Prayer of the Guest Chaplain of the U.S. House of Representatives: Rabbi John Linder on 22 March 2016

Guest Chaplain: Rabbi John Linder, Temple Solel, Paradise Valley, AZ
Sponsor: Rep. Ruben Gallego, (D-AZ)
Date of Prayer: 03/22/2016

One Minute Speech Given in Recognition of the Guest Chaplain:

Mr. GALLEGO. Mr. Speaker, it is my distinct honor to recognize my good friend, Rabbi John Linder, as the guest chaplain today.

Throughout his life, Rabbi Linder has demonstrated commendable commitment to his family, to his faith, and to the cause of social justice.

After graduating with honors from Amherst College, Rabbi Linder spent his early years as a community and labor organizer, and later helped run his family’s scrap metal recycling business before entering rabbinic school.

In Arizona, he has demonstrated inspired leadership of Temple Solel, my temple, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.

Rabbi Linder has also continued his work to advance social justice as a leader in the Union for Reform Judaism, the Jewish Family and Children’s Services, and many other local service and faith–based organizations.

Rabbi Linder is also engaged in building a strong interfaith community in Arizona. He has been instrumental in connecting Temple Solel to other faiths, and he has invited a variety of other clergy members to participate in the temple’s services.

Mr. Speaker, please join me in welcoming Rabbi Linder to the House of Representatives and thanking him for his dedicated service.


Contribute a translation English (source)

Opening Prayer Given by the Guest Chaplain:

God of all people and all understanding,
give us strength and reason during these perilous times;
bring consolation to the bereaved in Belgium.
Be with our public servants here
as they represent these great United States.

Collectively, brothers and sisters,
you are a tapestry of America,
a beautiful quilt of diversity,
the best of who we can be.

Our respective faiths remind us
that the measure of society
is how we treat the most vulnerable:[1]After Hubert Humphrey (1911-1978), U.S. Vice President from 1965 to 1969 who at the Hubert Humphrey Building dedication in Washington, D.C. on November 1, 1977, said, “the moral test of government is how that government treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the elderly; those who are in the shadows of life; the sick, the needy and the handicapped.” Humphrey may have been adapting another quote from the author, Pearl Buck (1892-1973), who wrote: “Our society must make it right and possible for old people not to fear the young or be deserted by them, for the test of a civilization is the way that it cares for its helpless members.” The phrasing by Rabbi Linder recalls a phrase commonly attributed to Mahatma Ghandi who may have said, “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way in which its animals are treated. I hold that the more helpless a creature, the more entitled it is to protection by man from the cruelty of man.”
the orphan,
the widow,
the stranger in our midst.

God bless the Members of this House,
their families and staff,
and all those workers who humbly serve
to care for and protect
these hallowed Halls.

May these deliberations
reflect the best of humanity,
honoring the divine spark in one another.[2]The scholar Rabbi Louis Jacobs (1920-2006), on the history of the popular belief in innate divine sparks within all of us: “The belief that there is a special mystical ‘spark’ in every human breast can be traced back, in western mysticism, at least to Jerome in the fourth century. Both Bonaventura and Bernard of Clairvaux speak of this mystical organ; the latter, calling it scintillula, a small spark of the soul, and speaking of the nearness of God, said: ‘Angels and archangels are within us, but He is more truly our own who is not only with us but in us.’ However, both these mystics are anxious to prevent an identification of this mystical spark with the divine. Eckhart, on the other hand, embraces the identification, calling the spark, among other endearing names, das Kleidhaus Gottes, ‘the house in which God attires Himself ’. This and other pantheistic tendencies in Eckhart’s thought were condemned in the papal Bull of 1529…”

“Long may our land be bright,
with freedom’s holy light,”[3]My Country, ‘Tis of Thee” (Samuel Francis Smith, 1831)
as we continue to shine
as a beacon of hope
to those within our borders
and around the world.

אָמֵן׃
Amen.

Source(s)

114th Congress, 2nd Session
Issue: Vol. 162, No. 45 — Daily Edition (March 22, 2016)

Link: https://chaplain.house.gov/chaplaincy/display_gc.html?id=2370

Notes   [ + ]

  1. After Hubert Humphrey (1911-1978), U.S. Vice President from 1965 to 1969 who at the Hubert Humphrey Building dedication in Washington, D.C. on November 1, 1977, said, “the moral test of government is how that government treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the elderly; those who are in the shadows of life; the sick, the needy and the handicapped.” Humphrey may have been adapting another quote from the author, Pearl Buck (1892-1973), who wrote: “Our society must make it right and possible for old people not to fear the young or be deserted by them, for the test of a civilization is the way that it cares for its helpless members.” The phrasing by Rabbi Linder recalls a phrase commonly attributed to Mahatma Ghandi who may have said, “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way in which its animals are treated. I hold that the more helpless a creature, the more entitled it is to protection by man from the cruelty of man.”
  2. The scholar Rabbi Louis Jacobs (1920-2006), on the history of the popular belief in innate divine sparks within all of us: “The belief that there is a special mystical ‘spark’ in every human breast can be traced back, in western mysticism, at least to Jerome in the fourth century. Both Bonaventura and Bernard of Clairvaux speak of this mystical organ; the latter, calling it scintillula, a small spark of the soul, and speaking of the nearness of God, said: ‘Angels and archangels are within us, but He is more truly our own who is not only with us but in us.’ However, both these mystics are anxious to prevent an identification of this mystical spark with the divine. Eckhart, on the other hand, embraces the identification, calling the spark, among other endearing names, das Kleidhaus Gottes, ‘the house in which God attires Himself ’. This and other pantheistic tendencies in Eckhart’s thought were condemned in the papal Bull of 1529…”
  3. My Country, ‘Tis of Thee” (Samuel Francis Smith, 1831)

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