Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Breaking News

Alaska Rabbi Offers Senate Prayer Against Terror

An Alaskan rabbi, invited to offer the daily opening prayer in the Senate, prayed for the United States to lead in the fight against terrorism worldwide.

“Grant, Almighty God, that the Members of the Senate, who assembled here today, to fulfill one of Your Seven Commandments, the Commandment to govern by just laws, understand that the United States has the ability to lead the entire world and be a role model in spreading and incorporating Your Seven Laws, and in doing so, have the power to bring healing and peace to a struggling and broken world that is facing ongoing terror and violence,” Rabbi Yosef Greenberg, who heads the Chabad-Lubavitch outlet in Anchorage, said Feb. 3.

Greenberg described the present day as a period in which “misguided people use religion to commit the greatest crimes against humanity by stabbing and murdering innocent men, women, and children in the Middle East, Europe, Israel, the USA and all over the world.”

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, invited Greenberg to open the session, said Rabbi Levi Shemtov, who heads the American Friends of Lubavitch, the movement’s Washington office. Each day of Senate business, a clergyman is invited to launch proceedings with a prayer.

“It allowed the chamber to be warmed by a spiritual leader of the Frozen Chosen,” Shemtov said of Murkowski’s invitation.

Shemtov said the invocation of the “seven commandments,” or the seven laws handed down to Noah and applicable in Jewish tradition to Jews and non-Jews, was typical of a prayer a rabbi would offer a body with members of multiple faiths.

“A prayer offered by someone Jewish for a Jewish audience will focus more specifically on a Jewish theme,” he said. “When a prayer is offered for a broader group or assemblage, a more universal message is appropriate.”

Engage

  • SHARE YOUR FEEDBACK

  • UPCOMING EVENT

    SKY & SCULPTURE

    Hybrid: Online and at the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan

    Oct 2, 2022

    6:30 pm ET · 

    A Sukkah, IMKHA, created by artist Tobi Kahn, for the Marlene Meyerson JCC of Manhattan is an installation consisting of 13 interrelated sculpted painted wooden panels, constituting a single work of art. Join for a panel discussion with Rabbi Joanna Samuels, Chief Executive Director of the Marlene Meyerson JCC of Manhattan, Talya Zax, Innovation Editor of the Forward, and Tobi Kahn, Artist. Moderated by Mattie Kahn.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.