I have been given the honor of giving the invocation today. To invoke is to call upon The Source of Life from Whom All Blessings Flow. It is an auspicious moment to do so. In my tradition, beginning at sunset tonight, we are going to be celebrating a holiday called Tu B'Shevat, the New Year for the Trees. Long ago it was determined that this is the day in our ancestral lands when the sap begins to rise. The Source of Life grows buds then leaves, then blossoms and fruit.
We celebrate by enjoying the fruits of the trees. We eat three distinct kinds of fruits: those that are hard on the outside and soft on the inside like nuts. Those that are soft on the outside with hard internal pits like apricots, and those that are tender through and through like blueberries.
Rabbis are known to sermonize that these categories are like people. Some of us are hard or prickly on the outside and soft on the inside, some are soft on the outside and hard on the inside and some of us are thoroughly sweet through and through.
As the life force begins a new cycle, so it should be with us. May the blessings for our State of New Mexico, her leaders and her citizens, rise and flow freely like the sap in the trees, so that we shake off the cold darkness of winter and emerge into the light and warmth of a new spring, a new season of governance. May this spring be filled with increasing light and warmth so that the buds and blossoms of legislation will bear nourishing fruits for all the citizens of New Mexico.
Ribbon Haolam kabayl nah b'rachamim et-t'filateinu . . .
Sovereign of the Universe, mercifully receive our prayer for the State of New Mexico and her government. Let Your blessings pour out on us and on all officials who are occupied, in good faith, with the public needs. And let us all say: Amen