Monday, September 25, 2006

jury duty

i recently received a summons to serve as a petit juror.
my first reaction upon seeing the envelope was "shit".
my next reaction was "wow, what a neat oppurtunity".
most of us have heard John Edwards Two Americas spiel by now. Well jury duty is a moment when some of that melts away. every adult citizen gets summoned. some ignore the call, others not. When i show up for a moment in time i will have an obligation to judge my fellow citizens failry and without prejudice. that obligation with 12 others (or i think6 if it's a civil petit jury). we, in that moment, will have exactly equal responsabilities, abilities, and opinions. How often do we get the chance to be functionally equal to a cross-section of Americans?! Sure there are residual clevages of power that make their way into the jury process, and i imagine we get socio-economically profiled by the lawyers while they pick a jury but it's a lot more equal and diverse than most interactions most americans have most of the time, and i look forward to this oppurtunity to serve.
it brings up the question of what the proper intention and blessing is.
i am leaning towards baruch atah adonai eloheinu hey haolamim asher kidshanu bemitzvotav vetsivanu la'asok btzorchei tzibbur. Blessed are you adonai life of all the worlds who has made us holy through the commandment to immerse ourselves in the nees of community. This blessing is generally used more narrowly to describe the needs of smaller communities, like our own religious communities, but could perhaps be understood mroe broadly. Maybe there should be some sort of new langauge. any ideas?


At 9/25/2006 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

We can also make this blessing when we do our taxes. Seriously.



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