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Prayer on the Declaration of War [against Nazi Germany], by Rabbi Joseph H. Hertz (Office of the Chief Rabbi of the British Empire 1940)

https://opensiddur.org/?p=45147 Prayer on the Declaration of War [against Nazi Germany], by Rabbi Joseph H. Hertz (Office of the Chief Rabbi of the British Empire 1940) 2022-06-20 20:29:51 This prayer for victory and deliverance in the war against Nazi Germany, simply titled "War Prayer," appears in the <em><a href="https://opensiddur.org/?p=45129">Prayer Book of Jewish Members of H.M. Forces</a></em> (Office of the Chief Rabbi 1940), pp. 16-17. Sections of the prayer were adapted from the prayer on the declaration of war by Rabbi Hertz in 1914 at the outset of World War I. In the preface to the payer book, Rabbi Joseph H. Hertz specifically mentions this prayer, among others, as having been newly revised for this publication. The <a href="https://opensiddur.org/?p=44945">initial version of the prayer</a>, likely to have been written by Rabbi Hertz, was published by the Office of the Chief Rabbi for a 17 Tammuz service in July 1938. A revision was disseminated after Kristallnacht (9-10 November 1938). This is the third version of the prayer. Text the Open Siddur Project Aharon N. Varady (transcription) Aharon N. Varady (transcription) Joseph Herman Hertz Office of the Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth https://opensiddur.org/copyright-policy/ Aharon N. Varady (transcription) https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/ International Holocaust Remembrance Day (January 27th) Days of Remembrance of the Victims of the Holocaust Armistice Day (November 11th) War United Kingdom 20th century C.E. military 58th century A.M. British Jewry World War Ⅱ anti-Nazi anti-fascist Third Reich
Source (Hebrew) Translation (English)
יְהוָֹה סַלְעִי וּמְצוּדָתִי וּמְפַלְטִי.
אֵלִי צוּרִי אֶחֱסֶה־בּוֹ׃ (תהלים יח:ג חלק)
רַגְלֵי חֲסִידָיו יִשְׁמֹר
וּרְשָׁעִים בַּחֹֽשֶׂךְ יִדּֽמוּ.
כִּי־לֹא בְכֹֽחַ יִגְבַּר־אִישׁ׃ (שמואל א׳ ב:ט)
מֵפָר מַחְשְׁבוֹת עֲרוּמִים.
וְלֹא־תַעֲשֶֽׂינָה יְדֵיהֶם תּוּשִׁיָּה׃ (איוב ה:יב)
גַּם כׇּל קֹוֶֽיךָ לֹא יֵבֹֽשׁוּ.
יֵבֹֽשׁוּ הַבּוֹגְדִים רֵיקָם׃ (תהלים כה:ג)
אַתָּה סֵֽתֶר לִי.
מִצַּר תִּצְּרֵֽנִי.
רָנֵּי פַלֵּט תְּסוֹבְבֵֽנִי סֶֽלָה׃ (תהלים לב:ז)
כִּי יְיָ שֹׁפְטֵֽנוּ
יְיָ מְחֹקְקֵֽנוּ
יְיָ מַלְכֵּֽינוּ הוּא יוֹשִׁיעֵֽנוּ׃ (ישעיה לג:כב)
The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer;
my God, my strength in whom I will trust. (Psalms 18:3 part)
He will keep the feet of the godly from stumbling,
and the wicked shall be silent in darkness;
for by might shall no man prevail. (I Samuel 2:9)
He disappointeth the devices of the crafty,
so that their hands perform not their enterprise. (Job 5:12)
Yea, none that wait on thee shall be ashamed.
They shall be ashamed that deal treacherously without cause. (Psalms 25:3)
Thou art a shelter unto me;
thou wilt save me from sorrow;
thou wilt compass me about with songs of deliverance. Selah. (Psalms 32:7)
For the Lord is our Judge,
the Lord is our Lawgiver,
the Lord is our King. He will save us. (Isaiah 33:22)
אַב הָרַחֲמִים
בְּלֵב נִשְׁבָּר נָבֽוֹאָה לְחַלּוֹת פָּנֶיךָ הַיּוֹם׃
הִנֵּה רֽוּחַ עִוְעִים נִשְׁפַּךְ עַל עַם אַדִּיר.
וְאָנְשֵׁי דָמִים [1]  in an earlier variant וְאָנְשֵׁי דָמִים וּמֹרְדֵי־אוֹר  מָשְׁלוּ בוֹ׃
מַחְשְׁבֹתֵיהֶם מַחְשְׁבוֹת אָֽוֶן שֹּׁד וָשֶֽׁבֶר בִּמְסִלּוֹתָם׃
הֵסִֽירוּ גְבוּלוֹת עַמִּים
וְדֶֽרֶךְ שָׁלוֹם לֹא יָדָֽעוּ׃
Father of Mercy,
with grief-laden souls we come before thee to-day.
Behold, a spirit of perverseness has come over a renowned nation.
Its rulers proclaim an idolatry of race and blood.
