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Prayer of the Guest Chaplain of the U.S. House of Representatives: Rabbi Harry H. Epstein on 16 March 1978

https://opensiddur.org/?p=54820 Prayer of the Guest Chaplain of the U.S. House of Representatives: Rabbi Harry H. Epstein on 16 March 1978 2024-03-16 21:07:10 The Opening Prayer given in the U.S. House of Representatives on 16 March 1978. Text the Open Siddur Project Harry H. Epstein Harry H. Epstein the Congressional Record of the United States of America https://opensiddur.org/copyright-policy/ Harry H. Epstein https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/ Opening Prayers for Legislative Bodies United States of America English vernacular prayer U.S. House of Representatives Prayers of Guest Chaplains 95th Congress 20th century C.E. תחינות teḥinot 58th century A.M.
Guest Chaplain: Rabbi Harry H. Epstein, Ahavath Achim Synagogue, Atlanta, Georgia
Sponsor: Rep. Elliot Levitas (D-GA)
Date of Prayer: 16 March 1978

Mr. LEVITAS. Mr. Speaker, for 50 years, Rabbi Harry H. Epstein has led the congregation of Ahavath Achim, in Atlanta, Ga. I have known and been guided by the spiritual wisdom of Rabbi Epstein all of my life, and I am happy he could be here today so that all of you might hear him.

The rabbinical tradition is generations deep in Rabbi Epstein’s family. His grandfather, uncle, and father were rabbis. Rabbi Epstein was trained in the Slobodka Yeshiva, a seat of great rabbinical knowledge and headed by his uncle, himself a famous Talmudic scholar. He was also one of the first students at the Hebron Yeshiva in Palestine in 1924. He has distinguished himself as a rabbinic scholar as well as the leader of a congregation grateful for his devotion for all this time. He also holds a master’s degree from Emory University in Atlanta and a Ph.D. degree from the University of Illinois.

His wonderful wife, Reva, is also descended from a family of rabbonim. Together they have provided Atlantans, Jewish and Christian, with a shining example of leadership, strength, and dedication.

In addition to being our spiritual leader all these years, Rabbi Epstein and his wife have been close personal friends to my parents. We looked upon them as members of our family. My father was on the selection committee that chose him as our rabbi, and met him at the old Atlanta Terminal Station when he first arrived. The synagogue has dedicated this entire year to a celebration of his jubilee year, and it is our honor to have had Rabbi Epstein lead us in prayer today, as he has led me and the others of the Ahavath Achim congregation for so many years.


Contribute a translationSource (English)
Eternal God,
reverently we ask your guidance
for the Members of this House.
May the words here spoken
broaden vision
and narrow division.
May the power of principle,
rather than the principle of power,
be the measure of its deliberations.
We pray not for
ease in resolving the responsibilities
of directing the affairs of our Nation,
for we are aware that we live in days
large with challenge and perplexity.
But we do pray for
understanding adequate to the times’ demands,
for integrity sufficient for the tasks,
for vigilance to recognize all evil
plus steadfastness sufficient to overcome it,
and for compassion that embraces all people
in the circle of its concerns.
May we remember
that “the effect of righteousness
(is) quietness and confidence forever.” (Isaiah 32:17)

This prayer of the guest chaplain was offered in the second month of the second session of the 95th US Congress in the House of Representatives, and published in the Congressional Record, vol. 124, part 6 (1978), page 7293.


Congressional Record, vol. 124, part 6 (16 March 1978), p. 7293




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