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Prayer for Resignation Under Injuries, by Marcus Heinrich Bresslau (1852)

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O Soul, why dost thou tremble? O heart, wherefore art thou so much dejected? Sadness, why dost thou moisten my cheeks? Doth not One watch over thee who is all-just and all merciful? Take courage my heart, and look up with faith and confidence to those eternal and serene regions, where no arm of misguided zeal, no hand of wickedness reaches to draw the innocent victim into their, nets; be great in bearing the injuries thou hast sustained, still greater in pardoning them. If ingratitude and malice with their chilling hands at times destroy the flowers of joy and hope, which so sparingly bloom in the thorny path of life, forgive, O my soul! forgive as thy Father on High for- giveth thee. Weep not my heart, O weep not, if the venomous sting of serpent-like calumny deeply wounds thee, He who moistens the flower with fresh dew, He who is a loving father unto all, He who is called שׁוֹמֵר יִשְׂרָאֵל “the Keeper of Israel:”[1]Psalms 121:4. He will strengthen thee, my soul, in every oppression of life, he will lend thee courage and strength; He will be “near unto thee in the time of trouble if thou callest upon Him in truth.” Yea, in Thee, Father of all I will confide at all times, in joy and in happiness, in sorrow and in distress; whether hours of prosperity enliven me, or hours of adversity deject me, let not the rock of my faith be shaken. May fear and faint-heartedness never overwhelm my mourning soul; though heavy blows of fate may extort sighs from the anxious breast, let no murmur arise against Thee, All-just God. Should the earthly tempest transform everything around me, should it change an Eden into a desert, should mankind impute evil unto me; should falsehood and hatred be the return of my kindness; should even all that I count beautiful and valuable, perish and disappear without trace; one thing—one thing alone—will nourish my heart with genial comfort; it is Thy eternal love which will ever remember me. Consecrate thyself, my spirit, to deserve this eternal love, release thyself, with resolution from the bonds of frivolous indulgences, and let the indestructibly beautiful be thy only goal, and the heaven of thy hopes. Let no tear flow but that of joy I In the night of trouble, and in the day of gladness, my heart shall praise Thee, O Lord! Whoever puts implicit trust in Thee need not fear the arrows of enemies; no burthen will weigh him down to the ground; he will walk with cheerfulness in the road of his pilgrimage on earth; for on the foundation of a rock has he built his salvation. Elevated by Thee, my heart will look down with confidence upon earthly troubles, and my soul will dare to hope, that all wall be clad with serenity around me. Without a murmur I will endure every disaster, only endow me, thou universal Dispenser of comfort, with strength and perseverance.

In the tide of fortune or in the gulf of distress, may the star of Thy love ever shine upon me. Amen.

“Prayer for Resignation Under Injuries” was first published in Marcus Heinrich Bresslau’s collection of teḥinot, Teḥinot Banot Yisrael: Devotions for the Daughters of Israel (1852).

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Notes   [ + ]

  1. Psalms 121:4.

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