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Gebet für das Vaterland | A Prayer for the Fatherland (Siddur Sephat Emeth, Rödelheim, 1938)

This prayer for the country is found in the Siddur Sephat Emeth, which was published by the venerable Rödelheim publishing house in Frankfurt in 1938. This was probably the last siddur ever published in pre-Holocaust Germany. This prayer is full of pathos and yearning, and in a time of rising government-sponsored antisemitism worldwide it’s worth keeping in mind. English translation is original.

Source (Hebrew) Translation (English)

נִשָּׂ֤א לְבָבֵ֙נוּ֙ אֶל־כַּפָּ֔יִם אֶל־אֵ֖ל בַּשָּׁמָֽיִם׃ (איכה ג:מא)
אָנָּא אָב הָרַחֲמִים מְקוֹר הַבְּרָכוֹת.
אַתָּה מַשְׁבִּֽיחַ שְׁאוֹן גַּלִּים.
וּבְיָדְךָ פְּקֻדַּת נֶפֶשׁ כׇּל־חָי.
אֶ֪לֶף שָׁנִ֡ים בְּֽעֵינֶ֗יךָ כְּי֣וֹם אֶ֭תְמוֹל כִּ֣י יַֽעֲבֹ֑ר
וְאַשְׁמוּרָ֥ה בַלָּֽיְלָה׃ (תהלים צ:ד)
We lift our hearts in our hands to God in Heaven. (Lamentations 3:41)
Please, Maternal Father, source of blessing,
You silence the raging waves,
and in Your hand is the account of every man’s soul.
A thousand years in Your eyes is like yesterday passed,
and a watch in the night. (Psalms 90:4)

יְהִי נָא חַסְדְּךָ עִם אֶֽרֶץ מוֹלַדְתֵּֽנוּ
אֶֽרֶץ גֶּרְמַנִיאַ יָרוּם הוֹדָהּ,
לְרַפְּאוֹת אֶת־שִׁבְרָהּ,
לְקוֹמֲמָהּ לְהַאֲדִירָהּ לְשַׁכְלְלָהּ
לְחַזְּקָהּ בְּיָתֵד בַּל־תִּמּוֹת לְעוֹלָם.
הָסֵר מִנְּאוֹת אַרְצָהּ
דֶּֽבֶר וְחֶֽרֶב וְרָעָב וְיָגוֹן,
לְמַֽעַן יָנֽוּחוּ כׇל־בָנֶֽיהָ בְּשַׁלְוָה וְהַשְׁקֵט
וְכׇל־מַשְׁחִית לֹא יִקְרַב לְאׇהֳלֵיהֶם.
לֹא יִשָּׁמַע קוֹל שׁוֹד בִּגְבוּלֵֽנוּ,
בְּהַשְׁבִּיתְךָ מִלְחָמוֹת עַד־קְצֵה הָאָֽרֶץ.
לְהָשִׁיב אִישׁ אֶל־גַּפְנוֹ וְתַֽחַת תְּאֵנָתוֹ.
May Your mercy be upon our birth land,
the land of Germany (may her grace be lifted),
to repair her breaches,
and to support her and dignify her and improve her
and strengthen her on a tentpole never to fall.
Remove from her land’s pleasant places
disease and sword and famine and sorrow,
that all her children may rest in peace and quiet,
and may no destroyer touch their tents.
May the sound of violence never be heard in our borders,
as you stop wars to the edge of the earth,
that each man may return to his vine and under his fig tree.

בִּמְהֵרָה תִּוָּשַׁע יְהוּדָה,
וְיִשְׂרָאֵל יִשְׁכּוֹן לָבֶֽטַח.
וּבָא לְצִיּוֹן גּוֹאֵל,
וְכֵן יְהִי רָצוֹן,
וְנֹאמַר אָמֵן׃
Speedily may Judah be saved,
and Israel dwell in tranquility.
And a redeemer comes to Zion,
and thus may it be willed,
and we say amen.

From Siddur Sephat Emeth, published in Germany in 1938, unknown author.

Source(s)

Gebet für das Vaterland | A Prayer for the Fatherland (Siddur Sephat Emeth, Rödelheim, 1938) page 122

 

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