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Closing Prayer for Washington’s Birthday, by Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan, J. Paul Williams, and Eugene Kohn (1951)

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Our God and God of our fathers,
You preside over the destinies of men and nations.
All of them owe allegiance to your law of universal justice and right.
The peace and welfare of all depend on their acceptance of your law as supreme.
Grant that our nation may ever acknowledge your sway.

May we never in the pride of our power
be moved to seek domination over other peoples.

May we never, in our enjoyment of ease and luxury,
turn a deaf ear to the cry of the oppressed and impoverished
of other lands.

May we ever extend to other nations the hand of friendship,
and strive for the unity of all mankind, that together
we may effect the abolition of oppression,
poverty,
disease,
and war.

Hasten the day
when those blessings which you have showered on our country
may become the common heritage
of all men and nations.
Amen.

This closing prayer for Washington’s Birthday was first published in The Faith of America: Readings, Songs, and Prayers for the Celebration of American Holidays (Jewish Reconstructionist Foundation 1951), p. 68. I have replaced archaisms in this prayer (thee, thy, thou, etc.) and made other related changes. –Aharon Varady

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