Illinois' state House of Representatives voted Thursday to override Gov. Rod Blagojevich's veto of a moment-of-silence bill, effectively making law provisions for all public schools in the state to begin their days with a moment of silence.

Joining those in favor of the bill's passage were some 30 Chabad-Lubavitch rabbis who cater to communities in the Midwestern state. The Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, of righteous memory, advocated for instituting a moment of silence at the beginning of every school day to allow students, at the direction of their parents, to reflect on a Supreme Being.

"We're very happy," said Rabbi Daniel Moscowitz, director of Lubavitch Chabad of Illinois. "This is something that the Rebbe felt so strongly about, so each of the emissaries contacted their representatives to hear the Rebbe's approach to the issues."


In just one of the many speeches that the Rebbe made on the subject, he said in 1984 that the solution to societal moral erosion and the increasing crime rate among the nation's youth is to begin each school day with a moment of silence.

If at the beginning of the day a child is told that "you are given a moment to be silent, and during this silence you should contemplate whatever your father and mother will tell you to think about," said the Rebbe, "that will be a truly auspicious start to the day, which will carry a blessing into everything learned… that [a student] should use the knowledge [gained] in the best possible way for himself and for the world as well."

Rep. Will Davis, a Democrat from Homewood, Ill., and one of the bill's chief sponsors, told the Chicago Sun-Times that a moment of silence could possibly avert instances of school-based violence.