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Almighty God, Creator and Ruler of the universe,
through Whose justice and mercy
this first convention of Jewish women
has been permitted to assemble,
accept our thanks,
and hearken, O Lord, to our prayer.
In times past,
when storms of cruel persecution
drove us toward the reefs of adversity,
seemingly overwhelmed by misfortune,
we had faith in Thee and Thy works,
ever trusting and believing
that Thou ordainest all things well.
Because of this faith,
we feel that Thou hast,
in the course of events,
caused this glorious congress to convene,
that it may give expression to that which shall
spread broadcast a knowledge of Thee and Thy deeds.
Grant, then, Thy blessing upon those assembled,
and upon the object of their meeting.
May the peculiar circumstances,
which have brought together, under one roof,
both Catholic and Jew,
who, for centuries, have been seeking to serve Thee,
though in different ways,
be a promise of future peace.
Grant, we beseech Thee,
that this convention may be productive of that
which is in accordance with Thy will.
Bless, O Lord,
this our country and the President thereof,
and all the people of the land.
May love and peace be the heritage of men,
to remain with them forever.
This opening prayer by Ray Frank was first published in the Papers of the Jewish Women’s Congress: held at Chicago, September 4-7, 1893 (1894), p. 8. The unprecedented Jewish Women’s Congress was held as part of the World Parliament of Religion at the World’s Columbian Exposition.
“Opening Prayer for the Jewish Women’s Congress, by Rachel Frank-Litman (World Parliament of Religion at the World’s Columbian Exposition, 1893)” is shared through the Open Siddur Project with a Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication 1.0 Universal license.
Works of related interest:
White Day of Peace, a poem by Miriam del Banco for the Jewish Women’s Congress (World Parliament of Religion at the World’s Columbian Exposition, 1893)
Prayer of the Guest Chaplain of the U.S. House of Representatives: Rabbi Morris J. Raphall on 1 February 1860