Rabbi Yosef Greenberg of the Lubavitch Jewish Center of Alaska in Anchorage gave an impassioned prayer before the U.S. Senate to open their daily session on Feb. 3.
He spoke as the day’s guest chaplain, an honor for which Sen. Lisa Murkowski nominated him. Rabbi Yosef is the first rabbi from Alaska to serve as guest chaplain for the Senate.
During his two-minute prayer he beseeched God to guide senators amid a world increasingly fraught by acts of terror.
“In these troubling times when misguided people use religion to commit the greatest crimes against humanity, by stabbing and murdering innocent men, women and children, in the Middle East, in Europe in Israel, in the US…may you grant, Almighty God that the members of this honorable body have the wisdom and the courage to embody the universal values of the seven commandments which you Almighty God issued to Noah and his family after the great flood, the foremost of which is not to commit murder.”
He asked that God give senators understanding that the United States can be a moral force for good and an example to the rest of the world.
“Grant Almighty God that the members of the Senate who are assembled here today…understand that the United States has the ability to lead the entire world and be a roll model” in bringing “healing and peace to a struggling and broken world that is facing ongoing terror and violence.”
He concluded, asking that “we may all see the fulfillment of humanity’s great future as proclaimed by Isaiah: ‘Nation shall not lift the sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.’”
Rabbi Greenberg is a well-known religious figure in Alaska and was the driving force behind creation of Alaska’s first Jewish history museum.
Guest chaplains, who are recommended by senators to deliver the session’s opening prayer in place of the Senate chaplain, have represented all the world’s major religious faiths.