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A Wife’s Prayer for Matrimonial Happiness, by Rabbi Moritz Mayer (1866)

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Lord! bless and preserve that dear person whom Thou hast chosen to be my husband; let his life be long and blessed, comfortable and holy; and let me also become a great blessing and comfort unto him, a sharer in all his joys, a refreshment in all his sorrows, a meet helper for him in all the accidents and changes of the world; make me amiable for ever in his eyes, and very dear to him. Unite his heart to me in the dearest union of love and holiness, and mine to him in all sweetness, charity and compliance. Keep me from all ungentleness, all interestedness, and humor; and make me humble and obedient, useful and observant, that we may delight in each other according to Thy blessed word and ordinance, and both of us may rejoice in Thee, having our portion in the love and service of God forever. Amen.

“A Wife’s Prayer for Matrimonial Happiness” 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. This prayer is tagged “problematic” owning to the explicit sexism projected onto the role of a woman in her marriage. –Aharon Varady

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