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Prayer of the Guest Chaplain of the U.S. Senate: Rabbi Isaac Mayer Wise on 20 May 1870

Guest Chaplain: Rabbi Isaac Mayer Wise, Lodge Street Synagogue, Cincinnati, Ohio
Sponsor: n/a
Date of Prayer: 20 May 1870


Contribute a translationSource (English)
O Lord,
who art power,
wisdom and justice,
absolute and infinite,
who lookest upon the earth
and it trembles,
who touchest the mountains
and they smoke,
and yet, in thy boundless grace
hast girded man with might from thy might,
hast enlightened his mind with wisdom from thy wisdom,
and hast impressed his conscience with justice from thy justice,
who hast mercifully granted us
the sacred boons of freedom and government,
and hast appointed this land to a home of righteousness,
an Eden of liberated humanity,
a rock of hope and banner of consolation
to struggling nations;
we beseech thee to vouchsafe
thy gracious blessings
to this body of our chosen men,
that they deliberate wisely, resolve justly,
and far from selfishness and vain ambition
wield the power vested in them
to the prosperity of our country,
the realisation of justice,
the progress of freedom,
the triumph of humanity,
and the elevation of human nature;
that prosperity and justice,
freedom and peace,
righteousness and wisdom
be forever the united gems
in the diadem of our country,
the rainbow colors
in our emblem of power,
the banner of victory unfurled
to all nations and tongues.
And mayest thou pour out upon
these favored sons of the nation
the spirit of wisdom and intelligence,
the spirit of counsel and of might,
the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.
So may it be thy will, Father of the universe,
now and forever.

This prayer of the guest chaplain was offered in the sixth month of the second session of the 41st US Congress in the Senate, and published in the American Israelite, vol. 16, no, 47 (27 May 1870), page 10. Before February 1904, prayers of chaplains offered before Congress were not recorded in the Congressional Record. This prayer was recovered as part of a special project to locate the approximately twenty prayers offered by rabbinic guest chaplains between 1860 and 1904. –Aharon Varady


The Israelite (27 May 1870), p. 10




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