Lubavitch rabbi leads prayer in Senate

Shemtov quoted the late Lubavitcher rebbe, Menachem Mendel Schneerson, as saying, "The only way to soothe the differences between two sides is to seek how we are all ultimately on the same side."

Americans are facing issues of healing and judging, Shemtov said.

"American society finds itself now in an unusually decisive time. People who have differences need to keep in mind the unifying factors among us."

Two guest chaplains are invited to lead opening prayers each month. Shemtov is active on Capitol Hill with Jewish staffers and as the host of holiday parties.

Shemtov said he was pleased to lead the Senate in prayer and said it is a magnificent thing for a Jew to be able to pray in the name of God in front of Congress.

"This is an opportunity people before me dreamed about," he said.