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Press Releases
March 19, 2003

Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America
11 Broadway, New York, NY 10004, Tel: (212) 563-4000, Fax (212) 564-9058,

March 19, 2003

The leadership of the Orthodox Union and the Rabbinical Council of America tonight issued the following statement following President Bush’s address on Iraq:

With the possibility of war imminent, we of the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America and of the Rabbinical Council of America call for prayer, courage, and hope.

We pray for a swift conclusion to this war and for the realization of all of its noble objectives.
We pray for the total elimination of the arsenals of weapons of mass destruction, which pose a grave threat to humanity.
We pray for the well being of innocent civilians who are in harm's way.
We pray for the achievement of liberty and freedom for the citizens of Iraq.
We pray that Israel will be blessed with neighbors that will allow her to live in peace.
We pray that the Almighty enlighten the hearts and minds of our leaders with His good counsel.
We pray for the eradication of terror and for lasting peace throughout the world.
We pray for the courage to rise to the many challenges that lie ahead.
We pray for the continued capacity to hope for a better future for all mankind.

We call upon all of our constituent congregations, along with men and women of good faith everywhere, to pray for the well being of the members of the Armed Services of the United States of America. Our synagogues have been provided with texts of appropriate special prayers for this occasion

We echo the ancient words with which we traditionally conclude our prayers:

"May He who makes peace in His celestial domain, bring peace to us all...and let us say 'Amen'"

Harvey Blitz
President Orthodox Union

Rabbi Dr. Tzvi Hersh Weinreb
Executive Vice President Orthodox Union

Rabbi Herschel Billet
President Rabbinical council of America

Rabbi Bertram Leff
Executive Director Pro Tem
Rabbinical Council of America

The Orthodox Union, now in its second century of service to the Jewish community of North America and beyond, is a world leader in community and synagogue services, adult education, youth work through NCSY, political action through the IPA, and advocacy for persons with disabilities through Yachad and Our Way. Its kosher supervision label, the (OU), is the world’s most recognized kosher symbol and can be found on over 250,000 products manufactured in 68 countries around the globe.

The Rabbinical Council of America is a dynamic professional organization serving over 1,100 Orthodox Rabbis in the United States of America, Canada and Israel. Membership is comprised of duly ordained Orthodox Rabbis who serve in positions of the congregational Rabbinate, Jewish education, chaplaincies, and other allied fields of Jewish communal work. While many of its members received their smicha from <> Yeshivat Rabbenu Yitzchak Elchanan (affiliated with <> Yeshiva University, New York) and <> Bet Midrash Letorah (Hebrew Theological College, Skokie, Illinois), a large number were ordained from other major yeshivot in the United States, Israel and Europe and by recognized Rabbinic Torah authorities.

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