Mega-billionaire Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg stunned the crowd last Thursday when he concluded his commencement address at Harvard University with a prayer.
According to Faithwire, Zuckerberg was raised in the Jewish faith but considered atheism for some time. He has since said he recognizes the necessity of religious faith, and ended his speech with lines from a prayer known as the “Mi Shebeirach,” a Hebrew prayer for blessing and healing.
“Before you walk out those gates one last time, as we sit in front of Memorial Church, I am reminded of a prayer, Mi Shebeirach, that I say whenever I face a challenge, that I sing to my daughter thinking about her future when I tuck her into bed,” Zuckerberg told the graduates, according to Time.
“It goes: ‘May the source of strength, who blessed the ones before us, help us find the courage to make our lives a blessing,’” he continued. “I hope you find the courage to make your life a blessing.”
Though Zuckerberg didn’t say anything else specifically about his faith, he frequently touched on the topic of the graduates finding “purpose” in their lives, noting how important it was for people to be part of and devoted to something bigger than themselves, a theme those with religious faith would certainly admire.
As for the Jewish prayer, The Gospel Herald reported that it is typically spoken as a blessing to an individual or group in need of divine favor, usually some form of healing, although it can be adapted for other purposes of blessing as well.
The Hebrew prayer was one of many that was translated to English and set to music by Jewish musician Debbie Friedman, as to be more widely understood and accessible.
The full line Zuckerberg referenced in his speech states: “May the source of strength, who blessed the ones before us, help us find the courage to make our lives a blessing … Bless those in need of healing with full recovery, the renewal of body, the renewal of spirit. And let us say Amen.”
Coming from a Silicon Valley billionaire who has flirted with atheism, Zuckerberg’s prayer was no doubt shocking to some, particularly at an institution that is quite often opposed to Judeo-Christian principles.
Hopefully this action by Zuckerberg will encourage others to reject the God-hating political correctness championed by the left and consider giving voice to their own faith.
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