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רִבּוֹן כׇּל הָעוֹלָמִים | Ribon kol ha-Olamim, a prayer for the government of the United States of America by Rabbi Max Lilienthal (1846)

https://opensiddur.org/?p=44004 רִבּוֹן כׇּל הָעוֹלָמִים | Ribon kol ha-Olamim, a prayer for the government of the United States of America by Rabbi Max Lilienthal (1846) 2022-04-23 15:07:26 "Ribon kol ha-Olamim" was almost certainly written by Rabbi Max Lilienthal in 1846 soon after he arrived in New York City where he was elected chief rabbi of New York's "united German-Jewish community." It was first published in L. Henry Frank's prayerbook, <em>Tefilot Yisrael: Prayers of Israel with an English translation</em> (1848) without attribution. In 1998, Dr. Jonathan Sarna elucidated its authorship in an article, “<a href="https://www.brandeis.edu/hornstein/sarna/americanjewishcultureandscholarship/Archive3/AForgottenNineteenthCenturyPrayerfortheUnitedStatesGovenment.pdf">A Forgotten 19th Century Prayer for the U.S. Government: Its Meaning, Significance and Surprising Author</a>.” In <em>Hesed Ve-Emet: Studies in Honor of Ernest S. Frerichs</em>, eds. J. Magness and S. Gitin, 431-440. Athens, Ga.: Scholars Press, 1998. Text the Open Siddur Project Aharon N. Varady (transcription) Aharon N. Varady (transcription) Jonathan Sarna (translation) Max Lilienthal https://opensiddur.org/copyright-policy/ Aharon N. Varady (transcription) https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/ Government &amp; Country United States of America 19th century C.E. United States 57th century A.M. William Frederick Havemeyer James Knox Polk
Source (Hebrew) Translation (English)
רִבּוֹן כׇּל הָעוֹלָמִים. אֲדוֹן כׇּל הַמַּעֲשִׂים.
הַנּוֹטֵה כְּנָהָר שָׁלוֹם
וּכְנַחַל שֹׁטֵף ‎כְּבוֹד גּוֹיִם.
הַשְׁקִֽיפָה מִמְּעוֹן קָדְשֶֽׁךָ
וּבָרֵךְ אֶת הָאָרֶץ הַזֹּאת
the United States of America
אֲשֶׁר אֲנַֽחְנוּ יוֹשְׁבִים עָלֶֽיהָ.
לֹא יִשְׁמַע חָמָם בְּאַרְצָם.
שֹׁד וָשֶֽׁבֶר בִּגְבוּלָם
וְקָרָאתְ יְשׁוּעָה חוֹמוֹתֶֽיהָ
וּשְׁעָרֶיהָ תְּהִלָּה
וְנָתַתָּ גִּשְׁמֵיהֶם בְּעִתָּם
וְנָֽתְנָה הָאָֽרֶץ יְבוּלָהּ
וְעֵץ הַשָּׂדֶה יִתֵּן פִּרְיוֹ
וְשַׂמְתָּ שָּׁלוֹם טוֹבָה וּבְרָכָה
עַל כׇּל יוֹשְׁבֵי הָאָֽרֶץ
וְשָֽׁכְבוּ וְאֵין מַחֲרִיד
וְנוֹדַע בַּגּוֹיִם זַרְעָם
וְצֶּאֶצָאֵיהֶם בְּתוֹךְ הָעַמִּים
וְכׇל רוֹאֵיהֶם יַכִּרוּם
כִּי אַתָּה בֵרַכְתָּם.
אָמֵן׃
Master of the Universe. Lord of all Works.
Who extends peace like a river,
and like a rapid stream the glory of nations.[1] Cf. Isaiah 66:12. 
Look down from Your holy dwelling
and bless this land,
the United states of America,
whereon we dwell.
Let not violence be heard in their land,
wasting and destruction within their boundaries,
but You shall call its walls “Salvation”
and its gates “Praise.”[2] Cf. Isaiah 60:18. 
Grant them rains in due season,
so that the earth shall yield her products
and the tree of the field shall yield its fruit,[3] Cf. Leviticus 26:4. 
and grant peace, goodness and a blessing
on all the inhabitants of the land,
that they may lie down with none to make them afraid.[4] Cf. Leviticus 26:6. 
And among the nations shall their seed be known,
and their offspring in the midst of the people:
all that see them shall acknowledge them,
for You hath blessed them.[5] Cf. Isaiah 61:9. 
