Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Invocation delivered to the NV State Senate March 7, 2017

Rabbi Evon J. Yakar
Invocation - Nevada State Senate 79th Session
March 7, 2017 - 11am - Nevada State Capitol

March 7, 2017
Good morning to all of you and thank you for the honor of being here today.  Even more I express my gratitude to you for your efforts on behalf of the citizens of the State of Nevada. 

On Sunday, Jews around the world will mark the holiday of Purim, celebrating the heroine Esther from the biblical narrative bearing her name.  It is a tale rivaling some of the greatest stories.  It is full of good versus evil, life and death and the triumph of the spirit.  Each year, when we recount this story and read the Scroll of Esther, we are reminded of one character who does not appear.  God is absent throughout the entirety of the account.  As Esther garners the courage to stand up for her identity as a Jew, to save her people, she does so drawing on her own strength and sharing the truth, exposing the reality around her.  It is a moment in our history when we recognize the imperative to seek the truth around us and to stand up for our beliefs, our values and life. 

While God, at least by name, does not appear in the Book of Esther, it is the Divine acting through each of us that helps us discover the truth and to know the realities of our lives.  We ask that the same power that Esther held may be found in each of us, may it be found in each of you as you do this sacred work of governance.  As this time of year in the Jewish calendar draws near, may this legislative body honor the power invested in it by seeking truth, by standing up for beliefs and values that ensure a healthy, vibrant and sound tomorrow for all the citizens of the State of Nevada and our Nation.

We pray:  HaMakom - May the One Who is Ever Present, grant each of us the power to discern truth and to honor it; may we know the strength implanted within us all to stand for our beliefs and our values.  Amen