The Office of the Chaplain United States House of Representatives

Rabbi Solomon Schiff

Greater Miami Jewish Federation
Miami Beach, FL

Sponsor: Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, (R-FL)
Date of Prayer: 06/18/2009

One Minute Speech Given in Recognition of the Guest Chaplain:

Mr. Speaker, I rise to commend my good friend, Rabbi Solomon Schiff , for the uplifting prayer that he delivered for all of us today, as well as for his tireless effort to strengthen our religious communities in my home district of south Florida.

Rabbi Schiff serves as the Director of Chaplaincy Emeritus for the Greater Miami Jewish Federation. In this role, Rabbi Schiff offers educational support and comfort to those in the Jewish communities in the United States, in Israel, and indeed throughout the world.

I have long been aware of Rabbi Schiff's commitment and contributions to academia, to the Jewish community, and to the social welfare of all residents of south Florida.

The spirit of optimism and determination that Rabbi Schiff possesses can be seen in this week's Torah portion. After returning from the Land of Israel, Caleb reports to the Jewish people that ‘‘we should surely go up, and inherit the land; for we are certainly able.''

Rabbi Schiff's hard work on behalf of the Jewish community has been tireless and always with contagious optimism. No task is too large and no cause is without merit.

But his greatest achievement is his family, including his lovely wife, Shirley, and his three adult sons: Elliott, his wife, Alisa, and their children, Michael and Brooke; Jeffrey, his wife, Risa, and their children, Chananya, Moshe and Noah; and Steven, his wife, Jacqueline, and their children, Jennifer and Jeremy.

The opening prayer Rabbi Schiff presented today reflects his intellectual fiber, as well as his determination to improve our community and our country.

I thank Rabbi Schiff for his invocation and look forward to working with him in the years ahead.

Opening Prayer Given by the Guest Chaplain:

Heavenly Creator, bestow thy blessings upon those assembled here, who have accepted the sacred responsibility to legislate within these hallowed halls, to preserve and foster the noble ideals of our sanctified democracy.

Grant that these deliberations be ruled by wisdom, purpose, and dedication. The Prophet Malachai said, "Have we not all one Father? Hath not one God created us all? Why do we deal treacherously, every man against his brother?"

Help us to eradicate anger, hunger and bigotry from our human family. Imbue us with the commitment to sow the seeds that will turn selfishness into civility, hatred into harmony, loathing into love, and bigotry into blessing. Help us always to work for the lost, the least, the last and the lonely.

May we remain committed to work with renewed energy to elevate the status and dignity of all of thy children, so that all can enjoy the blessings and benefits of our bountiful society. Amen.

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