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Prayer of the Guest Chaplain of the U.S. House of Representatives: Rabbi Joel Levenson on 10 July 2012

Guest Chaplain: Rabbi Joel Levenson, Congregation B’nai Jacob, Woodbridge, CT
Sponsor: Rep. Rosa De Lauro, (D-CT)
Date of Prayer: 07/10/2012

Ms. DeLAURO. Mr. Speaker, it is my privilege this morning to welcome Rabbi Joel Levenson of Congregation B’nai Jacob in Woodbridge, Connecticut, to the House of Representatives.

When Joel graduated from Miami University of Ohio, he thought about going to either law school or rabbinical school, but thought the world already had too many lawyers and not enough men of faith. After graduating from the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York and serving under Rabbi Albert Lewis––the subject of Mitch Albom’s book, ‘‘Have a Little Faith”––in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, Rabbi Levenson came to Woodbridge, Connecticut, where he has been the spiritual leader of Congregation B’nai Jacob since 2008.

There he has gained a reputation as a dynamic and inspiring presence on the pulpit, and he; his wife, Leora, who is with us today; and his children, Shir, Sam, and Gideon, have become warm and caring members of the community. We are joined by what we call the mishpucha up in the gallery this morning, and we welcome them all today.

Over his time in Woodbridge, Rabbi Levenson has been dedicated to promoting social justice and spiritual growth throughout Connecticut, and he has worked to foster a strong sense of Jewish identity, a joyful and inspiring congregation, and innovative educational opportunities throughout the synagogue.

Rabbi Levenson personally teaches preschool classes and meets with and works with Woodbridge teenagers, including leading them on trips to Israel. He has also worked extensively with Outreach to young families. And he is a dedicated cyclist and triathlete who has taken part in the Israel ride, a yearly ride across the 400 miles from Jerusalem to Eilat.

I thank Rabbi Levenson for his commitment to improving our community and for his profound words this morning.

Rabbi Levenson , we thank you for leading us in today’s invocation.


Contribute a translationSource (English)

We invoke Your blessing
for good judgment,
and understanding
upon this House
and all of its esteemed Members.
Keep them mindful of our trust.
Bestow upon them strength,
and willpower
to do instead of just to pray,
to become instead of merely to wish.

Watch over the men and women
who serve our country.
For Your sake and ours,
may our land be safe,
and a source of goodness
and our lives blessed.

May we repair this world
and fill it with decency,
and peace,
a world for which the prophet Isaiah prayed centuries ago
when he said: “Let justice well up as water
and righteousness as a mighty stream.”[1] Cf. Isaiah 16:3-5, Jeremiah 17:8, Amos 5:24. 

May the words that we pray
and the deeds that we do
be acceptable before You, O Lord,
our ever-present inspiration, rock, and redeemer.
And let us say,


112th Congress, 2nd Session. Congressional Record, Issue: Vol. 158, No. 102 — Daily Edition (July 10, 2012)

Link: https://chaplain.house.gov/chaplaincy/display_gc.html?id=1817



1Cf. Isaiah 16:3-5, Jeremiah 17:8, Amos 5:24.



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