Participants observe a moment of silence in Tokyo, March 11, 2016, to mark when a magnitude 9.0 earthquake struck off Japan's coast in 2011, setting off a tsunami that killed thousands and sparking a nuclear crisis. Credit: Reuters

By Rabbi Yehoshua S. Hecht
Presidium Chairman Rabbinical Alliance of America

July 30, 2019, marked the 63rd anniversary of the bipartisan vote of the U.S. Congress (pl 84-140) enacted to officially amend the motto of the United States of America to be “In G-d We Trust.”

It was signed into law in 1956 by then-president Dwight D. Eisenhower to the applause of Americans of all faiths and creeds.

Recently, several states, such as Florida, Kentucky, South Dakota, and others, have passed legislation requiring that this motto be prominently displayed in all their public schools.

The Rabbinical Alliance of America, a national rabbinic association with more than 950 members serving congregations and communities throughout the USA, commends and supports this movement for conveying an awareness of the Creator to be part of the educational milieu and environment for all the nation’s pupils.

For too long and with disastrous results, our public schools have failed our nation’s children in the education of ethical and moral behavior that is so vitally needed to curb the out-of-control violence and mass shootings and other outrages all too often perpetrated by misguided youth.

We call upon all states to mandate a Moment of Silence at the commencement of the day, allowing for teachers and students to silently reflect on the Creator and faith in a Higher Being. This will directly help to guide all our citizens to lead a more exemplary life, resulting in respect and caring for others, knowing that there is an “Eye that Sees and an Ear that Hears” our deeds and words.

This Moment of Silence will serve all people regardless of faith or creed to reflect on our universal commitment as human beings to conduct ourselves accordingly.

It’s time for Americans to support the implementation for a Moment of Silence and thus help secure the welfare of our children and young adults.

We pray that He who makes peace in His heavenly abode will make peace upon us. Amen.

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