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Prayer for an Orphan, by Rabbi Moritz Mayer (1866)


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My God and Father! turn unto me in Thy love and mercy, now that I am alone and forsaken. The dear guide(s) of my youth (has/have) left me; Oh! do Thou not leave or forsake me! For thus it is written: “Father and mother may forsake me, but Thou, O Lord, wilt take me up”[1] Psalms 27:10.  Whence else should I find help, whither should I turn for assistance, except unto Thee, Heavenly Father! who art nigh unto all those that are forsaken? Oh! do Thou assist me with Thy great strength and boundless love, and make even the paths of my life, upon which thus early such great obstacles have been heaped, which I am too young and feeble alone to overcome. Teach and instruct me, that I may know Thy holy will and act according to the precepts of Thy Law. Who preparest nourishment for all creatures, who givest food to the young ravens when they cry to Thee, Oh! grant me also food, raiment, shelter and all the necessaries of life now and throughout my life. Grant me strength and power soon to procure myself all that I need, that I may not rely upon the gifts and help of others. But so long as I do want these, keep Thou alive the hearts of my benefactors and reward them all their goodness towards me. O God! be Thou with me, I hope in Thee unto eternity. Amen.

“Prayer for an Orphan” is one of thirty prayers appearing in Rabbi Moritz Mayer’s collection of tehinot, Hours of Devotion (1866), of uncertain provenance and which he may have written. –Aharon Varady





1Psalms 27:10.



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