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שְׁפוֹךְ אֲהָבָתֵךְ | Shfokh Ahavatekh (Pour Out Your Love), by Rabbi Ḥayyim Bloch (1948)

https://opensiddur.org/?p=49338 שְׁפוֹךְ אֲהָבָתֵךְ | Shfokh Ahavatekh (Pour Out Your Love), by Rabbi Ḥayyim Bloch (1948) 2023-03-29 13:20:47 A paraliturgical adaptation of the prayer/curse, "Shfokh Ḥamatekha," this prayer, likely written during, or just after the Holocaust, recognizes those nations and righteous gentiles who fought and risked their lives to aid and rescue European Jewry. Text the Open Siddur Project Aharon N. Varady (transcription) Aharon N. Varady (transcription) Mosheh Ḥayyim ben Avraham Abba Bloch https://opensiddur.org/copyright-policy/ Aharon N. Varady (transcription) https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/ Kristallnacht Yom haShoah (27 Nisan) International Holocaust Remembrance Day (January 27th) Barekh Days of Remembrance of the Victims of the Holocaust post-Holocaust liturgical adaptations שפוך חמתך shfokh ḥamatekha paraliturgical shfokh hamatekha righteous gentiles 20th century C.E. 58th century A.M. World War Ⅱ the Holocaust
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Source (Hebrew)Translation (English)
שְׁפוֹךְ אֲהָבָתֵךְ עַל הַגּוֹיִם אֲשֶׁר יְדָעוּךָ
וְעַל מַמְלָכוֹת אֲשֶׁר בְּשִׁמְךָ קוֹרְאִים
בִּגְלַל חֲסָדִים שֶׁהֵם עוֹשִׂים עִם זֶרַע יַעֲקֹב
וּמְגִינִּים עַל עַמְּךָ יִשְׁרָאֵל
מִפְּנֵי אוֹכְלֵיהֶם,
יִזְכּוּ לִרְאוֹת בְּטוֹבַת בְּחִירֶיךָ
וְלִשְׂמוֹחַ בְּשִׂמְחַת גּוֹיֶּךָ. (תהלים קו:ה)
Pour out your love on the nations who have known you
and on the kingdoms who call upon your name.
For they show loving-kindness to the seed of Yaaqov
and they shield your people Yisrael
from those who would devour them.
May they see the good of your chosen ones
and rejoice in the gladness of your nation. (Psalms 106:5)

The source of this short prayer, “Shfokh Ahavatekh,” an alternative to the more familiar “Shfokh Ḥamatekha,” was traced by Rabbi Dr. David Golinkin to a work likely created by Rabbi Mosheh Ḥayyim ben Avraham Abba Bloch. (Bloch himself credited an untitled Passover haggadah in his collection.) Writes Golinkin:

[A] number of scholars have pointed our that this prayer was probably invented by Hayyim Bloch himself, who was born in Galicia and later moved to Vienna (ca. 1917) and New York (1939). He was one of the rabbis who published the Kherson letters attributed to the Besht and his disciples, which later turned out to be forgeries. He also published a letter from the Maharal of Prague, whose authenticity was already disproved by Gershom Scholem.

Finally, from 1959-1965 he published three volumes containing over 300 letters of great rabbis opposed to Zionism, but Rabbi Shemuel Hacohen Weingarten has proved that these “letters” were invented by Rabbi Bloch himself. Therefore, we may assume that “Shefokh Ahavatkha” was not composed in Worms in 1521, but rather by Rabbi Hayyim Bloch…

There’s a little confusion over the date to ascribe to “Shfokh Ahavatekh.” Naftali Ben-Menachem’s 1963 article quoting it in Mahanayim 80 helped to popularize it. However, Dr. Alan Brill notes that the edition of היכל לדברי חז״ל (Heikhal l’Divrei Hazal, accessible online thanks to Hebrewbooks) shows this text printed in 1948. That year is significant as it coincides with the recognition of the State of Israel in the nascent United Nations, with the crucial support of allied nations, but given that Bloch was affiliated with the anti-Zionist Neturei Karta movement, it seems more likely to me that Shfokh Ahavatekh was authored in the context of World War II when the future of European Jewry was in existential jeopardy and the role of righteous gentiles in saving Jewish lives was vital and given recognition here.

With gratitude to Gabrielle Spitzer for asking the question in the Ask the Beit Midrash Facebook discussion group that prompted this research.

Source(s)

shfokh ahavatekh – Heikhal l’Divrei Hazal (Hayyim Bloch 1948), p. 591

 


 

 

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