Inauguration Day Prayer for President Ronald Reagan by Rabbi Alfred Gottschalk (1985)

We the people turn to You, O God, in prayer. We have come again to this place which stirs our hearts to reaffirm the highest ideals of our Nation. The sacred oaths about to be pronounced in Your name reflect the awesome responsibilities entrusted to our President and Vice President by the American people. May You, who are the rock of ages, guide them in protecting the Constitution of our beloved Commonwealth, founded in faith, which ensures unity without uniformity. Sustain them. O God, as they advance the American way which ״gives to bigotry no sanction״[1]George Washington, Letter to the Jews of Newport, August 17th, 1790 to ״malevolence no hope.״[2]source unknown O source of all life, enshrine in their hearts the knowledge that all are created in Your image and that life — Your gift to us — is sacred.

Inspire our leaders to defeat hunger and hurt, to promote compassion and to find successful ways to assure the weak their share of America’s promise. In humility, we pray that this opportunity for renewal will advance reconciliation in the family of nations, guaranteeing peace in our world and tranquility in the farthest reaches of our universe. May those who follow us. our children and our children’s children, bless our President and Vice President, their families, and all those associated with them in Government, and may all remember this time and this administration as that in which their future was made secure.

O God, may You, who makes peace in high places, help us here on Earth to find the way to peace.

Blessed are You, O God. Aleichem Shalom, grantor of peace. Amen.


This prayer by Rabbi Alfred Gottschalk at the second inauguration of President Ronald Reagan was recorded in the United States’ Congressional Record on January 21, 1985.

Notes   [ + ]

  1. George Washington, Letter to the Jews of Newport, August 17th, 1790
  2. source unknown

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