Amen.
הָרֵק שִׁפְעַת טוּבְךָ עַל
The President
and the Vice President of the United States
יְהִי כְנָהָר שְׁלוֹמָם
וְצִדְקָתָם כְּגַלֵּי הַיָּם.
בְּיָמֵיהֶם חֶֽסֶד וֶאֱמֶת יִפְגָּשׁוּ
וְצֶֽדֶק וְשָׁלוֹם יִשָּׁקוּ
גָּדוֹל יִהְיֶה כְּבוֹדָם
בִּישׁוּעָתֶךָ וּבְעָזְךָ
יָגִילוּ מְאֹד.
אָמֵן׃
Pour down the bounty of Your goodness
upon the President,[6] In 1846, this would have been James Knox Polk (November 2, 1795 – June 15, 1849), 11th president of the United States. 
and the Vice President of the United States,[7] In 1846, this would have been George Mifflin Dallas (July 10, 1792 – December 31, 1864). 
that their prosperity be like a river,
their triumph like the waves of the sea.[8] Cf. Isaiah 48:18. 
In their days may kindness and truth meet together,
righteousness and peace kiss one another.[9] Psalms 85:11. 
Great shall be their honor;
through Your help and in your strength
they will greatly exult.[10] Cf. Psalms 21:2-6. 
Amen.
צַו בִּרְכוֹתֶֽיךָ גַם אֶל
the Governor and the lieutentant Governor of the state
and the Mayor and the Common Council of this City.
אַתָּה תוֹרֵם אֶת הַדֶּֽרֶךְ הַטּוֹבָה אֲשֶׁר יֵֽלְכוּ בָהּ
לָדִין אֶת כׇּל הָעָם בְּצֶֽדֶק
וְכׇל הַגּוֹי בְּמְשְׁפָּט
וְיִרְאוּ כֻּלָּם וְיִתְעַנְגוּ
מֵרֹב שָׁלוֹם.
אָמֵן׃
Ordain blessings also upon
the Governor and the lieutenant Governor of the state[11] In 1846, this would have been John Alsop King (1788-1867) and Henry Rogers Selden (1805-1885), respectively. 
and the Mayor[12] In 1846, this would have been William Frederick Havemeyer (February 12, 1804 – November 30, 1874), 66th Mayor of New York City.  and the Common Council of this city.
Teach them the good way wherein they should walk[13] I Kings 8:36. 
so as to judge the entire people rightly,
the entire nation justly,[14] Cf. Psalms 72:2. 
and all will see it and delight themselves
from the abundance of peace.[15] Cf. Psalms 37:11. 
Amen.
שְׁלַח יִשְׁעֶֽךָ גַּם אֶל
the City of New York
וְאֶל כׇּל יוֹשׁבֶֽיהָ.
פְּרוֹשׂ עֲלֵיהֶם סֻכַּת שְׁלוֹמֶֽךָ
וְהָסֵר מֵהֶם כׇּל מַחֲלָה וְכׇל פֶּֽגַע.
שָׂשׂוֹן וְשִׂמְחָה יַשִּֽׂיגוּ
וְנָסוּ יָגוֹן וַאֲנָחָה.
אָמֵן׃
Send Your salvation also to
the city of New York
and all its inhabitants.
Spread over them the canopy of Your peace
and remove from them every ailment and affliction.
Gladness and joy shall they obtain,
and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.[16] Isaiah 35:10. 
Amen.
אָבִֽינוּ הַטּוֹב
וְגַם אוֹתָֽנוּ עַמְּךָ בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל תַּעֲנֶה
בְּעֵת רָצוֹן
וְתַעֲזוֹר
בְּכׇל יוֹם וָיוֹם.
בְטוּבְּךָ הַגָּדוֹל תַּנְחֵֽינוּ תָּמִיד
וְתַשְׂבִּֽיעַ בְּצַחְצָחוֹת נַפְשֵֽׁנוּ.
וְהָיִיֽנוּ כְּגַן רָוֶה
וּכְמוֹצָא מַֽיִם אֲשֶׁר לֹא יְכַזְּבוּ מֵימָיו
וְנֵֽלְכָה מֵחַֽיִל אֶל חַֽיִל
עַד כִּי יָבוֹא לְצִיּוֹן גּוֹאֵל.
וְכֵן יְהִי רָצוֹן
וְנֹאמַר אָמֵן׃
Our good Father,
also answer us Your people the house of Israel
at a favorable time,
and be of assistance
each and every day.
Guide us continually in your great goodness
and satisfy our soul in times of famine.
And we shall be like a well-watered garden,
like a spring whose waters do not fail,[17] Cf. Isaiah 58:11. 
and go from strength to strength[18] Cf. Psalms 84:8. 
until the redeemer shall come unto Zion.
O that this may be His will,
and let us say, Amen.

