The Office of the Chaplain United States House of Representatives

Rabbi Lawrence R. Sernovitz

Cherry Hill, NJ

Sponsor: Rep. Madeleine Dean, (D-PA)
Date of Prayer: 06/04/2019

One Minute Speech Given in Recognition of the Guest Chaplain:

Ms. DEAN. Madam Speaker, I am delighted to welcome to this Chamber my close friend, Rabbi Larry Sernovitz, whom we have just heard offer us a beautiful, wise prayer.

I first met Rabbi Sernovitz in Abington, in my home district, where he served Temple–Beth Am. When I was first elected to public office as a township commissioner, it was Larry, it was the rabbi, who offered a powerful benediction that evening on the importance of education, social justice, humility, and courage. Larry has been a close friend and counselor ever since.

Through Larry's rabbinical work, he has lifted his devotion to
community, faith, and family. Larry lives the creed, "Love the stranger."

As a founder of Nafshenu in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, he seeks to create a community that places people and their hopes and their dreams
Most importantly, Larry is a dedicated husband to Rebecca and a
loving, steady dad to Sam, Daniella, and Eden, who join him today.

It brings me great joy to welcome my good friend Rabbi Larry Sernovitz and thank him for his wise prayer.

Opening Prayer Given by the Guest Chaplain:

Dear God, benevolent, compassionate, and gracious; abundant in loving kindness and truth; forgiving iniquity, rebellion, and sin, be with us as we open this session of the United States House of Representatives.

Guide these courageous individuals to create holy space where healthy debate is encouraged, and the dignity and autonomy of human beings is respected and loved.

Dear God, let us remember that the world is not complete. We are completing it. In our brokenness, give us hope. Let us build the world with love. May the angels around us open our hearts, lift our spirits, and give us the ability to see ourselves in the other. As our tradition teaches, love the stranger as yourself.

Dear God, bless these Representatives with enough foolishness to believe that they can make a difference in this world, that they can do what others claim cannot be done, bringing justice and kindness to our Earth, to our children, and to humanity. The whole world is a narrow bridge. The essence is not to be afraid.

And we say together, amen.

To learn more about Members who have sponsored a Guest Chaplain, please visit the Congressional Biographical Directory