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Prayer of the Guest Chaplain of the U.S. Senate: Rabbi Norman Geller on 11 April 1989

Guest Chaplain: Rabbi Norman Geller, Congregation Beth Abraham, Auburn, Maine
Date of Prayer: 11 April 1989
Sponsor: Sen. Bill Cohen (R-ME) and Sen. George Mitchell (D-ME)

Mr. President, to me, one of the Senate’s most enjoyable rituals is to begin each session with a few words of prayer to help us in times of adversity and to further encourage us in times of prosperity. On most occasions, we are fortunate to hear words of spiritual awareness from our Senate Chaplain, the very able Dr. Richard Halverson. From time to time, however, we also have religious leaders from around the country serve as chaplain of the day. Today, I am very pleased to sponsor Rabbi Norman Geller of Congregation Beth Abraham in Auburn, Maine. As Senator Mitchell indicated he is a good friend of both of us. We are delighted to welcome the rabbi and his wife, Ros, to the Senate today. I would also like to mention that Norman and Ros have three lovely children: Rachel, Anne, and David. Mr. President, you have just heard Rabbi Geller’s eloquent words to start our session, and I will just add a few words of my own. Few people embody the religious tradition of commitment and service more than Norman Geller. He defies easy classification, but can truly be called a man for all seasons. He runs a large temple, recently started a school for troubled children, and is a speech pathology expert at a Lewiston, Maine, hospital. He is a spiritual leader, a scholar, a teacher, a counselor, an author, and a poet. He combines thought with action in the highest traditions of commitment to his fellow citizens. Mr. President, I know I speak for Senator Mitchell, myself, and the people of Maine. We are grateful to Rabbi Geller for sharing his words with us today, words from which I know all Senators will benefit.


Contribute a translationSource (English)

We gather here
under the professed concept
of a nation indivisible.

Differing opinions,
but indivisible in our zeal
for truth, justice,
mercy, peace,
and our system of government.

Different backgrounds,
but indivisible in our choice of a homeland,
a safe and caring harbor
where each human being has a place
and an identity.

Different religious expressions,
but indivisible in our acknowledgment of a Supreme Being
whose teachings are not only the foundation,
but also the framework and superstructure
of the American way.

May God continually look with favor
on this great country.

May God’s wisdom abound in the Senate
and all our legislative,
and judicial bodies.

May we continually recognize and acknowledge
that we are each other’s keeper[1] Cf. Genesis 4:9.  
and that we should indeed love our neighbor
as we love ourselves.[2] Cf. Leviticus 19:18. 

God blessed,
God blesses,
and collectively may our actions
continually assure
that God will always bless America.


101st Congress, 1st Session. C-SPAN.
Congressional Record, Vol. 135, Part 5 — Bound Edition, p. 14316.

Congressional Record v. 135, part 5 – 11 April 1989. p. 5947



1Cf. Genesis 4:9.
2Cf. Leviticus 19:18.



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