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Prayer for Yisrael and the Congregation, by Rabbi Joseph Miller (1927)

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Father of Yisrael! From of old you have chosen us, your servants. We have ever loved you and your Torah has always been the light of our life. Lend us ever anew strength and courage that we remain loyal to your perfect Law and a light to all the world. Let us serve our country in silent devotion, keep our patriotic life free from clamorous self-appreciation. But when evil essays to rule the affairs of the land, then let our voice wax strong like your thunder, a resistless call for truth and justice.

All ways lead to you, O Lord. In the white light of your truth shine resplendent the pious souls of all the nations. So cause your spirit to rest on the peoples of the earth, give them a new heart and a right mind. Abolish the horrors of war, the closed door,[1] A reference to the Immigration Act of 1924 which closed the door to Jewish immigrants and refugees among others.  and intolerance towards the stranger in our midst. Let men help each other to enjoy the life which you have given them in the world, which is your work and your possession.

Make an end to the fearful Goluth of your people, to the oceans of Jewish blood, to the bottomless despair of Jewish hearts. Establish Yisrael happy in the land of his father, the Torah in her ancient glory, so that the word of the prophets come true soon in our days.

Send your blessing upon this congregation. Comfort the afflicted, grant sweet solace to the mourners and perfect healing to the sick. Keep away from our life distress and reproach, the hammer of fate and the gnawing misery of doubt. Bless the work of our hands and the labor of our brains. In your help we hope for ever. May the words of our mouth and the meditation of our heart be acceptable before you, O Lord, our God, and our Redeemer,[2] Psalms 19:15.  Amen.

“Prayer for Israel and the Congregation” was published in Rabbi Jacob Bosniak’s collection of tehinot, Likutei Tefilot (1927). I have edited this prayer to replace archaisms, and to disambiguate “Israel” as “Yisrael.” –Aharon Varady





1 A reference to the Immigration Act of 1924 which closed the door to Jewish immigrants and refugees among others.
2 Psalms 19:15.

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