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[Prayer for a] Teachers’ Commencement, by Rabbi Avraham Samuel Soltes (1951)

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O Master of the Universe:
We invoke Thy blessing
this day,
upon these young men and women
who,
having completed their appointed courses of study,
are embarking
upon the noblest career
open
to citizens of a free land:
that of
informing the mind of our people’s youth
with the laws of Nature,
and with an understanding of their fellow man
and his ways;

Be Thou with them
that
they may augment
the bread of information
with
the ointment of affection
and character,
that
the spirit of their young charges
may be so fashioned
as to turn their minds
into an earnest
and loving desire
to move in harmony
with the laws of nature
and of a democratic society.

Guide them,
O Father,
thru the labyrinths of constricting trivia
that strangle a teacher’s soul,
that
their eyes may see the world
each day
as fresh
as it appeared to Adam
at Creation’s dawn,
and in each child,
Thy Divine Spark,
O Lord,
who madest man
in Thine own image.
Amen.

Rabbi Abraham Soltes’s “[Prayer for a] Teachers’ Commencement” can be found in his collection of prayers, תפלה Invocation: A Sheaf Of Prayers (Bloch 1959). Their he indicates that this prayer was offered on June 14, 1951, at the New Jersey State Teachers College in Newark (currently Kean University).

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