Rabbi Ira Flax quoted Proverbs, saluted the military and endorsed John McCain in his closing benediction Tuesday night at the Republican National Convention.
The retired Air Force chaplain, now living in Birmingham, Ala., began by noting that “the song ‘God Bless America’ was introduced to this country 70 years ago, and in those seven decades, Lord you have indeed blessed us in so many ways.”
He continued, “We are here in this hall this evening safe and secure because there are men and women willing to serve others [and] they are standing guard against the enemies of freedom and ready to respond to the natural calamities that beset our lot from time to time. We ask you, God, to bless their efforts, bless their families, and bless us too.”
Flax also paid tribute to those suffering through Hurricane Gustav: “As our fellow citizens on the gulf coast emerge from the dark night of storm clouds and rain, may the light of God’s face shine upon them and bless them with peace.”
Finally, he quoted from the Book of Proverbs, Chapter 29:18 in both Hebrew and English.
“B’eyn chazon yipareh am, where there is no vision, the people perish,” he said. “In every age God, you have provided people of vision to act decisively in moments of great adversity. Bless this land with prosperity, bless our people with health and our leaders with vision, and God bless John McCain, the next president of the United States.”