Prayer of the Guest Chaplain of the U.S. Senate: Rabbi Seth H. Frisch on 27 February 2018

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Dearest God,
we look to You today,
You who remembers all that we have forgotten
and You who is the eternal source of blessing.

We stand before You on the eve of the Biblical Festival of Purim,
a joyous time in which we read from the ancient and sacred scroll of the Book of Esther.
It is in the scroll we read at first of a certain darkness,
a darkness which would come to envelope the entire nation over which Esther would soon reign as Queen.

It was Queen Esther who became frightened
when the plan revealing a plot to erase the sacred remnants of her people,
along with the fundamental teachings of her faith,
came to light;
and yet it was Esther, who,
when confronted by the impending darkness,
was able to bring the plot to an end,
allowing her people to emerge from the shadow of darkness–
of this horror–
and live freely,
without fear,
celebrating life itself
in the light of their newfound freedom.

And now, standing here today, before You,
on the eve of this festival,
we, too, ask that You remember us for life,
instilling within us a greater love of freedom,
seeking both peace and prosperity
for all the inhabitants of this great Nation.

And yet, Dear Lord,
we would be remiss if we were not to remember
those who have sacrificed much,
suffered,
and paid dearly with their lives,
allowing all of us–
to this day–
a life of freedom without fear,
worshiping as we choose,
and continuing to bask in that greater love
which You shed
and allow us to live within.

Teach us now and forever to celebrate our differences.
Unify us to preserve and admire those differences among us–
all of us–
with respect and dignity
for all the inhabitants of this Nation.

Lord, we ask You to bestow Your blessings today
upon this assembly
and upon the Nation which it serves.
Bless all the inhabitants of this land
with both prosperity and lasting joy, love, and freedom.

יְבָרֶכְךָ יְהוָה וְיִשְׁמְרֶךָ׃
Yevarechecha Adonai, V’Yishmerecha.
[YHVH bless you and protect you!][1]Numbers 6:24, the first verse of the Priestly Blessing

May God bless you and keep you.
May God bless the United States of America,
and may God bless us all.
Amen.

Source(s)

115th Congress, 2nd Session
Issue: Vol. 164, No. 35 — Daily Edition (February 27, 2018)

Link: https://www.congress.gov/congressional-record/2018/02/27/senate-section/article/S1223-2

Notes   [ + ]

1. Numbers 6:24, the first verse of the Priestly Blessing

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