Prayer for Universal Peace, by Rabbi Hillel Lavery-Yisraëli

Contribute a translation Adaptation (English)

May we merit to bring about the day when war and bloodshed cease,
and a great peace embraces the whole universe.
“No nation will lift up a sword to another,
and the art of war will no longer be studied.”[1]Isaiah 2:4.

May we live to see the leaders of all the nations
inspired to do good with their peoples
and with all other peoples of the world,
bringing about the fulfillment of the Scriptural blessing,
“I will bring peace to the Earth,
and you will lie down with no one to terrify you,
and I will bring calm to all vicious creatures on Earth,
and the sword will no longer pass in your Land.”[2]Leviticus 26:6.

Let knowledge fill the Earth as water fills the ocean,[3]Cf. Habakkuk 2:14, Isaiah 11:9, etc.
and let all people of all ethnicities, races, beliefs, genders and orientations
enjoy true equality, security, safety and livelihood,
in a true spirit of co-existence and cooperation.

And let us say, Amen.

A prayer for peace adapted from the texts of the prayers for peace found in the Sim Shalom (1985) and Lev Shalem (2016) siddurim of the Rabbinical Assembly. This prayer was shared in an interfaith setting the day before the massacre of Muslim worshipers during Jumu’ah in Christchurch, New Zealand on 15 March 2015. The text of the prayer was afterward posted to Rabbi Hillel’s Facebook page, writing:

Yesterday [14 March 2019] I was honoured to open freedom fighter [2011 Nobel Prize winner] Leymah Gbowee’s talk in Hamilton, Canada by reading this prayer for universal peace. Today I wake up to the news of #nzmosqueshooting. As General Leymah said, no matter what religion or ethnicity, if you cut us, we all bleed the same colour blood. Let there be peace and security!

Source(s)

The prayer for peace appearing in Siddur Sim Shalom is adapted from the Prayer for Peace found in Reb Nosson Sternhartz of Nemirov’s adaptation of the teachings of Rebbe Nahman of Bratzlav in Likkutei Tefillot. “Page 417: Prayer for Peace . . . Adapted and translated from the Hebrew of Rabbi Nathan Sternhartz (1780-1845), Ukraine, from Likutei Tefillot, part two, 53.”

Prayer for Peace (Sim Shalom p.416-417) adapted from Reb Nosson Sternhartz, Likutei Tefilot II-53

Source (Hebrew) Translation (English)

יְהִי רָצוֹן מִלְפָנֶֽיךָ יהוה אֱלֹהֵינוּ וֵאלֹהֵי אֲבוֹתֵֽינוּ וְאִמּוֹתֵֽינוּ
שֶׁתְּבַטֵּל מִלְחָמוֹת וּשְׁפִיכוּת דָּמִים מִן הָעוֹלָם
וְתָמְשִׁיךְ שָׁלוֹם גָּדוֹל וְנִפְלָא בָּעוֹלָם,
וְלֹא־יִשָּׂא גוֹי אֶל־גּוֹי חֶֽרֶב
וְלֹא־יִלְמְדוּ עוֹד מִלְחָמָה. (ישעיה ב:ד)
May it be your will YHVH our elo’ah, and elo’ah of our forefathers and foremothers,
That we see the day when war and bloodshed cease from the work,
when a great peace and wonder will embrace the whole world.
Then nation will not threaten nation,
and the human family will not again know war.[4]Isaiah 2:4.

רַק יַכִּֽירוּ וְיֵדְעוּ כׇּל־יוֹשְׁבֵי תֵבֵל הָאֱמֶת לַאֲמִתּוֹ
אֲשֶׁר לֹא בָֽאנוּ לָזֶה הָעוֹלָם בִּשְׁבִיל רִיב וּמַחֲלֹֽקֶת
וְלֹא בִּשְׁבִיל שִׂנְאָה וְקִנְאָה וְקִנְתּוּר וּשְׁפִיכוּת דָּמִים.
רַק בָּֽאנוּ לָעוֹלָם כְּדֵי לְהַכִּיר אוֹתְךָ, תִּתְבָּרַךְ לָנֶֽצַח.
Rather, let all who live on Earth recognize and know the truth in its truest sense,
that we haven’t come into this world for fighting and controversy,
nor for hatred, envy, provocation or bloodshed,
rather we have come into the world in order to know You, may You be eternally blessed.

Compassionate God, bless the leaders of all nations with the power of compassion.

וּבְכֵן תְּרַחֵם עָלֵֽינוּ וִיקֻיַּם בָּֽנוּ מִקְרָא שֶׁכָּתוּב׃
וְנָתַתִּֽי שָׁלוֹם בָּאָֽרֶץ
וּשְׁכַבְתֶּם וְאֵין מַחֲרִיד (ויקרע כו:ו)
וְהִשְׁבַּתִּֽי חַיָּה רָעָה מִן־הָאָֽרֶץ
וְחֶֽרֶב לֹא־תַעֲבֹר בְּאַרְצְכֶם. (אמוס ה:כד)
וְיִגַּל כַּמַּֽיִם מִשְׁפָּט, וּצְדָקָה כְּנַֽחַל אֵיתָן.
כִּי־מָלְאָה הָאָֽרֶץ דֵּעָה אֶת־יְהוָה כַּמַּֽיִם לַיָּם מְכַסִּים׃ (ישעיה יא:ט)
Fulfill the promise conveyed in Scripture:
“I will bring peace to the land,
and you shall lie down and no one shall terrify you.”[5]Leviticus 26:6.
“I will rid the land of vicious beasts
and it shall not be ravaged by war.”[6]Amos 5:24.
“Let justice and righteousness flow like a mighty stream.
Let God’s peace fill the earth as the waters fill the sea.”[7]Isaiah 11:9.

And let us say: Amen.

Prayer for Peace (Lev Shalem 2016, p.178)

Prayer for Peace in Hebrew (Lev Shalem 2016)

Notes   [ + ]

  1, 4. Isaiah 2:4.
  2, 5. Leviticus 26:6.
  3. Cf. Habakkuk 2:14, Isaiah 11:9, etc.
  6. Amos 5:24.
  7. Isaiah 11:9.

Comments, Corrections, and Queries


בסיעתא דארעא