Prayer of the Guest Chaplain of the U.S. House of Representatives: Rabbi Bruce Lustig on 16 May 2019

Guest Chaplain: Rabbi Bruce Lustig, Washington Hebrew Congregation, Washington, DC
Sponsor: Rep. Jamie Raskin, (D-MD)
Date of Prayer: 05/16/2019

One Minute Speech Given in Recognition of the Guest Chaplain:

Mr. RASKIN. Mr. Speaker, I rise to honor Rabbi Bruce Lustig, who just led us in this wonderful opening prayer.

Rabbi Lustig is senior rabbi of the Washington Hebrew Congregation, which is Washington, D.C.’s largest and oldest synagogue and where many of my constituents worship.

The son of a refugee from Nazi Germany, his mother, Hedy Lustig, Rabbi Lustig grew up in Nashville, Tennessee, where he was often the only Jewish child at school. The strong cultural identity instilled by his mother, and the emphasis his family placed on engaging with his Christian friends and classmates, laid the foundation for his lifelong commitment to interfaith work, including his efforts to open dialogue and strengthen relationships among Jews, Christians, Muslims, and people of all faiths.

Ordained at the Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion, Rabbi Lustig holds a doctorate of divinity and a master’s degree in Hebrew letters. He earned his bachelor’s with honors from the University of Tennessee.

In delivering today’s opening prayer in the House, Rabbi Lustig continues a venerable and important tradition. Since the Washington Hebrew Congregation was created in 1862, every single one of its senior rabbis has delivered an opening prayer before the U.S. Congress. Rabbi Lustig now joins that esteemed group.

Mr. Speaker, I am honored to welcome Rabbi Lustig to the House today, and I would like to extend my thanks for his excellent leadership in our community and for offering today’s prayer.


Contribute a translation English (source)

Opening Prayer Given by the Guest Chaplain:

Eternal God,
without whom life has no spiritual source,
no divine meaning, purpose, or destiny,
but with whom there is power for the present
and hope for the future,
refresh our faith
that the strains of life
may not break our spirits.
Restore our confidence
that our world is undergirded by eternal purpose.

Bless those who give service of heart to this great Nation.
Give them strength to temper their judgments
by the compassion of the human soul.
Know that none are free until all are free,[1]Cf. Emma Lazarus in “An Epistle to the Hebrews” (1883): “Until we are all free, we are none of us free.” 
free from fear,
[free from] want,[2]Cf. Two of the “Four Freedoms” first articulated by US President Franklin D. Roosevelt on January 6, 1941, which were an inspiration for the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and were explicitly incorporated into its preamble. 
[free from] bigotry, and callous hatred of the other.
Let the courage of their convictions
make America worthy of her past
and blessed by her future.

Let not cynicism blight,
nor faithlessness uproot
our confidence to live as we pray,
so that, unashamed,
our leaders may transmit
to generations to come
an America better than ours.

 
אָמֵן׃
Hear our prayer.
Amen.

Source(s)

116th Congress, 1st Session
Issue: Vol. 165, No. 82 — Daily Edition (May 16, 2019)

Link: https://chaplain.house.gov/chaplaincy/display_gc.html?id=2911

Notes   [ + ]

  1. Cf. Emma Lazarus in “An Epistle to the Hebrews” (1883): “Until we are all free, we are none of us free.”
  2. Cf. Two of the “Four Freedoms” first articulated by US President Franklin D. Roosevelt on January 6, 1941, which were an inspiration for the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and were explicitly incorporated into its preamble.

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