At Corzine Inauguration, OU’s Rabbi Genack Delivers Benediction

January 17, 2006

Rabbi Menachem Genack of Englewood, Chief Executive Officer of the Orthodox Union’s worldwide Kosher Division, delivered the Benediction today at the Inaugural ceremony for Governor Jon S. Corzine in Trenton. Rabbi Genack served on the Governor-Elect’s transition team for the Department of Corrections, the second largest item in the New Jersey budget. The group was charged with reviewing the Department to make it more efficient and effective and to stem the tide of recidivism affecting the former prison population.
In addition to his Orthodox Union position, which makes him one of the foremost authorities on Jewish dietary law, and in which he administers the world’s largest kosher agency, which certifies over 400,000 products produced in nearly 6,000 plants located in 83 countries, Rabbi Genack serves as the spiritual leader of Congregation Shomrei Emunah in Englewood, an Orthodox Union member congregation;

The full text of the Benediction is as follows:

Benediction for Governor Corzine’s Inauguration

Glorified and sanctified be God’s great name throughout the world which He has created according to His will.

He sustains the living with kindness, and revives the dead with great mercy; He supports all who fall and heals the sick; He sets the captives free and keeps faith with those who sleep in the dust.

Happy is the man who does not forget Him, who gains courage in Him. Those who seek Him shall never stumble, those who trust in Him shall never be disgraced, for He remembers and searches everyman’s deeds.

He crowns the kings, and dominion is His.

O Lord, protect and inspire this good, gifted and gracious man, Governor Jon S. Corzine. Endow him with courage, fortitude, wisdom, and crown him with humility and compassion.

In last week’s Torah portion, the conclusion of Genesis, Jacob remarkably, gives Kingship to Judah and not Joseph. While Joseph is perfect in every respect and suited for leadership by talent and experience, it is Judah, the ancestor of King David, upon whom the mantle of leadership falls. What we look for in a leader is not perfection, but the ability to admit a mistake, as does Judah, as does David. We look for a leader who is not isolated but engaged. We seek not perfection, but rather flexibility, humility and the ability to change course based on new realities in an ever-changing world drama.

May Governor Corzine, whose roots are in Illinois, Lincoln country, be enveloped with the spirit of Abraham Lincoln, who was resolute and flexible and supremely ambitious, but profoundly humble.

Governor Corzine, always be true to the high standards you have set for yourself and for us. “I desire to conduct the affairs of this administration, Lincoln said, that if in the end, when I lay down the reins of power, I have lost every friend on earth, I shall at least have one friend left, and that friend shall be down inside of me.”

May God bless Governor Corzine, and his new Administration, the people of New Jersey and this great enterprise for good – the United States of America.


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