Strife and desolation and destruction are in their paths:
they violate the boundaries of nations,
and the way of peace they know not.
קוֹל שָׁאוֹן וְקוֹל תְּרוּעָה
נִשְׁמַע עַד יַרְכְּתֵי תֵבֵל
מִפְּנֵי חֲמַת הַמֵּצִיק׃
בִּעוּתֵי מִלְחָמָה יַעַרְכֽוּנוּ.
עַד שְׁעָרֵֽינוּ הִגִּֽיעוּ׃
וּבְכׇל זֹאת לֹא נִירָא וְלֹא נִפְחָד׃
בְּךָ בָּטְחוּ אֲבֹתֵֽינוּ וַתְּפַלְּטֵֽמוֹ׃
גַּם הַיּוֹם לְךָ לְבַדְּךָ עֵינֵֽינוּ תְלוּיוֹת.
כִּי אַתָּה יְיָ מַשְׁפִּיל גֵּאִים וּמוֹשִֽׁיעַ יִשְׁרֵי לֵב׃
The shout of the warrior and the roar of battle
resound to the ends of the earth
because of the fury of the oppressor.
The terrors of war are upon us;
they have come close to our gates.
Yet we will not fear.
Our fathers trusted in thee and thou didst deliver them.
To thee alone our eyes are lifted up,
who bringest low the haughty and protectest the upright in spirit.
הוֹפַע רֽוּחַ חָכְמָה וָדַֽעַת עַל שָׂרֵֽינוּ וֽיוֹעֲצֵֽינוּ.
וְתַקְּנֵם בְּעֵצָה טוֹבָה מִלְּפָנֶֽיךָ׃
חַזֵּק וְאַמֵּץ אַנְשֵׁי צִבְאוֹתֵינוּ הָעוֹמְדִים בַּיָּם וּבַיַּבָּשָׁה.
וְהַמַּגְבִּיהִים עוּף עַל פְּנֵי הַמַּיִם וְהָאָֽרֶץ.
וְהָיְתָה גְבוּרָה אֵזוֹר חֲלָצֵֽימוֹ׃
הָסֵר מֵעָלֵֽינוּ דֶֽבֶר וְרָעָב
וְהַרְחֵק יָגוֹן וַאֲנָחָה מִגְּבוּלֵֽנוּ׃
With thine own wisdom direct the rulers and counsellors of our nation
[and correct them with your good counsel].[2]  Left untranslated in the source.  
Gird our hosts with strength and courage and victory on land, sea,
and in the sky [raise (our) aeroplanes over the face of the ocean and earth].[3]  Cf. Genesis 1:20. Left untranslated in the source.  
[and may Fortitude be their strength in the hour of affliction.][4]  Left untranslated in the source. I’ve adapted the translation here to match that given in the antecedent for this prayer 
Keep thou far from us pestilence and famine;
and shield our homes from sorrow and hurt.
אָבִֽינוּ מַלְכֵּֽנוּ.
שְׁמֲע קוֹלֵֽנוּ
חוּסָה עָלֵֽינוּ וְהוֹשִׁעֵינוּ לְמַֽעַן שְׁמֶֽךָ.
וְהָיָה צֶֽדֶק וּמֵישָׁרִים אֱמוּנַת עִתֵּֽינוּ׃
קָרֵב יוֹם צִדְקָתְךָ לְהִגָּלוֹת
וְלֵב יְשָׁרִים הַרְנֵן.
וּפְרוֹשֹ בִּמְהֵרָה סֻכַּת שְׁלוֹמֶֽךָ
עַל כׇּל־יוֹשְׁבֵי תֵבֵל אַרְצֶֽךָ.
אָמֵן וְאָמֵן׃
Our Father, our King!
hearken unto our cry;
save us for thy name’s sake,
so that loyalty and faithfulness be indeed the stability of our times.
Speedily cause righteousness to triumph
and the lovers of justice to rejoice;
and hasten the day when thy peace shall be spread
over all the children of men for evermore.
Amen.

This prayer for victory and deliverance in the war against Nazi Germany, simply titled “War Prayer,” appears in the Prayer Book of Jewish Members of H.M. Forces (Office of the Chief Rabbi 1940), pp. 16-17. Sections of the prayer were adapted from the prayer on the declaration of war [against Imperial Germany by Rabbi Hertz in 1914 at the outset of World War I. In the preface to the payer book, Rabbi Joseph H. Hertz specifically mentions this prayer, among others, as having been newly revised for this publication. The initial version of the prayer, likely to have been written by Rabbi Hertz, was published by the Office of the Chief Rabbi for a 17 Tammuz service in July 1938. A revision was disseminated after Kristallnacht (9-10 November 1938). This is the third version of the prayer. –Aharon Varady

Source(s)

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Notes

Notes
1 in an earlier variant וְאָנְשֵׁי דָמִים וּמֹרְדֵי־אוֹר
2 Left untranslated in the source.
3 Cf. Genesis 1:20. Left untranslated in the source.
4 Left untranslated in the source. I’ve adapted the translation here to match that given in the antecedent for this prayer.
 

 

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