Monday, June 15, 2009

Graduation: Invocation and Benediction


Adonai, Our God, God of our fathers and mothers (our sisters and our brothers), Source of All Life, we gather on this splendid evening, the 2nd of June, 2009 corresponding to the Hebrew Date of 11th of Sivan, 5769 to mark a moment of sacred transformation in the lives of 79 remarkable individuals and their families. We come to this joyful and complex celebration, each of us, bringing our own stories, our own histories, our own memories, our own tears, our own laughter. We strive, in Your presence, and in the presence of our friends and family, to embrace this moment and cherish each breath. Help us to appreciate all that this moment represents…

As we look toward the future this evening, we also reflect on the past. We think back on the years at Davis that flew by much more quickly than expected. We unlock the flood gates of memory and swim in the countless moments, the ones we planned for and the ones that planned for us without our knowing. Whether by fate, by chance, or by design, we consider all that has transpired in our lives and in our world.

Graduates— three weeks ago we sang together in Jerusalem. Who knew that the time would pass by so quickly? You’re older now, and wiser, well some of you :), actually, all of you. We’re ready to let you go, we’re ready to watch you change the world. This is your moment. Be proud, shine, be open, and embrace what comes…

As you take the vital, inevitable, the beautiful step forward into a future full of promise and light, know that you carry, in your hearts, in your minds, and in your souls, the special heritage that has been given to you by your family, by your school, and by your Jewish Tradition. Adonai, Our God, we invoke your blessing this evening. Bless our graduates, bless our teachers, bless our parents. Bestow your blessings upon us all that we may fully witness this sacred moment. Together we say: Amen.


And so God called to Abram and his wife Sarai—Lech l’cha. Go forth. Embark upon your journey.

And the prophet Isaiah cried out in the Temple Court—Beit Ya’akov l’chu vnilcha b’or Adonai. House of Israel, may God strengthen your steps and illumine your path.

Graduates—as you "go forth". As you embark upon your journey. May the mitzvot and the mentschlichkeit values be a light for you and may Torah fill your days.

And while we wish for each of you every blessing, every dream and more, we wish even more that you will be a blessing. God told Abraham, heveh bracha—be a blessing. It’s that simple. And to you we say—heveh bracha, heveh bracha, be a blessing.

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