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ברכה לקסר ומלך | Prière pour Sa Majesté Impériale et Royale | Prayer for the Emperor and King, Napoleon Ⅰ (ca. 1810)

https://opensiddur.org/?p=43522 ברכה לקסר ומלך | Prière pour Sa Majesté Impériale et Royale | Prayer for the Emperor and King, Napoleon Ⅰ (ca. 1810) 2022-03-27 15:35:34 A prayer composed for honoring Napoleon Ⅰ by the emancipated Jews of France. Text the Open Siddur Project Aharon N. Varady (transcription) Aharon N. Varady (transcription) Abraham (Vita) de Cologna Joseph David Sinẓheim Unknown Author(s) Consistoire central israélite de France https://opensiddur.org/copyright-policy/ Aharon N. Varady (transcription) https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/ Government & Country France 19th century C.E. Emancipation 56th century A.M. French Jewry First French Empire Napoleon Bonaparte Grand Sanhedrin
Source (Hebrew) Source (French) Translation of French (English)
ברכה לקסר ומלך
Prière pour S. M. Impériale et Royale.
Prayer for the Emperor and King.
אֱלֹהִים חַיִים וּמֶּלֶךְ עוֹלָם,
הַמַּגְבִּיהִי לָשֶׁבֶת
הַמַּשְׁפִּילְי לִרְאוֹת
בַּשָׁמָיִם וּבָאָרֶץ.
Dieu éternel, maître de l’univers
du haut de ton trône
tuiuclines le regard de ta providence
vers les cieux et la terre;
Eternal God, master of the Universe,
from the height of your Throne,
you tilt the gaze of your Providence
towards the heavens and the earth.
בְּיָדְךָ כֹּחַ וּגְבוּרָה
וּלְגַדֵּל
וּלְחַזֵק לַכֹּל
אֲשֶׁר מִפִּיךָ מְלָכִים יִמְלֹכוּ׃
וּמִיָדְךָ לָמוֹ מַטֵה עֹז שֶׁבֶט מִישׁוֹר
לְנַהֵל לְאֻמִים׃
La force et la puissance t’appartiennent,
par toi seul tout s’aggrandit,
tout s’affermit:
c’est par toi que les rois règnent:
c’est toi qui leur dispense le sceptre
pour gouverner les nations;
Power and might are yours;
through you alone all things grow,
all things become strong;
through you kings reign;
it is you who distributes the Scepter
for the governing of nations.
הַשְׁקִיפָה מִמְּעוֹן קָּדְשֶׁךָ וּבָרֵךְ
וּנְצוֹר וָעֲזוֹר אֶת אֲדוֹנֵנוּ
NAPOLÉON Empereur de Français et Roi d’Italie.
אמן
Jette de ta demeure sainte un regard favorable, bénis,
préserve et assiste notre auguste souverain,
le grand Napoléon; Empereur de Français, Roi d’Italie.
Amen.
Cast from your sacred domain a favorable, blessed gaze,
preserve and assist our august Sovereign,
Napoleon the Great, Emperor of the French, King of Italy.
Amen.
בִּרְכוֹת שָׁמַיִם מֵעַל תְּצַו אִתּוֹ
יַאֲרִיךְ יָמִים וּשְׁנוֹת חַיִּים עַל מַמְלַכְתּוֹ׃
אמן
Verse sur lui le trésor de tes bénédictions;
prolonge la durée de son règne jusqu’au terme le plus reculé.
Amen.
Pour upon him the treasure of your blessings;
extend the length of his reign into the most distant future.
Amen.
כְּאִישׁוֹן בַּת עַיִן תִּנְצְרֵהוּ
עֲטֶרֶת תִּפְאֶרֶת נֶצַח תְּמַגְּנֵהוּ׃
אמן
Que ton œil divin veille sans cesse sur lui
et que son front soit constamment orné d’une couronne de gloire immortelle.
Amen.
May your divine eye ceaselessly watch over him,
and his brow be ever adorned with a crown of immortal glory.
Amen.
תַּחְתָּיו תַּכְרִיעַ קָמָיו
שָׁלוֹם וָשֶׁקֶט יִהְיֶה בְּיָמָיו׃
אמן
Que ses ennemis fléchissent devant lui;
que le bonheur, la paix et la tranquillité accompagnent son règne.
Amen.
May his enemies yield before him,
may happiness, peace, and tranquility accompany his reign.
Amen.
שְׁלַח אוֹרְךָ וְעֶזְרְךָ הֵמָה יַנְחוּהוּ
חֶסֶד וֶאֶמֶת תָּמִיד יִצְּרוּהוּ׃
אמן
Que les rayons de ta lumière le guident et le protègent;
que ta miséricorde et ta grâce lui servent de bouclier.
Amen.
May the rays of your light guide and protect him;
may your mercy and grace serve as his shield.
Amen.
תַּעְטֶה הוֹד וְהָדָר גַם בְּרָכוֹת
מַחְמַד עֵינוֹ Louise תִּפְאֶרֶת מְלָכוֹת
Que Louise, sa Compagne chérie, ce modèle des Reines,
participe à sa gloire et à sa félicité.
Amen.
May Louise,[1]  This would be Marie Louise Ⅰ (German: Maria Ludovica Leopoldina Franziska Therese Josepha Lucia; Italian: Maria Luigia Leopoldina Francesca Teresa Giuseppa Lucia; 12 December 1791 – 17 December 1847), an Austrian archduchess who reigned as Duchess of Parma from 11 April 1814 until her death. She was Napoleon’s second wife and as such Empress of the French and Queen of Italy from their marriage on 1 April 1810 until his abdication on 6 April 1814.  his beloved Companion, that model queen,
participate in his glory and his happiness.
Amen.
מְאֹד מְאֹד יָרוּם אֲדוֹנֵינוּ וְנִשָּׂא וְגָבָהּ
עִם כׇּל־בְּנֵי מִשְׁפַּחְתּוֹ הַנִשְׂגָבָה׃
אמן
Augmente de plus en plus la puissance, la grandeur et l’élévation de notre souverain
et celles de son illustre famille.
Amen.
Forever increase the might, grandeur, and elevation of our Sovereign
and those of his family.
Amen.
תִתְּנֵנוּ לְפַנָיו וְלִפְנֵי כׇּל יוֹעֲצָיו לַחֲנִינָה וּלְרַחֲמִים
לְטוֹב לְעַמְךָ יִשְׂרָאֵל כׇּל־הַיָמִים׃
אמן
Assure le bonheur d’Israël, en nous rendant dignes de sa bienveillance
et fais que nous soyons agréables aux yeux de ceux qui l’approchent.
Amen.
Ensure the happiness of Israel by rendering us worthy of his benevolence,
and see to it that we are agreeable in the eyes of all who approach him.
Amen.
יִהְיוּ לְרָצוֹן אִמְרֵי פִינוּ וְהֶגְיוֹן לִבֵּנוּ
יְיָ צוּרֵנוּ וְגוֹאֲלֵנוּ׃
אמן
Accueille favorablement nos expressions et les vœux de nos cœurs;
exauce les, Dieu. notre créateur et notre libérateur.
Amen.
Receive our expressions and the wishes of our hearts with favor;
grant them, God our Creator and our Liberator.
Amen.

