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Oración por nuestra tierra | תְּפִילָת הָאָרֶץ | A Prayer for Our Earth, an ecumenical prayer by Pope Francis, translated and adapted by Rabbi David Seidenberg (neohasid.org)

On May 24th, 2015, Pope Francis published an ecumenical prayer in his encyclical, Laudato Si’: On Care for Our Common Home, a prayer for our earth.

Here’s my Hebrew translation of Pope Francis’ prayer. It turns out no one had translated it yet. I noticed that many of his themes translated quite directly into liturgical or Biblical Hebrew, but two things did not: the Pope’s emphasis on beauty, which I think is just not a central theme in Biblical or rabbinic thought, and the way justice is approached (even though both traditions put a huge emphasis on justice). In order to compensate for this inequalities I’ve added some words here and there in the English to show where I’ve added to the Hebrew. Below, these words are italicized so you can pick them out.

The translation includes sparks from the High Holiday liturgy. I thought we should have it available for Rosh Hashanah 5776. A PDF of the prayer can be also be downloaded from neohasid.org (PDF link).

Please emend to your satisfaction, but please do mention neohasid.org if you benefit from this offering. One caveat I will make is that I use traditional (read: masculine) language for God so that the prayer can be used comfortably in most shuls, but I very much support emendations that introduce feminine God language.

Spanish (source) Hebrew (translation) English (modified source)

Oración por nuestra tierra

תְּפִילָת הָאָרֶץ
A prayer for our earth

Dios omnipotente,
que estás presente en todo el universo
y en la más pequeña de tus criaturas,
Tú, que rodeas con tu ternura
todo lo que existe,

אֵל עֶליוֹן, הָאֵל הַגָּדוֹל וְהַגִּבּוֹר
אַתָּה מְלֹא כׇּל הָאָרֶץ, וּכְבוֹדְךָ מָלֵא עוֹלָם
וְכׇּל הַבְּרִיוֹת עַד הַקָּטָן שֶׁבַּהֶן
אַתָּה מַחֲזִיק וּמַחֲסֶה
כׇּל הַנִמְצָאִים בְּחֶמְלָה
All-powerful God, great and mighty
you are present in the whole universe
and in the smallest of your creatures.
You embrace and shelter
with your tenderness all that exists.

derrama en nosotros la fuerza de tu amor
para que cuidemos la vida y la belleza.
Inúndanos de paz,
para que vivamos como hermanos y hermanas
sin dañar a nadie.

שְׁפוֹךְ עָלֵינוּ כֹּחַ אַהֲבָתֶךָ
לְמַעַן נִשְׁמֹר עָל הָחֲיִים וְנוֹעָם תִּפְאָרְתָם
מִלֵאנוּ בְּשַׁלְוָה, וְשִׂים שָׁלוֹם עָלֵינוּ
שֶׁנֵשֵׁב יָחַד כְּאַחִים וְאֳחָיוֹת
שֶׁלֹא יֵרַע אַף אֶחָד
Pour out upon us the power of your love,
that we may protect life and its beauty.
Fill us with peace, and settle peace upon us
that we may live together as brothers and sisters,
harming no one.

Dios de los pobres,
ayúdanos a rescatar
a los abandonados
y olvidados de esta tierra
que tanto valen a tus ojos.

אֱלֹהֵי הַדַּלִּים וְהַגֵר
וְהַיָּתוֹם וְהָאֲלְמָנָה
תֵּן כֹּחַ בְּיָדֵינוֹ לְהַצִּיל הָעֲזוּבִים
וְהַפְּלִיטִים בְּאֶרֶץ תֵּבֵל
שֶׁהֵם אֲהוּבִים בְּעֵינֶיךָ
O God of the poor, and the stranger
orphan, and widow,
help us to rescue the abandoned
and the refugees of this earth,
so beloved in your eyes.

Sana nuestras vidas,
para que seamos protectores del mundo
y no depredadores,
para que sembremos hermosura
y no contaminación y destrucción.

שְׁלַח רְפוּאָה לְנַפְשֵׁנוּ בַּחַיִּים
וְאַז נָגֵן הָעוֹלָם
וְלֹא נִדְלַק בַּעוֹלָם
וְאַז נִזְרָע תִּפְאֶרֶת הָחֲיִים
וְלֹא הַשְׁחָתָה וְהַשְׁמָדָה
Bring healing to our lives,
that we may protect the world
and not prey on it,
that we may sow life’s beauty,
not pollution and destruction.

Toca los corazones
de los que buscan sólo beneficios
a costa de los pobres y de la tierra.
Enséñanos a descubrir el valor de cada cosa,
a contemplar admirados,
a reconocer que estamos profundamente unidos
con todas las criaturas
en nuestro camino hacia tu luz infinita.

פְּתַח לֵבָב כׇּל בּוֹצֵעַ
לַחֲטוֹף הָעֲנִי וְהָאָדָמָה
לַמְּדֶנּוּ לְגַלּוֹת
מַעֲלַת הַבּוֹרֵא בְּכׇל הַנִּבְרָאִים
לִהְיוֹת מָלֵא יִרְאָה וְהִתְבּוֹנְנוּת
לְהַכִּיר שֶׁנֵעֲשׂוּ אֲגֻדָּה אַחַת
עִם כׇּל הַבְּרִיוֹת, בְּדָרְכֵנוּ
לְהַגִּיעַ אֶל אוֹר הָאֵין סוֹף
Touch the hearts of those who look for gain
at the expense of the poor and the earth.
Teach us to discover
the divine worth of each thing,
to be filled with awe and contemplation,
to recognize that we are profoundly united
with every creature, as we journey
towards your infinite light.

porque estás con nosotros todos los días.
Aliéntanos, por favor,
en nuestra lucha
por la justicia, el amor y la paz.

נוֹדֶה לְךָ הַשׁוֹכֵן בְּתוֹכֵנוּ
שֶׁאַתָּה עִמָּנוּ תָּמִיד בְּכׇל יוֹם
אַנָא תּוֹמְכֵנוּ
לַעֲשׂוֹת רְצוֹנְךָ בְּלֵבָב שָׁלֵם
לִרְדוֹף צֶדֶק בְּרִיבֵנוּ
בְּעַד מִשְׁפָּט אַהָבָה וְשָׁלוֹם
We thank you who dwells within us
for being with us each day.
Encourage us, we pray,
to do your will with a whole heart
and to pursue righteousness in our struggle
for justice, love and peace.

Laudato Si’: On Care for Our Common Home” was published as a foreign government document and thus is considered a document in the Public Domain in the United States.

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