|Source (Hebrew)||Translation (English)|
I aspire to bring about a situation in which Torah study is the heritage of all Israel, in which the Torah is accessible to all who wish to study it, in which all young citizens of Israel take part in Torah study as well as military and civil service. Together we will build this home and avoid disappointment.
I long for the day when the state’s resources are distributed fairly and equally to every Torah scholar, man or woman, based on the quality of their study, not their communal affiliation, when secular and pluralistic yeshivot, batei midrash, and organizations win fair and equal support in comparison to Orthodox and Ḥaredi batei midrash. Through scholarly envy and healthy competition, the Torah will be magnified and glorified.
I want to conclude with a prayer composed by my colleague Ḥaim Hames, the prayer for entering the Knesset:
יהי רצון מלפניך,
ה׳ אלהינו ואלהי אבותינו ואמהותינו,
שאצא מהבית הזה כפי שנכנסתי אליו,
שלמה עם עצמי,
May it be Your will,
Lord our God, God of our fathers and mothers,
that I leave this house as I entered it –
at peace with myself
and with others.
מי יתן שמעשיי יהיו לטובת כל תושבי מדינת ישראל,
ושאפעל לתקן את החברה אשר שלחה אותי למעון זה,
ולהשכין שלום צודק בינינו ועם שכנינו.
May my actions benefit all residents of the State of Israel.
May I work to improve the society that sent me to this chamber
and cause a just peace to dwell among us and with our neighbors.
מי ייתן ותמיד אזכור שאני שליחת ציבור,
ועלי להקפיד על ניקיון כפיים ולב.
מי יתן ואצליח ונצליח בכל מעשי ידיו.
May I always remember that I am a messenger of the public
and that I must take care to keep my integrity and innocence intact.
May I, and we, succeed in all our endeavors.
אני מוסיפה ברכה קטנה לסיעה שלי יש עתיד.
שנשמור על התרבות המיוחדת של אחווה ושיתוף,
שנישאר מאוחדים, שנישאר במליאה,
ושנזכה לממש את החלום ולשנות לטוב.
I add a small prayer for my faction, Yesh Atid,
that we maintain our unique culture of cooperation and brotherhood,
that we remain united, that we remain in the plenum,
and that we realize our dream to make things better.
Near the end of Ruth Calderon‘s now famous speech to the Knesset on February 12th, 2013, the new Knesset member added a prayer for her role in the government, written by Dr. Ḥaim Hames of Ben-Gurion University. We are grateful to Chaim Hames for sharing his prayer with the Open Siddur Project. The text of the speech above is from the transcript of the Knesset record which resides in the Public Domain.
We are also grateful to Elli Fischer for sharing his English translation of Ruth Calderon’s speech and Ḥaim Hames prayer, which first appeared in the Jewish Week in the op-ed, “‘The Heritage Of All Israel’: Founder of Tel Aviv’s secular yeshiva, also a Knesset member, leads Israel’s parliament in study and prayer” by Ruth Calderone [sic] (February 14, 2013), and shared with attribution. The translation was subsequently remixed as subtitles in the video record of Ruth’s speech by Maqom TV.
|1||David Hartman (September 11, 1931 – February 10, 2013)|
“תפילה בכניסה לכנסת | Prayer for Entering the Knesset, by Dr. Chaim Hames-Ezra (2013)” is shared through the Open Siddur Project with a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International copyleft license.
Works of related interest:
תפילה (ישראלית) לפני הכניסה לקלפי (למאמין וללא מאמין) | Prayer before entering the voting booth in Israel (for believers and non-believers)
Opening Prayer for the Inaugural Boston City Council Meeting, by Rabbi Victor Reinstein (5 January 2009)
Prayer of the Guest Chaplain of the U.S. House of Representatives: Rabbi Mara Nathan on 19 January 2018
Prayer of the Guest Chaplain of the U.S. House of Representatives: Rabbi Manny Behar on 30 April 2003
Prayer of the Guest Chaplain of the U.S. House of Representatives: Rabbi Romi Cohn on 29 January 2020