An Invocation for Justice, Mercy, and Responsibility

June 6th, 2024

Ribbono Shel Olam, Master of the Universe, we thank you for the opportunity to bring Justice into the world. Your Torah teaches us to establish courts and officers, create honest weights for our wares, to jump to pursue justice.

The Prophet Isaiah cries to us to walk righteously, speak clearly, and turn ourselves from evil. (Isaiah 33:15) With your guidance, we take no bribes, we ground ourselves in good, and seek to hold each and every life we encounter as sacred, holy, and worthy. That we remember that Truth, Justice, and Peace are forever intertwined.

Nishmat Kol Chai, Breath of All Life, balanced with your love of Justice, Divine One, we remember that you created the world with your mercy and kindness. The Prophet Micah says of our obligations: ”to do justly and to love mercy.” (Micah 6:8) We thank you for the gift of empathy, to hold our hearts open and not hardened, to see the suffering of others as our own, to see strangers as neighbors, to know the unfamiliar as family.

El Emunah, Faithful One, the Holy One who believes in us, we stand here in gratitude. We are gifted with the desire to take our responsibilities seriously as we seek to repair this broken world. We are here together, reflective of our task, to see a future not of hate but of wholeness, not of hurt but of healing, not of heartbreak but of hope.

We are bound together in this work, each and every day. In our morning prayers, we recite the words of the Prophet Hoshea:

וְאֵרַשְׂתִּ֥יךְ לִ֖י לְעוֹלָ֑ם
וְאֵרַשְׂתִּ֥יךְ לִי֙ בְּצֶ֣דֶק וּבְמִשְׁפָּ֔ט וּבְחֶ֖סֶד וּֽבְרַחֲמִֽים
וְאֵרַשְׂתִּ֥יךְ לִ֖י בֶּאֱמוּנָ֑ה וְיָדַ֖עַתְּ אֶת־ה׳

And I will be bound with you forever:
I will be bound with you with righteousness and justice,
And with goodness and mercy, 
And I will be bound with you with faithfulness; 
And you shall know the Lord. (Hosea 2:21-22)

And let us say, Amen.

*Originally given at the ADL DC Regional Shield Awards in 2024.

Thank you for reading! In my With Torah and Love newsletter, I write about Torah, Talmud, self-awareness, and becoming our best selves as students of life and Judaism.

About the Author

Rabbi Jeremy Markiz is a teacher and consultant. He teaches the Torah rooted in personal growth, kindness, intentionality, and bettering the world. He writes the With Torah and Love newsletter.

He helps clergy, congregations, and Jewish organizations grow and communicate clearly in the digital world, develop effective strategies, and solve problems with his consulting firm, Next Level Rabbinics.