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Prayer of the Guest Chaplain of the U.S. Senate: Rabbi Dr. Joachim Prinz on 6 May 1965

Guest Chaplain: Rabbi Dr. Joachim Prinz, Temple B’Nai Abraham, Newark, New Jersey
Sponsor: n/a
Date of Prayer: 6 May 1965


Contribute a translationSource (English)
In the gray days of human history,
Abraham, the father of all religions,[1] or rather to say, all of the “Abrahamic religions.” 
enunciated for the first time
the concept of one God,
Creator of the world,
and the Sustainer of life.
Thus the history of the people of Israel
remains forever bound up
with the divine plan for His world
and the people who inhabit it.
Yet, Israel’s history
is one of bondage
and persecution.
For 2,000 years,
after the Holy Land had passed into foreign hands,
the Jewish people suffered in countries
all over the globe.
Herded into ghettos,
they were subjected
to discrimination and degradation,
to injury and death.
In our own days,
six million of them
lie buried in the mass graves
of the concentration camps of Europe.
Yet in all these centuries
of hatred and bloodshed,
they did not abandon their faith in God,
nor did they forsake their belief in man’s innate goodness
and the principles of justice and peace.
They prayed and hoped
that the day would come
when many of them would be able to return
to their homeland, the land of Israel,
and to build a nation
and to reestablish themselves
in freedom and human dignity.
The bloodletting of so many millions in the land of persecution
and the perseverance of the Jewish people
made the dream and prayers of Israel come true.
Seventeen years ago,
with the concurrence and approval
of the United Nations,
the land of Israel was established.
Today, more than two million people
from many lands, men and women
of many races and faiths,
inhabit the land.
On this day of the anniversary
of the founding of the State of Israel,
we pray:
May there be peace between Israel and her neighbors.
May all of them realize that in their hands and hearts
rests the key to the preservation of peace in the whole world.
May there be wisdom in the minds of all leaders
in that part of the world, the cradle of religion and civilization,
so that they will pursue the cause of cooperation and mutual respect,
which alone will guarantee stability and peace for all.
May the water from the ancient and sacred river
benefit the fields of all nations,
yielding bread and sustenance for all,
and not be a source of conflict and armed threat.
May all the peoples acknowledge
Israel’s right to be,
to work, and to create,
knowing that there is room enough
for Arabs and Jews to live together
in harmony.
May the great nations of the world—
may, indeed, our own country and its leaders,
recognize their responsibility
to protect the integrity of all borders,
and the rightful and just claims of all peoples,
to the end that the ancient prophecy may be realized:
“And it shall come to pass in the end of the days,
That the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established,
And all nations shall flow unto it.
For out of Zion shall go forth the law,
And the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
And they shall beat their swords into plowshares,
And their spears into pruning hooks;
Nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
Neither shall they learn war any more.” (Isaiah 2:2-4)

This prayer of the guest chaplain was offered in the fifth month of the first session of the 89th US Congress in the Senate, and published in the Congressional Record, vol. 111, part 7 (6 May 1965), p. 9728.


Congressional Record, vol. 111, part 7 (6 May 1965), p. 9728



1or rather to say, all of the “Abrahamic religions.”



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