“Ribon kol ha-Olamim” was almost certainly written by Rabbi Max Lilienthal in 1846 soon after he arrived in New York City where he was elected chief rabbi of New York’s “united German-Jewish community.” It was first published in L. Henry Frank’s prayerbook, Tefilot Yisrael: Prayers of Israel with an English translation (1848) without attribution. In 1998, Dr. Jonathan Sarna elucidated its authorship in an article, “A Forgotten 19th Century Prayer for the U.S. Government: Its Meaning, Significance and Surprising Author.” In Hesed Ve-Emet: Studies in Honor of Ernest S. Frerichs, eds. J. Magness and S. Gitin, 431-440. Athens, Ga.: Scholars Press, 1998.

The transcription here, in lieu of the unavailability of the 1848 edition, uses a printing from 1854 and from 1864 with the translation offered by Dr. Sarna containing his annotations. Interestingly, the 1854 printing was made by S.B. Gusdorfer (and printed by J. Sommer) in Fürth, Bavaria, making it the first prayerbook from the United States that we know of to have been republished in Europe. We do not know whether this edition was endorsed by Henry Frank, but the 1854 Furth edition contains an English translation of Lilienthal’s prayer, which do not appear in Frank’s editions.

Dr. Sarna notes that a later variation of this prayer for the government of the United States was made by Hyman Charlap and which appear in the siddurim (1, 2) he compiled that were published by the Hebrew Publishing Company in 1912.

Source(s)

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Notes

Notes
1 Cf. Isaiah 66:12.
2 Cf. Isaiah 60:18.
3 Cf. Leviticus 26:4.
4 Cf. Leviticus 26:6.
5 Cf. Isaiah 61:9.
6 In 1846, this would have been James Knox Polk (November 2, 1795 – June 15, 1849), 11th president of the United States.
7 In 1846, this would have been George Mifflin Dallas (July 10, 1792 – December 31, 1864).
8 Cf. Isaiah 48:18.
9 Psalms 85:11.
10 Cf. Psalms 21:2-6.
11 In 1846, this would have been John Alsop King (1788-1867) and Henry Rogers Selden (1805-1885), respectively.
12 In 1846, this would have been William Frederick Havemeyer (February 12, 1804 – November 30, 1874), 66th Mayor of New York City.
13 I Kings 8:36.
14 Cf. Psalms 72:2.
15 Cf. Psalms 37:11.
16 Isaiah 35:10.
17 Cf. Isaiah 58:11.
18 Cf. Psalms 84:8.
 

 

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