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Prayer of the Guest Chaplain of the U.S. House of Representatives: Rabbi Isaac Neuman on 11 April 1983

Guest Chaplain: Rabbi Isaac Neuman, Sinai Temple, Champaign, Illinois
Sponsor: Rep. Daniel Crane (R-IL)
Date of Prayer: 11 April 1983

Mr. DANIEL B. CRANE. Mr. Speaker, the prayer opening today’s session of Congress was delivered by Rabbi Isaac Neuman of the Sinai Temple in Champaign, Illinois.

He also is the father of two fine sons. As a young man, Isaac Neuman perhaps had more experiences than most as he matured. For immediately following the completion of his education in Warsaw, war erupted in Europe, World War Ⅱ, as we all know it today.

We cannot begin to imagine what went through his mind as he spent the war years in the camps of Auschwitz and other Nazi concentration camps. Doubtless he would try to forget, if remembering was not so important to the entire world.

Perhaps in part because it was the United States that crushed his captors, Isaac Neuman came to this country, the land of the free and the home of the brave, on April 11, 1950, exactly 33 years ago today.

Quickly mastering his studies at the University of Cincinnati and Hebrew Union College, he completed his studies in 1958 and served in Panama, traveling throughout South America to recruit Jewish Latin American students.

Mr. Speaker, it is a great honor for me and this House to host a man of the stature of Rabbi Neuman, who truly knows the difference between a slave state and a free state.


Contribute a translationSource (English)
God of our fathers, our God,
humbly a survivor of Auschwitz
stands in Thy presence
amid the chosen servants
of a great people, a generous people,
who opened their gates
to homeless victims of totalitarianism.
We raise our voices
in gratitude to Thee
that on this day 38 years ago,
the U.S. Armed Forces entered
Buchenwald Concentration Camp
and freed the prisoners
from the Nazi gas chambers.
I raise my voice
in gratitude to Thee
because on this day, 33 years ago,
I first set foot on these blessed shores.
May our country hold true to its traditions,
and remain a refuge
for the homeless
and oppressed,
as it has been for us
and for all our forefathers.
O Sovereign of the World,
may this our land
retain its zeal for justice.
Awaken its compassion and mercy
for the hungry and the homeless.
Strengthen in Thy law
the endeavors of these, our Representatives,
and the hands of all those
who labor for peace,
for justice,
and for freedom,
at home
and abroad.
Praised art Thou,
O Lord our God,
who freest the captives.

This prayer of the guest chaplain was offered in the fourth month of the first session of the 98th US Congress in the House of Representatives, and published in the Congressional Record, vol. 129, part 6 (11 April 1983), page 7889.


Congressional Record, vol. 129, part 6 (11 April 1983), p. 7889




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