April 21, 2024
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Rockland’s Rabbi Gewirtz Delivers Opening Invocation at New York State Senate

Printed with permission from Rockland Daily.

Rabbi Jonathan Gewirtz was selected to deliver the opening invocation before the New York State Senate in Albany this afternoon.

A resident of Wesley Hills, Rabbi Gewirtz is a renowned speaker, author of Operation Inspiration and The Observant Jew, as well as a popular weekly columnist in various frum publications and author of “Migdal Ohr,” a weekly Parsha compilation read by thousands.

“Each person in this room makes decisions every day that affect the lives of other people,” Rabbi Gewirtz said while addressing the Senate. “Whether in debate, enacting legislation, or simply in the way we treat others, we all impact the world around us.

“When we invoke a higher power, we’re not just asking for help. We’re urging ourselves to be better than we were before, to become more than human.

“When Billy Batson invoked, “SHAZAM,” to become Captain Marvel, he was summoning into himself the superhuman attributes of a number of mythological figures – and one very real one. The S stood for King Solomon, the wisest of all men…

“Solomon was wise enough to know that everyone has a story. Everyone has a perspective, and to properly govern, a leader must be sensitive and listen to the people.

“He or she must know that there are lines between good and bad which we cannot allow to become blurred or shifted, and that it is up to us to care for others, putting service first. To do so is to emulate G-d, Who is concerned with all creatures, ensuring they have what they need.

“Today, our invocation will echo Solomon’s. “Almighty God, King of Kings, and Ruler of all rulers, may You grant the members of this chamber, and everyone here, listening hearts and the ability to discern between good and evil, so they may properly govern and serve the people of New York and beyond.

“And may it further be Your will to grant those who, like Solomon, choose to govern selflessly and with care, the blessings You granted him: wealth, honor, victory in their battles, peace and peace of mind, and [a] long, healthy life to continue to do good.”

Senator Bill Weber, of the 38th Senate District, which includes Monsey, was behind Gewirtz’s invitation. His office was pleased to bring the first clergy to deliver an invocation since the beginning of January.

“We can all use words of wisdom,” Weber remarked to Rabbi Gewirtz. “Thank you so much for making the trip to Albany.”

“I was grateful for the opportunity to make a kiddush Hashem,” Rabbi Gewirtz shared exclusively with Rockland Daily after the event, “and to make people think better of Jewish people and Hakodesh Baruch Hu. I was trying to remind people of why they’re in the chamber, to look for a higher calling and to be of service.”

By M.C. Millman

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