The Office of the Chaplain United States House of Representatives

Rabbi Rafael G. Grossman

Baron Hirsch Synagogue
Memphis, TN

Sponsor: Rep. Rep. Ed Bryant, (R-TN)
Date of Prayer: 06/20/2001

One Minute Speech Given in Recognition of the Guest Chaplain:

Mr. BRYANT. Mr. Speaker, I would like to join my colleagues in welcoming today's guest Speaker, Rabbi Rafael Grossman , and thank him for leading the House in prayer.

Rabbi Grossman has led the Baron Hirsch Congregation in Memphis for some 25 years. In those 25 years, Rabbi Grossman has overseen the construction of a new synagogue building and has established numerous programs that have benefited members of his congregation, the City of Memphis, and the State of Israel. Through the programs and his continued counsel, the Rabbi has touched the lives of each member of his congregation.

The Rabbi was chosen as one of a group of 10 Rabbis to be recognized and honored at the centennial celebration of the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America for his outstanding achievements. He also was a recipient of the National Rabbinic Leadership Award from that organization and has written many scholarly works for numerous journals.

Rabbi Grossman is married to Mrs. Shirley Grossman , and together they are the proud parents of four children and nine grandchildren. It is my distinct pleasure to welcome him here today as our guest chaplain.

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Opening Prayer Given by the Guest Chaplain:

O merciful God, in this august Chamber, Thy servants represent a nation blessed to live in freedom. Grant wisdom and courage so the path they pave can be traversed by all.

You chose us, the American people, from among all people, to be the "light unto the nations" and the voice for the silenced and the suffering. Thy children everywhere look to this hall of democracy for hope and strength, as old and young continue to face the evil hand of terror and exploitation. Give us determination to bring joy and life to victims of terror and might against those who perpetrate it. Your voice resonates in our hearts, and this is the vision of America's destiny.

Isaiah, in the language of the Bible: (Here the cited verse was read in Hebrew.) He "has sent me to bind up the broken hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and opening of the eyes of those who are bound." The old Prophet's words beckon the hearts of Americans to bring the freedom of our blessings to humankind's downtrodden, to those shackled by chains of exploitation and demagoguery. The free, dear God, are only free when all of God's children are free.

Would you join me in saying, Amen.

To learn more about Members who have sponsored a Guest Chaplain, please visit the Congressional Biographical Directory