Invocation for the Colorado House of Representatives
Rabbi Joseph R. Black
Temple Emanuel – Denver, CO
April 19, 2012
Our God and God of all humanity,
At this solemn occasion when we commemorate the victims of the Holocaust, we turn our thoughts and prayers to memory:
The memories of those who perished in the monstrous Nazi machinery of death.
The Memories of those righteous ones who stood up to evil – at their own peril
The memory of our ability to hate
The memory of our ability to heal
The memory of our ability to learn from the past
The memory of our inability to learn from the past and, in our hubris and passion repeat the mistakes of our mortality again and again.
On this morning we search for healing and renewal.
As we gather in this sacred chamber, let us acknowledge that our leaders have the power to enlighten our community. Let us also remember that, all too often, throughout history there have been those who chose to wield power to create darkness and chaos.
Guide these legislators, O God. On this day that we honor, sanctify and grieve at the loss those who died at the hands of murderers who failed to see the humanity of their victims, help these elected officials to look beyond the minutia of legislation and see the faces of those who will be impacted by the laws they pass.
Keep them humble, O God. Keep them focused on the good that they can and will do – in partnership and collaboration – regardless of race, creed, gender or political affiliation.
God, you give us memory - for even at times when You were silent, You remembered us
In times when we have seemed to forget You - we came back to you
In the shadow of our loss, let us find the ability to heal – to renew ourselves and our souls – to rededicate our lives to community building – with strength, with love, with hope.
We honor those who died for the sanctification of Your name.
May they be for an Eternal blessing.