“Prière pour S. M. Impériale et Royale” is a prayer for the French Emperor (Napoleon Ⅰ) written under the supervision of Rabbi David Sinzheim (if not composed by him and/or Rabbi Abraham Cologna, vice-president of the Grand Sanhedrin). In 1808, as chairman of the newly inaugurated Consistoire central israélite de France, Rabbi David Sinzheim was directed to convey such a prayer “considering that it is important that the formulation of this prayer be uniform for all synagogues of the Empire.” This prayer may or may not be the same or even a later draft of that prayer. The text of the French and Hebrew here was transcribed from that found in Siddur Minhat Tamid (Metz 1814), which unfortunately had papered over (literally) the passage for Napoleon’s consort (Louise, after his divorce from Josephine in 1810). The complete Hebrew text (including vocalization) was transcribed from a pagespread found in MS 4751 (ENA 16) held in the collection of the Library of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America.

The English translation was adapted from one made by Mitchell Abidor from the French text published in the Verdier 2007 edition of Les décisions doctrinales du Grand Sanhédrin: réuni sous les auspices de Napoléon le Grand, 1806-1807, citing as its source the March 1959 issue of Journal des communauté. The Verdier edition provides 1808 as the date of the decree for composing the work followed by the prayer, but the prayer itself must have been composed (at least in the form they have it) years later. Marie Louise, named in the prayer, was not yet Queen until 1810. (Possibly, earlier drafts contained the name Josephine.) JTSA MS 4751 gives us the best clue as to the date. In addition to this prayer there is appended a prayer for the birth of their son Napoleon Ⅱ (1811-1832), which took place on 20 March 1811. So the prayer in the form we have it must have been circulating sometime between the marriage of Napoleon and Marie Louise in April 1810 and the birth of their son a year later.

A “Prière pour S. M. Impériale et Royale” is referenced in the prayer for convening the assembly of the Grand Sanhedrin in 1807, but the text of it was not copied. (On 15 August 1806 Rabbi Sinzheim offered a prayer after a sermon he gave in the synagogue of Paris in honor of the emperor’s birthday, but that is a different prayer.) It would be best to find additional examples of this and other prayers for Napoleon from 1804-1815 to compare their text. If you know of any others, please let us know in the comments (or contact us). –Aharon Varady

Source(s)

Prayer for Napoleon – in MS 4751, JTS תפלות שונות (Occasional prayers, Italian rite – Elijah Levi)

Blessing for the Emperor and King – Siddur Minhat Tamid (Metz 1814)

Blessing for the Emperor and King – Siddur Minhat Tamid (Metz 1814) b

Blessing for the Emperor and King – Siddur Minhat Tamid (Metz 1814) a

 

Notes

Notes
1 This would be Marie Louise Ⅰ (German: Maria Ludovica Leopoldina Franziska Therese Josepha Lucia; Italian: Maria Luigia Leopoldina Francesca Teresa Giuseppa Lucia; 12 December 1791 – 17 December 1847), an Austrian archduchess who reigned as Duchess of Parma from 11 April 1814 until her death. She was Napoleon’s second wife and as such Empress of the French and Queen of Italy from their marriage on 1 April 1810 until his abdication on 6 April 1814.
 

 

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