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Prayer of the Guest Chaplain of the U.S. Senate: Rabbi Stephen Pinsky on 13 June 1989

https://opensiddur.org/?p=47655 Prayer of the Guest Chaplain of the U.S. Senate: Rabbi Stephen Pinsky on 13 June 1989 2022-11-27 15:12:59 The Opening Prayer given in the U.S. Senate on 13 June 1989. Text the Open Siddur Project Aharon N. Varady (transcription) Aharon N. Varady (transcription) United States Congressional Record Stephen Pinsky https://opensiddur.org/copyright-policy/ Aharon N. Varady (transcription) https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/ United States of America Opening Prayers for Legislative Bodies 20th century C.E. תחינות teḥinot 58th century A.M. English vernacular prayer Prayers of Guest Chaplains Senate 101st Congress
Guest Chaplain: Rabbi Stephen Pinsky, Temple Israel, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Date of Prayer: 13 June 1989
Sponsor: Sen. Rudy Boschwitz (R-MN)

Sen. Boschwitz: I thank the majority leader, Mr. President. I also found the rabbi’s prayer inspirational, as I so often do. I am a member of his congregation in Minneapolis, and I am proud to say that he is my rabbi and that he is here today to open the Senate. We look forward to today visiting together here in the Senate, and we look forward to having him again here in Washington. I yield the floor.

Contribute a translationSource (English)

Our God
and the god who links us
generation to generation,
soul to soul, heart to heart:
As we begin this day’s session of this Senate,
let us pause to reflect
upon our lives
and upon our Nation—
upon its dreams and its promise.

We are thankful for this new day
and for this season of the year
as the days grow longer
and the pace of our lives slow
just a bit
as the Earth warms
and cares seem softened
by the Sun’s lengthening rays.

And we are grateful for the lives we lead,
for our homes
which offer us safe havens
from life’s inevitable storms,
for our families
which give life purpose and meaning,
for our Nation, this Republic
with its “amber waves of grain,”
its “purple mountain majesty,”[1] From Katherine Lee Bates’s, “America the Beautiful” (1895).  
its patriot’s dream,
its alabaster cities,
its citizens proud and free,
its institutions democratic and open.

And although this Nation
celebrates a vision
of “one nation under God,”[2] Added to the Pledge of Allegiance to the United States in 1954 
we know all too well
that our society,
being a creation of men and women,
does not yet reflect
that which a nation under God
must reflect.

Our streets are too often filled with violence
and a spreading sense of valuelessness and despair.
Our people are not yet one
nor do all share equally Your gifts
to our Nation and our land.
There is hunger,
there is fear,
there is poverty of the body
and of the spirit.

Give us, O God,
the ability to feel the pain of others,
to reach out to them,
to share our blessings with them.
Help us to build a society
based on equity and justice,
on righteousness and peace.
Give us that wisdom,
that breadth of vision,
which shall enable us to understand
that if the cost of turning our land
into a garden
seems high to some,
the price of making it a desert
is higher still.

Grant the men and women of this Senate
the strength and the courage
to do what must be done
so that this Nation,
this blessed land,
may represent the very finest and the very best,
that it may, indeed,
“become” one nation under God.
Bless the work of their hands,
the Nation which we love so deeply
and of which we are so proud
so that all God’s children
will some day sit at His table
and drink the wine of deliverance
and eat the bread of freedom.


101st Congress, 1st Session. C-SPAN.
Congressional Record, Vol. 135, Part 8 — Bound Edition, p. 14316.

Congressional Record v. 135, part 8 – 13 June 1989. p. 11461



1From Katherine Lee Bates’s, “America the Beautiful” (1895).
2Added to the Pledge of Allegiance to the United States in 1954.



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