Prayer of the Guest Chaplain of the U.S. House of Representatives: Rabbi Arnold E. Resnicoff on 20 November 2018

Guest Chaplain: Rabbi Arnold E. Resnicoff, Retired Chaplain, U.S. Navy, Washington, DC
Date of Prayer: 11/20/2018


Contribute a translation English (source)

Opening Prayer Given by the Guest Chaplain:

Almighty God,
we pray, reflect, meditate in different ways,
but unite in condemnation when hatred rears its ugly head.

On this date in 1945
we helped convene a court in Nuremberg,
proclaiming some actions so inhuman
that they are crimes against humanity itself.

We condemned the false belief
that any humans are less than human:
“life unworthy of life.”[1]The phrase “life unworthy of life” (in German: “Lebensunwertes Leben”) was a Nazi designation for the segments of the populace which, according to the Nazi regime of the time, had no right to live. (Wikipedia)

Such thinking leads to slaughter,
even here at home:
dead children in their churches,
hated for the color of their skin;
beatings, killings, lynchings
that stained our landscape,
and our history,
with what poets called
the strange and bitter fruit of bodies hanging from the trees;[2]Strange Fruit” by Abel Meeropol (1937), famously sung by Billie Holiday in 1939.
and last month,
in a Pittsburgh synagogue,
men and women murdered
because the shooter thought “all Jews should die.”[3]Sheehan, Andy; Schiller, Meghan (October 27, 2018). “11 Dead, Several Others Shot At Pittsburgh Synagogue“. KDKA. Retrieved October 27, 2018. Police sources tell KDKA’s Andy Sheehan the gunman, Robert Bowers, walked into the building and yelled, “All Jews must die.” Sheehan’s sources also confirmed that eleven people have died.

God,
we know that words and prayers still matter,
when they are linked to action,
grounded in our Nation’s founding vision:
that all are created equal,[4]Cf. “All men are created equal” — Thomas Jefferson in the United States Declaration of Independence
with rights to liberty and life,
rights and dreams we must forever honor, cherish, and protect.

 
אָמֵן׃
And may we say,
amen.

Source(s)

115th Congress, 2nd Session
Issue: Vol. 164, No. 183 — Daily Edition (November 20, 2018)

Link: https://chaplain.house.gov/chaplaincy/display_gc.html?id=2814

Notes   [ + ]

  1. The phrase “life unworthy of life” (in German: “Lebensunwertes Leben”) was a Nazi designation for the segments of the populace which, according to the Nazi regime of the time, had no right to live. (Wikipedia)
  2. Strange Fruit” by Abel Meeropol (1937), famously sung by Billie Holiday in 1939.
  3. Sheehan, Andy; Schiller, Meghan (October 27, 2018). “11 Dead, Several Others Shot At Pittsburgh Synagogue“. KDKA. Retrieved October 27, 2018. Police sources tell KDKA’s Andy Sheehan the gunman, Robert Bowers, walked into the building and yelled, “All Jews must die.” Sheehan’s sources also confirmed that eleven people have died.
  4. Cf. “All men are created equal” — Thomas Jefferson in the United States Declaration of Independence

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