Convention-al wisdom: Democratic and Republican rabbis


Rabbi David Wolpe is set to deliver the opening invocation at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Before he takes the podium on Tuesday, he may want to take notes from one of the first people to master the art.
Rabbi Stephen S. Wise addressed the 1924 convention as a member of the New York ticket. In his opening remarks, Wise spoke about the Ku Klux Klan as well as whether the United States should joing the League of Nations.

According to the New York Times, Rabbi Wise’s speech marked the first time the opening prayer garnered applause at the Democratic convention:

The invocation set the keynote of this session, even though it was far briefer than the keynote prayers or keynote speeches usually are. Dr. Stephen S. Wise, rabbi of the Free Synagogue, opened the meeting with an appeal for Divine guidance that the delegates might be "dauntlessly resolute for the right," that they might "battle for the truth and not for advantage."

The galleries applauded the prayer, something that had not happened before in this convention.

Haven’t found anything on the history of applauding prayer-givers at the GOP convention. But last week, Rabbi Meir Soloveichik delivered the address to the Republican National convention last week in Tampa, Fl., pausing from time to time.

You can watch Soloveichik’s full remarks here:

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