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Benediction at the Democratic National Convention by Rabbi Julie Schonfeld (2016)

God of Goodness, you have given a beautiful earth to all humankind and a beautiful country to the American people. You have given us our minds to discern your truth and the means to preserve and protect your gifts.

God of Compassion, show us the way to improve the lives of our fellow Americans. Remind us that our greatest achievements begin by helping each of us to build a good life, to have the opportunity to work and to contribute, to care for ourselves and our families, to raise up our children with proper health care and a good education, and to age with wisdom and dignity.

God of Healing, comfort us in the comfort us in the difficult days that have marked this turbulent summer in our country and around the world. Guide our hands to reach out towards one another certain in the truth that what unites us is greater than anything that divides us. Let us keep the faith that the healing of our wounds will make us stronger than ever.

God of Strength, safeguard this great nation and our allies. Watch over the brave who protect us here and abroad. Guide our leaders in wisdom and experience to protect our nation and our values against those who would threaten us. Bring us closer together to understand our challenges and to overcome them.

God Who is Great, Mighty, and Awesome, in a season so filled with chatter of who is great and what is great and what shall be great, let us remember Scripture’s clear, simple explanation of greatness: God is the great, the mighty and the awesome for God defends the cause of the widow, and the orphan, and loves the stranger residing among you. This is God’s greatness and this is the greatness the American people must strive to imitate.

God of History, help us to understand that this is the most important election of our lives. Help us to recognize that the gift — the miracle of U.S. Democracy, our freedom, our community and everything we hold dear — rests in the hands of her people at this moment. We are a beautiful country of people as diverse as your creation. We are each unique, each a part of a group or groups we identify with proudly, and each a person of infinite value created in your divine image.

Help us to choose wisely, to walk in your ways which are paths of pleasantness and peace, and let us say Amen.


The full text of Rabbi Julie Schonfeld’s benediction offered at the end of the first day of the Democratic National Convention, July 25th, 2016. Transcribed by Aharon Varady.

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