https://opensiddur.org/?p=29851Prayer of the Guest Chaplain of the U.S. House of Representatives: Rabbi Carole Meyers on 8 November 20012020-02-02 14:22:26The Opening Prayer given in the U.S. House of Representatives on 8 November 2001 (after 9/11).Textthe Open Siddur ProjectUnited States Congressional RecordUnited States Congressional RecordCarole L. Meyershttps://opensiddur.org/copyright-policy/United States Congressional Recordhttps://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/17/105September 11 National Day of ServiceUnited States of AmericaOpening Prayers for Legislative Bodiesתחינות teḥinot21st century C.E.58th century A.M.English vernacular prayerHouse of RepresentativesPrayers of Guest Chaplains107th CongressSeptember 11 attacks
Guest Chaplain: Rabbi Carole Meyers, Chaplain, Temple Sinai of Glendale, Glendale, California
Sponsor: Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA)
Date of Prayer: 11/08/2001
Mr. SCHIFF. Mr. Speaker, I would like to join in welcoming today’s distinguished guest chaplain, Rabbi Carole Meyers, and thank her for leading the House in prayer. As Rabbi Emerita of Temple Sinai in Glendale, California, Rabbi Meyers has distinguished herself as a community leader.
Over the past 15 years, Rabbi Meyers has served at Glendale’s Temple Sinai, one of the most thriving synagogues in the area. During her tenure at Temple Sinai, the congregation nearly doubled in size, boosting its education programs for both children and adults.
Rabbi Meyers significantly raised the profile of the temple through her extensive community involvement. Over the past few years, Rabbi Meyers has been involved with Habitat for Humanity and the Glendale Community Foundation. She served on the Mayor’s Task Force on Hate Crimes, helping to craft a citywide response plan to hate crimes. Rabbi Meyers also trained as a chaplain for the Glendale Police Department and helped to create an annual AIDS Awareness Prayer Service with other Glendale religious leaders.
Though Rabbi Meyers retired this past June in order to devote more time to her family, her influence on her community can still be felt. Today, especially in this time of national tragedy, the warmth of her words have indeed found a new meaning.
We are all proud to welcome Rabbi Meyers here today as a guest chaplain.
I am honored to be here this morning with you courageous leaders of our country to join together in prayer. It takes courage to pray meaningfully in the wake of events shaping our lives.
It is not that we do not turn to God,
We come with our praise
and with our entreaties,
but we strain to hear an answer,
to sense God’s presence radiating back to us,
over the abyss that grief and fear have created.
Shall we this morning,
just for a moment,
stop speaking to God,
asking God, about God,
and instead make an effort
to find once again
that experience of God’s presence
that grounds our faith.
Come with me to that place.
Perhaps it was when you witnessed
the birth of your child,
new life so precious and pure,
perhaps when you saw your soul reflected back at you
in the eyes of someone whose love was infinite.
Perhaps in the tangle of pain and darkness
when somehow there was a presence to call,
to let you know you would move forward.
Perhaps when a piece of music
shook you to your core,
bringing an exquisite awareness
of the depth of human experience.
Perhaps when you truly saw
the miracle of nature surrounding us,
the sun rising and setting,
day after day of nature in its magnificent order,
there was a moment when you knew that an Other exists
before whom we stand in awe
and whose greatness we strive to reflect
in the actions of our lives.
be with us as we move through this time of uncertainty.
Help us know
that we can lend Your presence
and use our lives to reflect it.
Then we will have the faith
to bring light and joy,
peace and comfort,
justice and goodness
to this magnificent world
God has created.
Upon her death, Rep Adam Schiff delivered the following remarks into the Congressional Record, Monday, October 15, 2007:
Mr. SCHIFF. Madam Speaker, today I would like to take a moment to honor the memory of a good friend and a community leader, Rabbi Carole Meyers. Rabbi Meyers died at the age of 50 on Thursday, July 26, after a brief battle with bone cancer. She served as Rabbi of Temple Sinai in Glendale, CA, from 1986 to 2001.
Over the 15 years Rabbi Meyers served at Glendale’s Temple Sinai the congregation nearly doubled in size, boosting its education programs for both children and adults.
Rabbi Meyers significantly raised the profile of the temple through her extensive work in the community. Rabbi Meyers was involved with Habitat for Humanity and the Glendale Community Foundation. She served on the Mayor’s Task Force on Hate Crimes, helping to craft a citywide response plan to fight hate crimes. Rabbi Meyers also trained as a chaplain for the Glendale Police Department and helped to create an annual AIDS Awareness Prayer Service with other Glendale religious leaders.
After retiring in 2001 to spend more time with her family, Rabbi Meyers remained active in our community serving on the board of the Central Conference of American Rabbis, developing curriculum for Hebrew Union College in Los Angeles, and presiding at marriages and bar and bat mitsvahs.
In 2001, shortly after the tragic events of 9/11, Rabbi Meyers had the distinction of delivering the opening prayer in the House of Representatives. In such a sad and somber time Rabbi Meyers’s prayer was uplifting and life-affirming. Her words helped console our nation. And her words that day still ring true today as we try to find answers to her untimely death.
The Congressional Record is the official record of the proceedings and debates of the United States Congress, published by the United States Government Printing Office and issued when Congress is in session. Indexes are issued approximately every two weeks. At the end of a session of Congress, the daily editions are compiled in bound volumes constituting the permanent edition. Statutory authorization for the Congressional Record is found in Chapter 9 of Title 44 of the United States Code. (wikipedia)
Rabbi Carole Meyers (1957-2007) was the first woman in Southern California to lead a congregation full-time. Meyers was ordained in 1983 by Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, and spent three years as assistant rabbi of Congregation Beth Israel in Houston. She became the rabbi of Temple Sinai of Glendale in 1986, when she was 29. She resigned in 2001, and died in 2007 of bone cancer. Posthumously, a book of her sermons was published, titled Leaning on God: Sermons (2018). She first became interested in becoming a rabbi after her father died when she was 13 and her stepfather died when she was 19, and the rituals and community support of the synagogue helped her through her grief.
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ויהי נעם אדני אלהינו עלינו ומעשה ידינו כוננה עלינו ומעשה ידינו כוננהו "May the pleasantness of אדֹני our elo’ah be upon us; may our handiwork be established for us — our handiwork, may it be established."–Psalms 90:17
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