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[Prayer before] the Chamber of Commerce and Civics [of the Oranges & Maplewood, New Jersey], a Cold War prayer by Rabbi Avraham Samuel Soltes (1950)

https://opensiddur.org/?p=29565 [Prayer before] the Chamber of Commerce and Civics [of the Oranges & Maplewood, New Jersey], a Cold War prayer by Rabbi Avraham Samuel Soltes (1950) 2020-01-25 14:00:00 A prayer for the continuance of "the American way of life" offered during the Cold War (1947-1953) in northern New Jersey. Text the Open Siddur Project Aharon N. Varady (transcription) Aharon N. Varady (transcription) Avraham Samuel Soltes https://opensiddur.org/copyright-policy/ Aharon N. Varady (transcription) https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/ Social Justice, Peace, and Liberty 20th century C.E. 58th century A.M. American Jewry of the United States New Jersey capitalism Post–World War II economic expansion Cold War (1947–1953) anti-communist
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O Heavenly Father:
In this hour of trial
for our nation
and for mankind,
when vicious men
seek to promote the arts of war
in remote corners
of this earth’s scarred surface,
we gather here
in our quiet community
to further the arts of peace,
to seek the road
toward lives of greater abundance
and usefulness
for our citizenry.

O, Thou,
who hast been the inspiration of our fathers
in ages past,
when they sought to establish
upon this continent
a nation
conceived in liberty
and dedicated
to the freedom of each individual human being,
guide us
also
aright,
that we be not overawed
by the black countenance of evil,
nor affrighted
by its malignant might.

Our fathers faced greater odds
in their day,
with fewer allies
at their side,
and more meager resources
at their disposal–
yet,
sustained by Thee,
they were not dismayed,
and victory
perched upon their banners.

Aid us,
then,
to preserve our American way of life–
a way
that has been a beacon
and a blessing
to the downtrodden peoples of the earth
that we be not humbled
by forces from without,
nor
in our anxiety to meet their challenge
succumb
to the regimen of the totalitarian outlook,
that would rob us
from within
of the crowning glory of American citizenship:
the independence of the individual
in thought and action.

May it be Thy will
that we continue
to march forward
with courage
and self-confidence
that all men may see
in our free commonwealth,
the handiwork
of Him
who bringeth forth
food
from the earth.
Amen.

Rabbi Abraham Soltes’s “[Prayer before] the Chamber of Commerce & Civics [of the Oranges and Maplewood, New Jersey]” was first offered on November 30, 1950. The prayer was published in his collection of prayers, תפלה Invocation: A Sheaf Of Prayers (1959).

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