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Benediction by Rabbi David Wolpe at the Democratic National Convention (2012)

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רִבּוֹנוֹ שֶׁל עוֹלָם
שִׁפְטוּ יָתוֹם רִיבוּ אַלְמָנָה
Ribono shel Olam, dear God,
we are grateful that our nation is founded
on the highest principles
of freedom
and resourcefulness
and creativity
and ever renewed strength.
And we understand that those worthy ideals
stand alongside the commitment
to compassion, to goodness —
[to] our sacred covenant to care
for those who are bereaved and bereft,
who are frightened,
who are hungry,
who are bewildered and lost,
who seek shelter from the cold.
As your prophet Isaiah taught us,
shiftu yatom rivu almanah
defend the orphan and fight on behalf of the widow.[1] Isaiah 1:17. 

We know that our lamp is lifted
not only to illuminate our way
but to serve as a beacon
to others that hear this land is a place
where the dreams of a weary world
flourish and endure.

Ours is a holy charge,
a single moment,
a touch,
a glance,
a word can change a life.
Our children look to us with aspirational eyes
with the hope that their world will be kinder,
smarter than the world we have known.
Each of these changes touches all of us,
for you have taught us
that we must count on one another,
that our country is strong through community
and that the children of Israel,
on the way to that sanctified and cherished land
and ultimately to that golden and capital city of Jerusalem,
that those children of Israel did not walk through the wilderness alone.

Raḥmanah, merciful god,
may we be guided by your wisdom
and so become more understanding
and tolerant of others.
May our souls be enlarged by empathy
and uplifted by leaders
and thinkers
and teachers
who believe in strength of soul
and wild, wonderful visions,
so [that] together
with Right and Left worshiping the same god,
our nation, this strong, blessed nation,
filled with spirit
and called to noble cause
will become more passionate,
more purposeful,
more burnished and bright
through the warmth of your embrace,
and the extraordinary power, dear God, of your love.

This is the full text of Rabbi David Wolpe’s benediction offered at the end of the second day of the Democratic National Convention, September 6th, 2012, corrected from the closed-captions feed offered by C-SPAN.





1 Isaiah 1:17.

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