The Office of the Chaplain United States House of Representatives

Rabbi Peter J. Rubinstein

Central Synagogue
New York, NY

Sponsor: Rep. Rep. Carolyn Maloney, (D-NY)
Date of Prayer: 12/12/2001

One Minute Speech Given in Recognition of the Guest Chaplain:

Mrs. MALONEY of New York. Mr. Speaker, I am proud to welcome to this Chamber Rabbi Peter J . Rubinstein , senior Rabbi at Manhattan's Central Synagogue.

Built in 1872, Central Synagogue is a national and city landmark that was nearly destroyed by fire in 1998. But thanks to Rabbi Rubinstein and others, the Central Synagogue rose from the ashes not only restored, but improved.

New York would do well to follow its example.

On September 9, along with thousands of New Yorkers, I was pleased to attend a glorious celebration when the synagogue reopened. But the joy was shortlived. Just days later, Central Synagogue was hosting memorial services for World Trade Center victims. In retrospect, the renovations were completed just in time.

The Central Synagogue and Rabbi Rubinstein have been there for New Yorkers in times of joy and sorrow alike, and the synagogue was ready for the most sorrowful day in our city's history.

It gives me great pleasure that a man who has meant so much to so many was able to lead us in prayer today.

Opening Prayer Given by the Guest Chaplain:

Dear friends, we gather during this festival of Hanukkah when Jews celebrate the blessing of light and rededication and renewal. Long ago, those enemies who would have destroyed us profaned our sacred alters. They wished to rid the world of the fundamental teachings of our faith: that peace is founded upon justice, that all human beings are God's creation deserving of ultimate decency and goodness, and that the loveliness of light will always, in the end, obliterate the suffocating specter of darkness.

So, again, as we battle for the vision of light and peace, we ask You, O God, to bless us today in our gathering. Send healing to the sick, comfort to all who are in pain, and tender love to the sorrowing hearts among us. Deepen our love for our country and our desire to serve it. Let Your blessing rest upon us so that our Nation may forever be to the world an example of justice and compassion. As well, may all that we do be a blessing and in Your service, O God and let us say, Amen.

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