Kedushat Levi on the role of the spiritual leader (parashat Pinchas)
Tzom Tammuz

A prayer for my installation

Last night, after havdalah, we celebrated my installation as the interim rabbi at Congregation Beth Israel. My dear friend Cantor Bob Scherr gave me a beautiful blessing; two board members spoke on behalf of the board. For my part, I offered a new prayer-poem which I wrote for this occasion. I'm sharing it here because I wanted all of you to have a little bit of a sense of having been present for my installation, too. (And to anyone who finds this post in the lead-up to your own installation as clergy, if you want to use this poem in your ceremony, you are more than welcome to do so -- just indicate where it came from, please and thanks.)


Prayer for installation


Dear One!
You Who are near
as the blood in my veins

Ribbono shel Olam!
You Who are grandly distant
as galaxies unfolding

be with me
as I accept responsibility
for this community

strengthen my arms
as I cradle Your children
in celebration and in sorrow

sustain my heart
that I may open other hearts
to Your presence

uplift my spirit
that I may lead prayer
which makes You manifest

help me to learn, to teach
and to live
Your Torah

when I minister
to my own family
and to this family

Holy One of Blessing,
consecrate my hands
to Your service.



Edited to add: for those who are interested, a photoset of images of my installation is now available on flickr. Thanks, Len!