The true source of liberty and freedom is G-d and not governments and states, national religious Rabbi Meir Soloveitchik told the Republican national convention in Tampa Tuesday.
“We Americans unite faith and freedom in asserting that our liberties are your gift, G-d, and not that of government, and that we are endowed with these rights by You, our Creator, and not by mortal man,” he said in his opening invocation.
The rabbi, a grand-nephew of the late Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik, mentioned as a possible successor to Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks of England, also took the opportunity to mention Israel and told the delegates, referring to HaShem, “You have called us to be a beacon of the world and an ally of free countries like the state of Israel, an island of liberty, democracy and hope."
The invitation by the Romney campaign to Rabbi Soloveitchik to deliver the opening prayer was a clear statement of the Republican party’s desire to assure Jews of his support for Israel.
Rabbi Soloveitchik quoted in Hebrew a Biblical verse that is inscribed on the Liberty Bell and asked HaShem to bless Mitt Romney, a Mormon, who was officially nominated Tuesday night as the Republican presidential candidate, and his presumptive running mate Paul Ryan, a Catholic.
The GOP chose New York’s Cardinal Timothy Dolan to deliver the closing benediction.
Rabbi Soloveitchik and the Catholic Church previously have spoken out against President Barack Obama’s program to require religious institutions to include contraceptives in health insurance for their employees.