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Prayer of the Guest Chaplain of the U.S. Senate: Rabbi Daniel Fellman on 29 January 2009

Guest Chaplain: Rabbi Daniel J. Fellman, Anshe Emeth Memorial Temple, New Brunswick, NJ
Sponsor: Senator Ben Nelson (D-NE)
Date of Prayer: 01/29/2009

Mr. NELSON of Nebraska. Mr. President, I am very pleased that Rabbi Daniel Fellman could join us today as guest Chaplain to deliver the opening prayer for the Senate.

Rabbi Fellman, a native of Omaha and a respected religious leader, currently is assistant rabbi at Anshe Emeth Memorial Temple in New Brunswick, NJ. He is a much admired teacher who has served on the faculty at the Yavneh Day School in Cincinnati and numerous religious schools. He served as student rabbi in congregations in Natchez, MS; Petoskey, MI; Joplin, MO; and LaSalle, IL. He also served in summer rabbinic positions in Nebraska and at the University of Cincinnati Hillel. In Cincinnati, he helped foster interfaith understanding as a member of the steering committee of the Catholic-Jewish Educators Dialogue of the American Jewish Committee.

Rabbi Fellman received his undergraduate degree in political science from Colorado College. He earned a master of arts in Hebrew letters from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati, and he was ordained in June 2005.

On a more personal note, however, Rabbi Fellman is an Eagle Scout, and, like me, Boy Scouts taught him the importance of dedication and service to the community.

While he is still young now, I have counted him as a friend for a long time. During my first campaign for Governor in 1990, I was grateful when a teenage Daniel Fellman often showed up with his father, University of Nebraska at Omaha political science professor Dick Fellman–who is with us today, and his mother–to volunteer.

One night Daniel Fellman, a relatively green driver then, got into an automobile accident. There were no serious injuries sustained, but news reached one of my closest aides and my campaign manager the next morning before Daniel arrived in the office. That was my great friend, the late, great Sonny Foster.

The next morning, when Daniel did arrive at our campaign office, Sonny greeted him: Hello, Crash. Ever since, to me and a few others, he has been ‘Crash Fellman,’ but now he is Rabbi Fellman. We understand it is a nickname, always given and received by a smile.

I thank Rabbi Fellman and his parents and his family for being here today and for his words of prayer this morning. May they guide us to do what is right for America and for the world.


Contribute a translationSource (English)

Opening Prayer Given by the Guest Chaplain:

We arrive this morning
filled with thanks to our Creator
who endows each of us with inalienable rights;
to our founding leaders
who joined those rights with responsibilities
for ourselves and our fellow citizens;
to the people of our Nation
for entrusting us with awe-inspiring duties;
to each other
as we endeavor to maintain civility,
striving for dignity and high purpose
in conducting the people’s business.

Today and every day,
let us strive to fill this Chamber
with humanity,
and hope,
honoring our Nation’s past
while honing our unique
yet shared understanding
of the future’s ever-present call.

As we turn to the business of the people,
remind us
that we have not come into being
to hate
or to destroy
but, rather, we have come into being
to praise,
to labor,
and to love.

With gratitude in our souls,
we turn to the source of all,
seeking blessing for ourselves,
our families,
our endeavors.

May we be guided by the light of the Lord,
and may we be of the generation who shines that light
for all to see.

And let us live the words of our first President:
“May the Father of all mercies scatter light and not darkness in our paths,
and make us all in our several vocations useful here,
and in his or her own due time and way, everlastingly happy.”[1] Cf. George Washington, “Letter to the Hebrew Congregation in Newport, Rhode Island, 18 August 1790.” 


111th Congress, 1st Session
Issue: Vol. 155, No. 18 — Daily Edition (January 29, 2009)




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