Today, Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) sponsored his friend Rabbi David-Seth Kirshner of Temple Emanu-El in Closter to serve as guest chaplain to the U.S. House of Representatives. Rabbi Kirshner was introduced by Speaker Paul Ryan and offered the opening prayer to begin the day’s legislative session.
Video of the prayer can be found HERE.
Rabbi David-Seth Kirshner prayed, “As we embark on this sacred day of work to better the lives of all Americans, we ask that you, God, help instill these leaders of the 115th Congress with patience, wisdom, empathy and respect to achieve and exceed our goals for today and for tomorrow. Help us demonstrate our gratitude for our service people and first responders who work as our partners and fulfilling our shared mission. God, we ask you today to disseminate your sunlight and shower down your rain, which will help us cultivate the seeds of securing our freedoms, celebrating our democracy, and championing tolerance for now and forever. May it be your will, that the generations to come that will live within and lead this great nation can enjoy the blooming flowers and sweet fruits of our labors on this sacred day. God, we ask you to bless this Congress and these United States of America. Amen.”
Welcoming the Rabbi from the House Floor, Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) said, “Mr. Speaker I rise today to welcome to the U.S. House of Representatives my dear friend and my adopted Rabbi David Seth Kirshner, the leader of Temple Emmanu-El in my Congressional district in Closter, New Jersey. As a lifelong New Jersey resident, Rabbi Kirshner has dedicated his career to serving his family, community, and our country. Dori and David are proud and loving parents to Eve and Elias and I am glad that they are here. The Rabbi is a spiritual mentor to many and a man of deep faith, conviction, and conscience. Temple Emanu-El has been a beacon of civic engagement, youth education, and community service in our state. And under the Rabbi’s leadership, the Temple has brought a warm and open atmosphere that will endure for generations to come, building on its 85-year history of service to our state. Rabbi Kirshner and Temple Emanu-El call on each of us to do our part to engage in ‘tikun olam,’ to repair the world, to love your neighbor as yourself, and to fulfill God’s commandments with the work of our hands. In addition to his work as Rabbi of Temple Emanu-El, Rabbi Kirshner is a leader among his colleagues serving as the vice president on the New Jersey board of Rabbis and is a member of the Chancellor’s Rabbinic Cabinet at the Jewish Theological Seminary. A strong advocate for the U.S. Israel relationship, Rabbi Kirshner is on the New Jersey-Israel commission. He is a believer that Israel is a key strategic ally and a defender of democracy and freedom against the evils of terror. I would like to thank Rabbi Kirshner for praying with us today in representing all faiths of the Fifth Congressional District of New Jersey. Thank you and may God continue to bless the United States of America.”
Below: Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5), Rabbi David-Seth Kirshner, and House Chaplain Father Patrick J. Conroy, S.J.
Rabbi Kirshner became the Rabbi of Temple Emanu-El in Closter in July 2007. Rabbi Kirshner is a lifelong New Jersey resident and was born in 1973 in Closter.