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Prayer of the Guest Chaplain of the U.S. Senate: Rabbi Jay Kaufman on 17 April 1967

Guest Chaplain: Rabbi Jay Kaufman, executive vice president, B’nai B’rith, Washington, D.C.
Sponsor: n/a
Date of Prayer: 17 April 1967


Contribute a translationSource (English)
Oh Lord, God of men,
God of the strong and of the weak,
from this august Chamber
guerdoned with our Nation’s power
wherein labor the architects of fate,
rearing the walls of our day’s destiny,
we pray for deeds
to match our dire dilemmas.
We pray for enactments
to stay the unraveling of our Nation’s unity,
for statutes and ordinances
designed to raise the lowly,
the scorned seething to break
the man-forged manacles binding them
to despair,
to lowly recompense, crumbling dwellings,
deficient preparation
to self-sufficient maturity,
yet forced to live in their penury,
face to face with fellow citizens
granted in abundance all the fruits of the bounties
of our most prosperous of lands.
From the hearts of all gathered here
there rises unto Thee, oh Lord,
the earnest beseechment for peace,
the prayer for the wisdom
to find our way out of the toils of war;
a peace brought not by the coward’s flight
but through the brave man’s concord.
Our Heavenly Father,
may the means be found to stay the carnage
where brave men slay their brothers also brave,
where the enemy we fight to Thee, oh Lord,
is also dear.
מַה־נָּאווּ עַל־הֶהָרִים
רַגְלֵי מְבַשֵּׂר
מַשְׁמִיעַ שָׁלוֹם (ישעיה נב:ז)
Ma navu al he-harim
raglei m’vaseir
mashmiya shalom
How beautiful upon the hilltops
are the feet of the messenger of the good tiding
that announce Thy most precious gift of peace.—(Isaiah 52:7).
הֱוֵי מִתַּלְמִידָיו שֶׁל אַהֲרֹן
אוֹהֵב שָׁלוֹם…
אוֹהֵב אֶת הַבְּרִיּוֹת
וּמְקָרְבָן לַתּוֹרָה (משנה אבות א:יב)
Oh God,
may these legislators of our land
follow the instructions of Hillel the Sage:
Hevei mi-talmidov shel Aharon.
Ohev shalom,
ohev et ha-briyot…
u-m’ḳorvan la-Torah.

Be of the disciples of Aaron,
lovers of peace…[1] This quotation omits rodef shalom (“pursue peace”). 
lovers of all men[2] ha-briyot literally translates to “all creatures.” 
and may be ye ever nigh unto God’s law—(Cf. Mishnah Avot 1:12).

This prayer of the guest chaplain was offered in the fourth month of the first session of the 90th US Congress in the Senate, and published in the Congressional Record, vol. 113, part 8 (17 April 1967), page 9786.


Congressional Record, vol. 113, part 8 (17 April 1967), p. 9786



1This quotation omits rodef shalom (“pursue peace”).
2ha-briyot literally translates to “all creatures.”



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