Original Hebrew (1927) by Rabbi Dr. Louis Ginzberg, published in The Respona of Professor Louis Ginzberg, ed. D. Golinkin (1996), & Festival Prayer Book, ed. M. Farbridge (1927). This is a new translation (2010) by Tim Daniel Bernard, closely following the the original Hebrew Prayer. Various iterations of an interpretative translation, whose authorship is not clear, can be found in Conservative siddurim and mahzorim published from 1927 until today, alongside a slightly altered Hebrew text in later publications.
Rabbi Louis Ginzberg’s “A Prayer for the Government,” was originally published in 1927 in the Festival Prayer Book, edited by Jacob Kohn and Maurice H. Farbridge. In his article “Conservative Prayerbooks” written for the Jewish Spectator in 1976, Dr. Eric Friedland had this to say about the Festival Prayer Book and Louis Ginzburg’s Prayer for the Government:
The Festival Prayerbook (1927, under the auspices of the United Synagogue of America), the first publication to bear the stamp of the Conservative Movement, shared not a few of the characteristics of the liturgical productions of Britain’s Orthodox United Synagogue, the Authorized Daily Prayerbook and various mahzorim, noted for their neat and orderly layout, textual accuracy, and judicious curtailment of piyyutim. The early disciples of Solomon Schechter, who himself had spent some time in Cambridge before he came and settled in New York to put the then-teetering Jewish Theological Seminary on its feet, were not impervious to the neo-classical trend of the nineteenth-century Anglo-Catholic Tractarians of the Church of England. While the elevated, formal “high-church” tone of the Festival Prayerbook has long since been supplanted, many of that prayerbook’s meticulous standards have been retained. One innovation that has perdured is Professor Louis Ginzberg’s Prayer for the Government. The entreaty is patriotic in the best sense of the term with scarce a trace of jingoism. Its longevity is warranted.
In his review, Dr. Friedland was speaking specifically of Ginzberg’s original Hebrew liturgy. A better translation was the main impetus behind Rabbi Tim Bernard’s contribution. As Rabbi Bernard explains:
This translation is more straightforward, less archaic, and much closer to original Hebrew than the traditional translation found in Conservative prayer books published between 1927 and 2005.
“תפלה בעד הממשׁלה | A Prayer for the Government by Louis Ginzberg (1927)” is shared by Louis Ginzberg with a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International copyleft license.