תפילה לשלום המדינה | Prayer for the Peace of the State of Israel, by Rabbi David Seidenberg (neohasid.org)

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The familiar prayer for the State of Israel, which is more literally titled “a Prayer for Peace for the State” tefilah lish’lom hamedinah, was instituted by the chief rabbis in what had up until then been British Mandate Palestine,[1]The prayer for the welfare of the State of Israel composed by Ashkeanzi chief Rabbi Yitsḥak haLevi Hertzog (1888-1959) and edited by S.Y. Agnon (1888-1970) in September 1948 was instituted by Hertzog and Sepharadi chief Rabbi Ben Tsiyon Meir Ḥai Uziel (1880-1953), both of whom were chief rabbis under the British Mandate. Also see S.Y. Agnon’s own Prayer for the State of Israel. during a time of war. The state was under direct attack by the Arab armies, and there was little distinction between peace, survival, and victory.

As we approach Israel’s 70th birthday, it is time to make such distinctions. Israel and the Jewish people live in a much more complex reality today, where the triumph of one political party or set of goals can radically change the outlook for peace, and the possibility of justice. In our time, praying for peace for the state of Israel mist include praying for the rectification of its relationships with neighboring countries and with the Palestinian people, some of whom are Israeli citizens, and most of whom are in some way under Israel’s control. This prayer assumes that the best reality for the Jewish state is also the best reality for all of her citizens and for everyone who lives “in the land,” no matter where they are in relation to the Green Line or Areas A, B and C.


Hebrew Transliteration English

אמְֹנֵנוּ | אָבִינוּ שֶׁבַּשָּׁמַיִם וּבָאָרֶץ,
צוּר יִשְׂרָאֵל וְגוֹאֲלוֹ,
בָּרֵךְ אֶת מְדִינַת יִשְׂרָאֵל,
שֶׁתְּהֵא לְרֵאשִׁית צְמִיחַת גְּאֻלָּתֵנוּ.
Om’neinu | Avinu shebashamayim uva’arets,
Tsur Yisrael v’go’alo,
bareikh et m’dinat Yisrael
shet’hei l’reishit ts’michat g’ulateinu.
Our source | Our father in heaven and on Earth,
Rock of Israel and its redeemer,
bless the State of Israel,
so that she may become the beginning of the flowering of our redemption.

הָגֵן עָלֶיהָ בְּאֶבְרַת חַסְדֶּךָ,
וּפְרֹשׂ עָלֶיהָ סֻכַּת שְׁלוֹמֶךָ,
וּשְׁלַח אוֹרְךָ וְצִדְקֶךָ לְרׇאשֶׁיהָ
שָׂרֶיהָ יוֹעֲצֶיהָ וְשׁוֹפְטֶיהָ,
וְלַלְּאֹם שֶׁבּוֹחֵר בָּם

וְתַקְּנֵם בְּרוּחַ מִשְׁפָּט מִלְּפָנֶיךָ
שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר ”צִיּוֹן בְּמִשְׁפָּט תִּפָּדֶה
וְשָׁבֶיהָ בִּצְדָקָה
.“ (ישעיה א:כז)
Hagein aleha b’evrat chasdekha,
ufros aleha sukat sh’lomekha,
ush’lach orkha v’tsidkekha l’rosheha
sareha yo’atseha v’shofteha,
v’lal’om shebocher bam,

v’takneim b’ru’ach mishpat milfanecha,
shene’emar, Tsiyon b’mishpat tipadeh
v’shaveha bits’dakah.
Shield her with Your embrace of love
and spread over her Your sukkah-shelter of peace,
and send Your light and Your righteousness to her heads,
ministers, advisers, and judges,
and to the nation that elects them,

and align them with the spirit of justice from You,
as it says, “Zion through justice will be redeemed
and her captives through righteousness.”
[2]Isaiah 1:27

הָצֵל נָא אֶת כָּל אַרְצֶךָ
בֵּין יַרְדֵּן לַיָּם
מִשְּׁפִיכוּת דָּמִים
וְכָל הַיּוֹשְׁבִים וְהַגָּרִים בָּהּ
תַּחַת כָּל שִׁלְטוֹן
מִשׂוֹנְאִים בַּחוּץ וּמִשִּׂנְאָה בִּפְנִים

וְנָתַתָּ שָׁלוֹם בָּאָרֶץ
וְשַׁלְוָה לִמְגִנֶיהָ,
שִׂמְחַת עוֹלָם לְכָל יוֹשְׁבֶיהָ
וְתִקְוָה טוֹבָה לְכָל עַמֶּיהָ,
וְנאֹמַר אָמֵן.
Hatseil na et kol ar’tsekha
bein yardein layam
mish’fichut damim,
v’khol hayoshvim bah,
tachat kol shilton,
mison’im bachuts umisin’ah bifnim,

v’natata shalom ba’arets
v’shalvah lim’gineha,
simchat olam l’khol yoshveha
v’tikvah tovah l’khol ameha,
v’nomar: Amen.
Rescue all of Your land,
from the Jordan River to the sea,
from the spilling of blood,
and all residing and sojourning there,
under every government,
from haters without and hatred within,

and grant peace in the land,
and secure calm to her defenders,
lasting joy to all her inhabitants,
and true hope for all her peoples.
And let us say: Amen.

Text in green is changed from Rabbi Yitsḥak haLevi Hertzog’s “Prayer for the Welfare of the State of Israel,” (the version that appears as only half the original prayer in many siddurim).

What’s left out: “Strengthen the hands of those who defend the land…and crown them with the crown of victory.”

Why: This was the one phrase in the original prayer that was included specifically for the IDF. In a time of war, I believe we should say a full prayer for the protection and success of the soldiers of the IDF, like the Mi Shebeirakh prayer that already exists by Rabbi Shlomo Goren (or Alex Sinclair’s amendation to his prayer). In a less critical political time, any prayerful hope we might have for the IDF is included in the phrase “grant secure calm (shalvah) to her defenders,” which can also include everyone else who is working to bring peace, justice, and security to the land of Israel and to the state of Israel.

Source

Download Prayer-for-the-state-of-Israel-David-Seidenberg-neohasid.org-2018.pdf (PDF, 167KB)

Notes   [ + ]

  1. The prayer for the welfare of the State of Israel composed by Ashkeanzi chief Rabbi Yitsḥak haLevi Hertzog (1888-1959) and edited by S.Y. Agnon (1888-1970) in September 1948 was instituted by Hertzog and Sepharadi chief Rabbi Ben Tsiyon Meir Ḥai Uziel (1880-1953), both of whom were chief rabbis under the British Mandate. Also see S.Y. Agnon’s own Prayer for the State of Israel.
  2. Isaiah 1:27

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