מי שברך למיני פשעי שנאה | Mi sheBerakh for Hate Crimes and Bigotry, by Isaac Gantwerk-Mayer

Hebrew English

מִי שֶׁבֵּֽרַךְ אֲבוֹתֵֽינוּ אַבְרָהָם יִצְחָק וְיַעֲקֹב,
וּמִי שֶׁפָּקַד אִמּוֹתֵֽינוּ שָׂרָה רִבְקָה רָחֵל וְלֵאָה,
הוּא יְבָרֵךְ וְיִפְקֹד אֶת כׇּל בְּנֵי נֹחַ – בְּנֵי שֵׁם, וּבְנֵי חָם, וְגַּם בְּנֵי יֶפֶת –
כׇּל הַגְּזָעִים שָׁיּוֹשְׁבִים בַּתֵּֽבֵל,
מִכׇּל מִינֵי פִּשְׁעֵי שִׂנְאָה,
מִלְּשׁוֹן קַנָּאוּת וּמִדִּבְרֵי חֶרְפּוֹת,
וּמִעֲלִילוֹת תּוֹקְפָנוּת מִי שֶׁגְּדוֹלוֹת וְעַד מִי שֶׁקְּטַנּוֹת.
May the one who blessed our forefathers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob,
and who remembered our foremothers Sarah, Rebeka, Rachel, and Leah,
bless all the sons of Noah – of Shem, of Ham, and also of Japheth –
all branches of humanity that dwell on the earth,
from all kinds of hate crimes,
from bigoted speech and from words of insult,
and from deeds of aggression from great to small.

גּוֹאֲלֵֽינוּ,
פְּקַח אֶת עֵינֵי כׇל אֲנָשִׁים
שֶׁלֹּא מְבִינִים שֶׁאַתָּה שָׁלוֹם וְשִׁמְךָ שָׁלוֹם
וְהָעִקָּר בַּדֶּֽרֶךְ הַצַּדִּיקִים הוּא לֶאֱהוֹב שָׁלוֹם וְלִרְדּוֹף שָׁלוֹם,
וְגָּם לֶאֱהֹב אֶת הַבְּרִיּוֹת הָחֲבֵרוֹת הַמִּצְטוֹפְפוֹת בָּעוֹלָם הַקָּטָן הַזֶּה.
O Redeemer,
open the eyes of all people
who do not understand that You are peace and Your Name is peace,
and the most important thing on the path of the righteous is to love peace and pursue peace,
and also to love the fellow creatures crowded on this little world.

מְקוֹר הַשָּׁלוֹם,
יְהִי שָׁלוֹם וְשַׁלְוָה וְהַשְׁקֵט וָבֶֽטַח
עָל יְרוּשָׁלַֽיִם עִיר קׇדְשֶֽׁךָ,
עָל יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶֽרֶץ עַמֶּֽךָ,
וְעָל כׇּל מְדִינָה וּמְדִינָה בָּעוֹלָמֶֽךָ.
וּבְכֵן, נְצַפֶּה בְּנִלְהָבוּת בִּיאַת הַיּוֹם
אֲשֶׁר תְּקַיֵּם חֲזוֹן נְבִיאֶֽךָ עַבְדֶּֽךָ,
כָּכָּתוּב: ”אַֽל־תִּפְחֲדוּ֙ וְאַל־תִּרְה֔וּ
הֲלֹ֥א מֵאָ֛ז הִשְׁמַעְתִּ֥יךָ
וְהִגַּ֖דְתִּי וְאַתֶּ֣ם עֵדָ֑י הֲיֵ֤שׁ אֱל֙וֹהַּ֙ מִבַּלְעָדַ֔י
וְאֵ֥ין צ֖וּר בַּל־יָדָֽעְתִּי“
כֶּן יְהִי הָֽשְתָּא בַּעֲגָֽלָא וּבִזְמַן קָרִיב,
וְאִמְרוּ אָמֵן.
O Source of peace,
may there be peace and prosperity and tranquility and serenity
over Jerusalem Your Holy City,
over Israel Your people’s land,
and over every one of the provinces in Your world.
And so, we await with eagerness the coming of the day
when You will fulfill the vision of Your prophet and servant,
as it is written [Isaiah 44:8]: “Do not be afraid, and do not be shaken!
Have I not from of old been heard to you?
I told, and you were my witnesses, so is there any god but me?
There is no other Rock I know of!”
May it be in this year, speedily, and close in time,
and let us say amen!

From resurgent neo-fascist movements to religious extremist attacks, hate crimes are on the rise all over the world right now. At times like this many people live in fear – fear of being attacked or maligned, physical, mental or emotional. Hatred is not new to the Jewish people, but traditionally it was considered “just the way it is.” As Americans, we should believe better. The midrash (Devarim Rabbah 5:10) says that hateful speech kills three – the speaker, the listener, and the subject. This Mi Sheberakh was written as a prayer for all those of every people and nation that are affected by hatred and bigotry.

Through use of repeated threefold lists (three traditionally being a number reflecting completeness), this prayer reflects the universal hope of peace and tranquility. Jerusalem, as a city whose very name is peace, yet that has experienced far too much war, serves as a microcosm of the world (a continuation of the Biblical idea of praying for the peace of Jerusalem – see Psalm 122:6).

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