This past week I had the great honor of giving the benediction at the in district swearing in of our new California State Assembly member Rick Chavez Zbur. Held at UCLA’s Freud Hall, it was a wonderful gathering of community, supporters, leaders and local politicians to celebrate long time activist and attorney Rick Chavez Zbur. I have know Rick for many years. An environmental attorney and long time CEO of Equality California, I have worked along side Rick on issues of civil rights for many years.
So I was deeply honored to give the following benediction at his swearing in.
For Rick Chavez Zbur
God, Spirit of the Universe we call you by many names. Shma Koleinu, Hear our prayers this day. We humbly ask Your blessings. Bless our state and all its people who dwell here. Shower Your abundant love and blessings our new assemblymember Rick Chavez Zbur and his family and each of our elected officials and their families who help to lead our state forward. As he begins his term as our new representative grant him wisdom and fortitude, courage, patience, strength and stamina. Guide him with Your good counsel, and inspire in him creativity coupled with humility. Help him lead the way forward representing all the people of this district from Lake Hollywood and Beachwood Canyon to the streets of West Hollywood and Beverly Hills and Cheviot Hills, Westwood and West LA , to the beaches of Santa Monica. Let him be ever sensitive to the vast numbers of people who are unhoused and undocumented being a champion of those who are underserved and need our help. Teach each of us to see the worth and dignity of every human soul.
Let him be a solver of problems and a champion of justice in the halls of our State Capitol; A leader who is dedicated to moving beyond the political rhetoric that too often divides us; someone who unites us in common purpose – creating a more equitable, and sustainable California for all.
We are diverse and magical collection of people in California and in this district. Bless All the people of every color, and background and ethnic heritage. Every creed and faith and those with no faith at all. Gay and Lesbian, Straight and Transgender, Nonbinary and Agender and genderfluid and queer. Bless Democrat and Republican, and Greens and Independents. Citizen and undocumented. For all people are created in Your Divine image. Bless us with health, and well-being, sustain us with hope. Ufros aleinu sukkat shlomecha spread your tabernacle of peace over us Holy Breath of Life.
And Renew in us the effervescent hope that we can and we will bring about a time of justice and fairness, equity and equality for all of God’s children. Let us be responsible in our efforts and hold one another accountable to the Holy Way of kindness, compassion, and humility. As the prophet Micah taught. What does God require of you- only to do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with your God. So may each of us gathered here. Do Justice, love compassion and walk humbly forward knowing the Divine Spirit of the Universe walks by our sides, blesses you and your families and blesses our State of California and all who dwell here and our country and the world. Ken Yehi Ratzon
So May it be. Amen