopes and prayers. If you rewrite it to share with others, please keep it non-partisan.

Please support this site by staying in touch

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.

הַרֵינִי מְכָוֵון בְּהַצְבָּעָתִי ׀ בּתְּפִילָתִי הַיוֹם
לִדְרֹש שָׁלוֹם בְּעַד הַמְדִינָה הַזֹאת כְּמוֹ שֶׁכָּתוּב
וְדִרְשׁוּ אֶת שְׁלוֹם הָעִיר אֲשֶׁר הִגְלֵיתִי אֶתְכֶם שָׁמָּה
וְהִתְפַּלְלוּ בַעֲדָהּ אֶל ה' כִּי בִשְׁלוֹמָהּ יִהְיֶה לָכֶם שָׁלוֹם
יְהִי רָצוֹן מִלְפָנֶיךָ ה' שֶׁהָהַצְבָּעוֹת נִמְנוּ נֶאֱמָנוֹת
וְתִמְנֶה הַצְבָּעָתִי כְּאִלוּ קִיָּמְתִי הַכָּתוּב הַזֶה בְּכָל עָצְמָתִי
תִּתֵן לֵב שׁוֹמֵעַ לְמִי שֶׁאָנוּ בּוֹחֲרִים הַיוֹם
וְטוֹב יְהְיֶה בְּעֵינֶיךָ שֶׁתִּשָׂא עַלֵינוּ מֶמְשָלָה טוֹבה
לְמַעַן הֵבִיא מִשפָּט וְשָׁלוֹם לְכָל יוֹשְבֵי הָאָרֶץ הַזֹאת
וְכָל יוֹשְבֵי תֵבֵל וְעַל יִרוּשַׁלָיִם
וּלְכַבֵּד הַצֶלֶם בּכַל אָדָם וּבַבְּרִיאָה
כִּי הַמַּלְכוּת שֶׁלְּךָ הִיא
כְּשֵׁם שֶׁהִשְׁתַּתָפְתִי בִּבְחִירוּת הַיוֹם
כֵּן זַכֵּנִי לַעֲשׂוֹת מַעֲשִׂים טוֹבִים וּלְתַקֵּן עוֹלָם בְּכָל פֹּעַלִי
וּבִּפְעוּלָת ... שֶׁאֲנִי מִתְנדֵּב ׀ מִתְנדֶּבֶת לְקַיֵם הַיוֹם
בּעַד כָּל הַבְּרִיאוֹת, בְּזִכְרוֹן בְּרִית מֵי נֹחַ
לְהַגֵּן וּלְבָל תַשְׁחִית אָרֶץ וּמְלוֹאָהּ
תֵּן לְכָל אֻמּוֹת הָאָרֶץ הַזֹאת הָכֹּחַ וְהַרָצוֹן
לִרְדֹף צֶדֶק וּלְבַקֵּשׁ שָׁלוֹם כְּאַגֻדָה אַחַת
לְהַצְמִיחַ בְּכָל הָעוֹלָם חַיִים טוֹבִים וְשָׁלוֹם
וְקַיֵּם לָנוּ הַכָּתוּב: וִיהִי נ֤עַם אֲדֹנָי אֱלֹהֵינוּ עָלֵינוּ
וּמַעֲשֵׂה יָדֵינוּ כּוֹנְנָה עָלֵינוּ וּמַעֲשֵׂה יָדֵינוּ כּוֹנְנֵהוּ



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

Design in progress © Rabbi David Mevorach Seidenberg 2006