Prayer of the Guest Chaplain of the U.S. House of Representatives: Rabbi Mara Nathan on 19 January 2018

Guest Chaplain: Rabbi Mara Nathan, Temple Beth-El, San Antonio, TX
Sponsor: Rep. Joaquin Castro, (D-TX)
Date of Prayer: 01/19/2018

One Minute Speech Given in Recognition of the Guest Chaplain:

Mr. CASTRO of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I rise to recognize our congressional prayer leader today, Rabbi Mara Nathan, and thank her for being here.

Rabbi Nathan began her tenure at Temple Beth–El in San Antonio in July 2014, where she was the first woman to serve as senior rabbi of a major congregation in the State of Texas.

At Temple Beth–El, Rabbi Nathan spent her time contributing to her congregation through community building, worship innovation, and teaching Torah to learners of all ages.

Prior to being ordained in 2000 by the Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion in New York, she received a bachelor of arts degree in history as well as certificates in Jewish studies and women’s studies from Northwestern University in 1993.

During her studies, she was a recipient of the Steinhardt Fellowship, a scholarship awarded to rabbinical students to further informal education with teens and college–age students, and received academic awards for Hebrew, history, and Talmudic studies.

Before coming to San Antonio, Rabbi Nathan served almost 20 years at Larchmont Temple in New York, from 1994 to 2014, playing an instrumental role in all aspects of congregational life, including spiritual worship, ritual, and teaching.

We are happy to have Rabbi Nathan; her husband, Larry; and their children, Isaac, Solomon, and Miriam, in the San Antonio community.

Thank you, Rabbi, for your words of inspiration.


Contribute a translation English (source)

Opening Prayer Given by the Guest Chaplain:

Holy One of blessing,
You are the source of all.
Regardless of our faith traditions,
we recognize a force in the universe
calling each of us to fulfill our potential.

We challenge ourselves
to compensate for our shortcomings
and emphasize our talents and energies
for the greater good.
We dedicate ourselves,
each in our own way,
to a life of service and meaning.
Committed to the ideals of our great Nation,
we are ever working towards the promise
of what is still yet to be.

Therefore,
we pray that You bestow
the blessings of foresight,
compassion,
and patience
upon the women and men of our Congress.
May they be united in working for the good of our Nation,
and may they recognize
the spark of holiness
in every human being.[1]For more on this idea, read “The Doctrine of the ‘Divine Spark’ in Man in Jewish Sources” by Louis Jacobs (Originally published in Studies in Rationalism, Judaism and Universalism, ed. Raphael Loewe (Humanities: 1966) 87-114.)

Bless our leaders
with strong minds
and open hearts,
ever ready to serve
with integrity,
purpose,
and honor.
Amen.

Source(s)

115th Congress, 2nd Session
Issue: Vol. 164, No. 12 — Daily Edition (January 19, 2018)

Link: https://chaplain.house.gov/chaplaincy/display_gc.html?id=2672

Notes   [ + ]

  1. For more on this idea, read “The Doctrine of the ‘Divine Spark’ in Man in Jewish Sources” by Louis Jacobs (Originally published in Studies in Rationalism, Judaism and Universalism, ed. Raphael Loewe (Humanities: 1966) 87-114.)

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