The letter that Philadelphia publisher and Jewish communal and congregational leader Abraham Hart, in his capacity as parnas (president) of the Mikveh Israel Congregation, wrote to Lincoln on April 23, 1862, enclosed a sermon and prayer that the Reverend Sabato Morais had delivered on the death of Lincoln's son, Willie. Both have been preserved in the Library's Lincoln papers.
Morais had a deep affection for Lincoln, and in his prayer were words, "which come forth from the heart":
Lincoln's reply to the "President of Congregation Hope of Israel," on May 13 is the only known letter Lincoln sent to a Jewish congregation. He acknowledges receipt of the -communication" and thanks Hart for his expressions of kindness and confidence. Three years later, Mikveh Israel and congregations throughout the United States joined in prayer and offered consolation to an again bereaved Lincoln family.
Sources: Abraham J. Karp, From the Ends of the Earth: Judaic Treasures of the Library of Congress, (DC: Library of Congress, 1991).