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Prayer of the Guest Chaplain of the U.S. House of Representatives: Rabbi Stuart Weinblatt on 25 May 1988

https://opensiddur.org/?p=47624 Prayer of the Guest Chaplain of the U.S. House of Representatives: Rabbi Stuart Weinblatt on 25 May 1988 2022-11-25 15:53:00 The Opening Prayer given in the U.S. House of Representatives on 25 May 1988. Text the Open Siddur Project Aharon N. Varady (transcription) Aharon N. Varady (transcription) the Congressional Record of the United States of America Stuart Weinblatt https://opensiddur.org/copyright-policy/ Aharon N. Varady (transcription) https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/ Opening Prayers for Legislative Bodies United States of America 58th century A.M. English vernacular prayer U.S. House of Representatives Prayers of Guest Chaplains 100th Congress 20th century C.E. תחינות teḥinot
Guest Chaplain: Rabbi Stuart Weinblatt, Washington Board of Rabbis, Potomac, Maryland
Date of Prayer: 25 May 1988
Sponsor: Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD)

Rep. Hoyer: Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to introduce to you, Rabbi Stuart Weinblatt, of Temple Solel in Bowie, Maryland. A native of Baltimore, he graduated with high honors from the University of Maryland with a degree in history. I came to know Stu Weinblatt during his student days when he served for 3 years as director of State affairs for the University of Maryland student government. In that capacity, he was liaison to the State legislature, where I served as a member of the senate. Stu Weinblatt is no stranger to political activism or to Capitol Hill. In his high school days, he was named a William Randolph Hearst U.S. Senate scholar, entitling him to study for a week here in Washington. As a college student, he sponsored a registration drive which added 9,000 new voters to the rolls. He also served as an intern both to Baltimore Congressman Sam Friedel on the House Administration Committee and to Congressman Clarence Long. Following his graduation from the University of Maryland, Stu Weinblatt attended Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati and studied for 1 year in Israel. Before coming to Bowie’s Temple Solel, he served 2 years at Miami’s Temple Betham. Since coming to Temple Solel in 1981, Rabbi Weinblatt has taken an increasingly active role in a wide variety of community affairs. Most notably, he now serves as the president of the Washington Board of Rabbis. Rabbi Weinblatt has participated in a number of demonstrations in the vicinity of the Soviet Embassy here in Washington on behalf of Soviet Jews. Earlier this year, he traveled to the Soviet Union where he met with Yuli Kosharovsky, who has been a refusenik for 17 years, longer than virtually anyone else still in the Soviet Union. Following his return from the Soviet Union, Rabbi Weinblatt has continued his work on behalf of Soviet Jews. These efforts include a protest he organized in March at the Soviet Embassy in behalf of Yuli Kosharovsky. While meeting with a large group of refuseniks in Moscow, Rabbi Weinblatt also met with several of our colleagues, including Tom Lantos. Following the rabbi’s moving comments at the end of that meeting, Congressman and Mrs. Lantos suggested that…. Rabbi Weinblatt should one day give the invocation here in the House.


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The prayer I humbly offer to You, dear G-d,
on behalf of the leaders of this great Nation,
and in this hallowed assembly
is one of thanks.

We thank You
for the many blessings
You have bestowed upon this land, and its people;
for the noble goals of our Founding Fathers,
and for living in a country with elected Representatives
devoted to bringing those ideals
and the promise of that vision
into reality.
For abundant resources and wealth,
for unprecedented intellectual greatness and achievements,
we are ever appreciative.

In that spirit, we pray,
for the ability to share
the precious gifts of life and liberty,
of freedom and equality.

Help us to conserve and preserve our resources
for the benefit of future generations.

Help us to use our prosperity
for the betterment of all.

Help us to use the gifts of wisdom
and the God-given talents of our people
with prudence.

Bless us with the strength and desire
to strive to create Your kingdom here on Earth.
In that context,
we pray that the elected Representatives of our people
in whom we have placed our sacred trust
shall be guided by wisdom and compassion,
by truth and justice.

As the Psalmist recognized,
“Truly Your majestic presence
fills the whole Earth.”[1] Cf. Psalms 33:5 or Psalms 119:64, but perhaps Rabbi Weinblatt was thinking of Isaiah 6:3 or Numbers 14:21.  
For as Jacob exclaimed,
“How full of awe is this place.
Surely the Lord is in this place;
and I knew it not.” (Genesis 2:16)
Amen.

Source(s)

100th Congress, 2nd Session. C-SPAN.
Congressional Record, Vol. 134, Part 9 — Bound Edition, p. 12229.

 

Notes

Notes
1Cf. Psalms 33:5 or Psalms 119:64, but perhaps Rabbi Weinblatt was thinking of Isaiah 6:3 or Numbers 14:21.

 

 

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