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Prayer of the Guest Chaplain of the U.S. House of Representatives: Rabbi Dr. David Halpern on 17 June 2003

https://opensiddur.org/?p=29831 Prayer of the Guest Chaplain of the U.S. House of Representatives: Rabbi Dr. David Halpern on 17 June 2003 2020-02-02 11:51:55 The Opening Prayer given in the U.S. House of Representatives on 17 June 2003. Text the Open Siddur Project United States Congressional Record United States Congressional Record David Halpern https://opensiddur.org/copyright-policy/ United States Congressional Record https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/17/105 Opening Prayers for Legislative Bodies תחינות teḥinot 21st century C.E. 58th century A.M. English vernacular prayer United States of America House of Representatives Prayers of Guest Chaplains 108th Congress
Guest Chaplain: Rabbi Dr. David Halpern, Flatbush Park Jewish Center, Brooklyn, New York
Sponsor: Rep. Thomas Peter Lantos (D-CA)
Date of Prayer: 06/17/2003

One Minute Speech Given in Recognition of the Guest Chaplain:

Mr. LANTOS. Madam Speaker, I am pleased to welcome to the Chamber Rabbi David Halpern, who offered our opening prayer. I thank him for his thoughtful invocation.

Madam Speaker, Rabbi Halpern’s accomplishments in his community of Flatbush, Brooklyn, have touched many lives across the Nation, and his work merits national recognition.

He leads the Flatbush Park Jewish Center. He is the Principal of the religious school there, which he helped found in 1952. He sought to create a place where religiously observant and religiously curious alike can feel comfortable; to advance the goal of Jewish learning; and to support Jewish causes around our country and around the globe. He also served as a Chaplain in the 71st Infantry of the 42nd Division of the National Guard for 10 years, and he sits on the New York board of Rabbis.

Madam Speaker, the esteem in which the Flatbush Park Jewish Center is held indicates that Rabbi Halpern’s efforts have been an unqualified success. In recognition of his sense of compassion and leadership, he was chosen to speak on behalf of the community of Flatbush in the wake of the 9/11 tragedy.

Madam Speaker, I am delighted that he was able to share some of his wisdom and grace with us today. We admire his commitment to his faith and to his community.


Contribute a translation Source (English)

Opening Prayer Given by the Guest Chaplain:

Our Father, Sovereign of the world,
we stand in the House
of freely elected representatives
of all the American people.
These men and women,
dedicated and strong,
have accepted the awesome burden
of promulgating the laws
by which our free society lives
and shall live.
They wear this mantel of leadership
in profoundly perilous times.

The threat to human security
wears many faces:
Tyranny,
terror,
religious oppression,
racial tension,
disease,
hunger
and despair.
We seek the solution to these problems.
We search diligently for the road to peace,
for the path to harmonious living,
for the means to achieve human dignity
for us all created in Thine image.

May we always remember
that to safeguard our own freedom,
we must speak out against oppression,
and, where warranted, even take up arms against it.
To enjoy the blessings of our own wealth,
we must also provide for the underprivileged and the needy.
To be truly strong requires more than strength of arms,
it requires strength of spirit.

Almost six decades have passed
since the age of the Nazi death camps,
the places where 6 million Jewish men, women and children
had their lives cruelly and brutally ended,
their only sin that they were born Jewish.
The world has watched helplessly
as in the last decade
hundreds of thousands
of different nationalities
and ethnic groups
have been slaughtered.
We pray
that the destruction of man
by his fellow
because of religious beliefs
or racial origins
will be known no more;
that people of different religious paths
may learn to live side–by–side
in peace
and in harmony.

We ask Thy blessing
upon these members of our Congress,
the spiritual heirs of those who were so instrumental
in bestowing upon the seed of Israel
the restoration of their homeland.
We pray
that our President will succeed
in his determined mission
of building peace with security
and of shining the bright light of freedom
upon that benighted part of the world.

Grant that our President
and Vice President
and all our elected leaders
will be blessed with clear vision
to see and understand the future,
and the courage and heart
to make it a blessed and beautiful reality.

We pray in the words of Isaiah:
May the spirit of the Lord rest upon us,
the spirit of wisdom and understanding,
the spirit of counsel and strength,
the spirit of knowledge and fear of the Lord.[1] cf. Isaiah 11:2. 
אָמֵן׃
Amen.

Source(s)

108th Congress, 1st Session
Issue: Vol. 149, No. 89 — Daily Edition (June 17, 2003)

link: https://chaplain.house.gov/archive/index.html?id=827

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Notes

Notes
1 cf. Isaiah 11:2.

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