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A Prayer at the Ceremony of Breaking Ground for the Ocean Parkway Jewish Center, by Rabbi Jacob Bosniak (1924)


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O Lord, our God and God of our fathers,
we have assembled here
for the glory of Thy name.
We are about to break ground
for the erection of a building
dedicated to Thy service.
We are mindful of the words of the Psalmist,
“Except the Lord build the House,
they labour in vain that build it.” (Psalms 127:1)
We invoke Thy blessing, O God,
upon the work of our hand.
We fully realize the great responsibilities
we have taken upon ourselves,
when we started this work.
Grant us Divine assistance,
to complete this building
for the sake of Thy Torah,
for the sake of Thy name.
Hundreds of our people,
who want to worship with us,
cannot be admitted
because of lack of accommodations.
Many of our children
who come begging for instruction in Thy sacred religion,
have to be turned away because of lack of space.
We want to perpetuate our sacred religion,
in this our country of freedom and liberty.
We want to preserve and transmit our Torah
to future generations.
We thank Thee, O God,
for all Thou hast given us.
For the good men and women
who have thus far responded to our appeals,
and made possible the beginning of this sacred work.
Bless the Officers of our Congregation and auxiliary organizations,
the Chairmen of the various committees, and their co-workers,
who have given of their means,
of their time and energy, unstintedly,
and have continually worked for this sacred cause.
Strengthen their hearts and their hands,
and enable them to continue this work
even with greater zeal, and courage,
until it shall have been completed.
May the words of my mouth
and the meditation of my heart be acceptable unto Thee,
my God, my Rock and my Redeemer.

“A Prayer at the Ceremony of Breaking Ground for the Building of a Synagogue” was written and delivered by Rabbi Jacob Bosniak on 19 October 1924, at the breaking of ground for the building of the Ocean Parkway Jewish Center. The prayer was first published in Rabbi Bosniak;s לקוטי תפלות Liḳutei Tefilot: Pulpit and Public Prayers (1927), pp. 101-102.






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