This benediction was written by Rabbi Judy Schindler for the ribbon cutting at the New Charlotte U.S. Courthouse Annex and Charles R. Jonas Federal Building Renovation on May 19, 2023.
It is an honor to be here and offer prayers and blessings for this courthouse.
A vision for justice is foundational to the Scriptures of most, if not all, religions – Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and more.
In the book of Deuteronomy it states in Hebrew tzedek, tzedek, tirdof – justice, justice you shall pursue. (Deut. 16:20). Some say Scripture is divinely revealed and others say it was humanly authored. Either way, every word was chosen with precision. So why the repetition of the word justice?
The verse “justice, justice you shall pursue” calls for equal justice across our community:
Justice for the citizen and justice for the stranger
Justice for the impoverished and justice for the affluent
Justice for those for the marginalized and justice for the mainstream
Justice that creates accountability
Justice that is restorative and reparative
Justice that is fair to all — no matter their race, religion, or any human element that makes them unique
Justice that breaks the cycle of harmful systems of racism
Justice that is healing and justice that is filled with humanity
Justice that is tempered with mercy
“Justice, Justice you shall pursue,” the Bible enjoins us.
May this courthouse be a place of genuine justice.
May those who serve here be blessed with the wisdom to improve and actualize the justice upon which our community rests. Amen.