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Prayer of the Guest Chaplain of the U.S. House of Representatives: Rabbi Romi Cohn on 29 January 2020

Guest Chaplain: Rabbi Avraham Hakohen “Romi” Cohn, Congregation Ohr Yechezkel, Brooklyn, New York
Sponsor: Rep. Max Rose (D-NY)
Date of Prayer: 01/29/2020

Mr. ROSE of New York. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize Rabbi Romi Cohn, a leader on Staten Island and a dear, dear friend.

Rabbi Cohn has dedicated his life to Jewish culture and heritage and built a renowned career as a mohel in New York City for over 25 years. I am especially honored to welcome Rabbi Cohn this week as we remember the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.

Rabbi Cohn’s career is merely a continuation of a lifetime of fighting for the Jewish faith. His early life was uprooted by the rise of the Nazi Party, their invasion of Czechoslovakia, and the outbreak of World War II. Under Nazi rule, he saw the Hitler Youth attack his father in the street.

When war broke out, he joined the partisans fighting Nazi tyranny. At 15 years old, Romi was the youngest member of the Czechoslovakian partisan forces. Among other feats, he helped save 56 Jewish families escape the horrors of the Holocaust.

He fought with the partisans until the end of the war and then went in search of his own family. Of his parents and six siblings, only his father and two sisters had survived.

Rabbi Cohn saw how a democracy can be corrupted into a fascist dictatorship and what happens when anti-Semitism is allowed to fester.

Sadly, across this country, we see an alarming rise in anti-Semitism and hatred. Rabbi Cohn’s legacy reminds us never to accept bigotry, not when we see it in the street, not when we saw it in the Halls of Congress, not when we see it anywhere. Our freedoms are not free. We must fight for them or risk losing them.

Rabbi Cohn is a model and example for all of us to follow, and I thank him for his extraordinary life of service.


Contribute a translationSource (English)

Almighty, open my lips.
May the words of my mouth declare Your praise.[1] Psalms 51:17  
With profound humility and deep appreciation,
I stand before You.

As a young boy of 13 years,
I was condemned to be dead,
to be murdered along with my entire family,
including my 3-year-old little sister,
by one evil man, may his name be erased forever.
But my life was spared.
I was saved by my Father,
by You, O Lord, the Father of the Universe,
who brought me to the shores of this beautiful country,
the United States of America,
the land of the free,
where I found a safe and new home.

As I stand before you
on the 75th anniversary of the liberation
of the Auschwitz death camp,
I offer humble words of praise and gratitude to the Almighty.
Blessed are You,
King of the Universe,
who has granted me life and sustenance to this day.[2] cf. the “sheheḥiyanu” blessing. 

May You, Lord, accept with mercy
our prayers for our country;
for our President, Donald Trump;
our Vice President, Michael Pence;
my Congressman, Max Rose;
and all his noble colleagues.

O Mighty King of the Universe,
as Your humble servant,
I bestow this blessing upon Your children.
May the Lord bless you and protect you. Amen.
May the Lord deal kindly and graciously with you. Amen.
May the Lord bestow His favor upon you and grant you peace. [Amen][3] cf. the “Priestly Blessing,” Numbers 6:22-27. 


116th Congress, 2nd Session. Congressional Record, Issue: Vol. 166, No. 19 — Daily Edition (January 29, 2020)

link: https://chaplain.house.gov/archive/index.html?id=3055




1Psalms 51:17
2cf. the “sheheḥiyanu” blessing.
3cf. the “Priestly Blessing,” Numbers 6:22-27.



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