Providing a religious backdrop to a Second Amendment battle that has pitted the city of Chicago against the U.S. Supreme Court, Chabad-Lubavitch Rabbi Meir Chai Benhiyoun used his July 2 City Hall invocation to “pray for better days when we won’t need weapons to protect our society.”

Without endorsing either view, Benhiyoun, who directs Chabad in Downtown Chicago and the Center for Jewish Life, expressed the hope that such legislative issues would be a thing of the past. He invited his 13-year-old daughter Ruth Shaina Benhiyoun to the podium to quote a verse from the Book of Isaiah: “They shall beat their swords into plowshares and spears into pruning hooks.”

Aldermen went on to vote 45-0 to enact a new handgun ban in response to the Supreme Court’s invalidation four days earlier of Chicago’s longtime gun-control measure.

Benhiyoun was invited to the chamber by City Clerk Miguel Del Valle.

Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, right, presents a book to Chabad-Lubavitch Rabbi Meir Chai Benhiyoun and his daughter, Ruth Shaina Benhiyoun. (Photo: Brooke Collins)
Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, right, presents a book to Chabad-Lubavitch Rabbi Meir Chai Benhiyoun and his daughter, Ruth Shaina Benhiyoun. (Photo: Brooke Collins)