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God of our nation and of all nations,
people of different races and different faiths the world over
implore you in many tongues for the boon of peace.
By whatever name men call you,
and by whatever creed you are to them,
you are the Power that has implanted in their hearts
the yearning for justice, for love, and for peace.
We turn to you,
ashamed of the sins that have alienated us from you
and have corrupted the world with injustice, oppression, and war.
We repent of the idolatrous worship we have at times accorded
to our own national being.
We repent of the blasphemy of having invoked you name
to sanctify acts of ungodly greed and exploitation.
Save us from ourselves.
Fill our minds with wisdom
and our hearts with love,
that we may learn to reconcile our wants
with those of our neighbors.
Teach us to share
the blessings you bestow upon us.
Give us the courage to defend the freedom of the weak
against the strong who would enslave them.
Grant us the patience to curb our resentments
and to submit to arbitration the grievances we bear against our neighbors.
Endow us with insight into the needs of other nations and peoples,
and inspire us with the love to minister to those needs.
Save us from bondage to those fears and passions that involve,
in destructive and death-dealing pursuits,
the powers which you would have us consecrate to your service
and that of our fellow men.
Help us to build a world government
that will command the loyalty of men and women everywhere
by its beneficent influence on their lives.
Speed the day when nation shall not lift up sword against nation, Cf. Isaiah 2:4; Micah 4:3.
when men shall no longer train for war,
when the burden of armaments shall be lifted from the shoulders of men,
and the world shall be full of that knowledge of you Cf. Habakkuk 2:14.
which will teach us how to live in harmony and love.
This closing prayer for United Nations Day was first published in The Faith of America: Readings, Songs, and Prayers for the Celebration of American Holidays (Jewish Reconstructionist Foundation 1951), p. 272-273. It is unclear from this publication whether the prayer was written by Mordecai Kaplan, J. Paul Williams, or Eugene Kohn separately or together in collaboration. I have replaced all archaisms in referencing the divine (Thee, Thy, Thou dost, etc.). –Aharon Varady
“Closing Prayer for United Nations Day, by Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan, J. Paul Williams, and Eugene Kohn (1951)” is shared through the Open Siddur Project with a Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication 1.0 Universal license.
Works of related interest:
Opening Prayer for United Nations Day, by Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan, J. Paul Williams, and Eugene Kohn (1951)
💬 Preamble and Introduction to the United Nations Charter (1945) | מבוא לאמנת האומות המאוחדות (Hebrew trans., 1949)
💬 Universal Declaration of Human Rights | אַלװעלטלעכע דעקלאַראַציע פֿון מענטשנרעכט | הַכְרָזָה לְכׇל בָּאֵי עוֹלָם בִּדְבַר זְכֻיוֹת הָאָדָם | Deklarasion Universal de Derechos Umanos (1948)