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Prayer of an Orphan, by Marcus Heinrich Bresslau (1852)

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Heavenly Father! Thy inscrutable justice has willed it, that my dear parent[1]Or Parents, if an orphan of both father and mother. should be taken away from me, and that with this loss I should be deprived of my greatest happiness. Alas Father! how heavy and afflicting was this punishment for a weak heart, which—now already weighed down by intense grief—would lie in the dust, had not the religion of my fathers taught me that Thou art called אֲבִי יְתוֹמִים “Father of Orphans,”[2]Psalms 68:6. I am now Thy child, Thy heir, Thou wilt be my parent unto eternity, Thou the mightiest Father in heaven and earth. Thou wilt hear me as often as I call upon Thee, Thou wilt protect me when I walk in Thy ways. To Thy paternal hand I now commit my spiritual weal. I trust in Thy fatherly love, and exclaim with the psalmist כִּי־אַתָּה תָּאִיר נֵרִי יְיָ אֱלֹהַי יַגִּיהַּ חָשְׁכִּי “For thou wilt light my lamp: the Lord my God will enlighten my darkness.”[3]Psalms 18:29. Amen.

“Prayer of an Orphan” 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. Or Parents, if an orphan of both father and mother.
  2. Psalms 68:6.
  3. Psalms 18:29.

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