Prayer of the Guest Chaplain of the U.S. House of Representatives: Rabbi Arnold E. Resnicoff on 6 February 2019

Guest Chaplain: Rabbi Arnold E. Resnicoff, Retired Chaplain, U.S. Navy, Washington, D.C.
Date of Prayer: 02/06/2019
Sponsor: Rep. Don Beyer, (D-VA)

One Minute Speech Given in Recognition of the Guest Chaplain:

Mr. BEYER. Madam Speaker, I rise today to honor Rabbi Arnold E. Resnicoff who led us in the opening prayer today.

Rabbi Resnicoff is an American conservative rabbi who served as a military officer and military chaplain. He served in Vietnam and in Europe before attending rabbinical school, and then went on to serve as a U.S. Navy chaplain for almost 5 years. He promoted the creation of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, and delivered the closing prayer in its 1982 dedication.

In 1984, President Ronald Reagan spoke on his eyewitness account of the 1983 Beirut barracks bombing.

After retiring from the military, the rabbi served as the National Director of Interreligious Affairs for the American Jewish Community and then special assistant to the Secretary and Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force, serving at the equivalent military range of brigadier general.

Across his career, he received several awards including: the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Department of the Air Force Decoration for Exceptional Civilian Service, and the Chapel of Four Chaplains Hall of Heroes Gold Medallion.

He has always been a spiritual inspiration, and now inspires me to Google how far the golf balls were hit on the Moon.

Madam Speaker, I am honored to welcome Rabbi Resnicoff to the House of Representatives today, and personally thank him for his leadership and for offering the opening prayer.


Contribute a translation English (source)

Opening Prayer Given by the Guest Chaplain:

Almighty God,
WE THE PEOPLE stand before you:
some in prayer; all in need…

armed with our founders’ prayers and dreams:
more perfect union – less divided;
liberty and justice – for us and our posterity.

WE THE PEOPLE don’t give up.
Neither should our leaders.

Let our nation never slumber:
no closings, fits and starts;
no honest pay denied for honest work;
no time out from efforts to improve our lives,
achieve our dreams.

On this day – 1971 —
Alan Shepard hit two golf balls on the moon:
first human swings beyond the confines of the Earth.

At our best,
fair play defines our work,
with some room for playfulness.
We pursue, achieve, extraordinary dreams
with humor, joy – a touch of grace.

Reignite that joy and grace, we pray;
make no room for hate or threats,
or closing shop.
Reignite our dreams,
as we — our better angels –
reunite for progress
toward more perfect times.

 
אָמֵן׃
And may we say,
Amen.

As Bill Platt wrote in Dartmouth News,

This was the 13th time that Resnicoff, who retired in 2001 after 25 years of service as a Jewish chaplain in the U.S. Navy, has delivered an opening prayer before Congress—eight times in the Senate and five in the House.

“It was, as my friend Howard Mortman of C-SPAN observed, my bar mitzvah prayer—because it was number 13,” Resnicoff says.

Prayers before Congress are limited to 150 words, must be submitted in advance for review, and cannot advocate for a specific policy or issue, Resnicoff says. He tries to make his words timely, relevant, and uplifting.

Source(s)

116th Congress, 1st Session
Issue: Vol. 165, No. 23 — Daily Edition (February 6, 2019)

Link: https://chaplain.house.gov/chaplaincy/display_gc.html?id=2857

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