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Prayer and Thanksgiving on Going to the Synagogue for the First Time After Confinement, by Marcus Heinrich Bresslau (1852)


Contribute a translationSource (English)

On entering the Synagogue.

Trusting to Thy abundant mercy, O God,
I enter thy house;
in reverence of Thee do I bow down
before Thy holy temple!

Blessed are thou,
O Lord, our God,
King of the universe,
who dispenseth mercy even to the guilty,
and hast bestowed much kindness on me.

The Hearers respond:
May he who hath bestowed much upon thee,
ever continue to dispense all good unto thee.


O Lord, my God, the God of my ancestors,
Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob;
O King, replete in mercy and kindness,
who dwellest on high,
and extendest Thy providential care to all on earth;
Thou who doest condescend to listen
to the prayers and supplications
of those who are truly devout!

O deign to look down on thine handmaid,
who presumes to tread the floor of Thy holy edifice
with the humble offering — Gratitude.

Blessed art Thou, O Lord,
who searcheth into the most secret purposes,
and anticipated the thought,
ere the tongue gives utterance to the word!
(O, thou who abideth in eternity!
how greatly do I rejoice in the offspring to which I have given birth![1] In the absence of Offspring this sentence is omitted. )
Thus prostrate, and with bended knees will I resound Thy praises,
and with heart-felt veneration confess and proclaim Thy beneficence towards me,
while tears of gratitude flow down these joyous cheeks,
when I reflect and contemplate on the great salvation Thou hast afforded me,
for from Thee alone came my help!

In my agonies Thou didst relieve me,
and wast gracious unto me;
unto Thee did I cry,
and Thou didst save me;
when I laid me down,
and when I arose again,
Thou wast my only support;
by Thy aid alone were all my sufferings alleviated!
My heart rejoices in Thee, O, Lord,
my soul is exalted in songs and praises to Thee,
O my God.

Vouchsafe, O heavenly Father, most Holy God
to accept my orisons,
as though they were a sacrifice offered up
in Thy Holy temple.

O Thou most Merciful and Gracious God!
had our holy temple been yet in existence,
I should, on this occasion, have brought for my oblation of purification,
a lamb for a burnt-offering;
and one young pigeon or a turtle-dove, as a sin-offering;
although it was not the blood of the victim that was most pleasing to Thee,
but a contrite spirit and a broken heart;
for such only are gratifying to Thee, O God.[2] Cf. Psalms 51:19. 

Who is able to comprehend Thy omnipotence?
Even the celestial beings cannot attain the height of Thy glory;
how much less finite and erring mortals!
How then shall feeble woman presume to approach Thee but in silent adoration!

O may my soul be inspired to sing Thy praises as were Miriam and Deborah,
the holy prophetesses who chaunted in sweet strains to Thy glory.

Deign, I pray Thee, O thou Most High,
to receive my prayer as Thou didst that of Hannah
in thy tabernacle at Shiloh.

May we behold our tender progeny
appearing in this place as I now do,
pouring fourth the effusions of grateful souls,
in praise of Thy holy name, O God,
and in thanks for Thy abundant goodness.
May such religious sentiments be ever implanted in their minds,
and may they be induced constantly
to adore and glorify Thy name to eternity.
May all parents and their children unite with me
in singing praises to God while life endureth,
and may we behold speedily in our days,
the rebuilding of the sanctuary of God.

“Prayer and Thanksgiving, On Going to the Synagogue for the First Time After Confinement” by Marcus Heinrich Bresslau was first published in his תחנות בנות ישראל Devotions for the Daughters of Israel (1852), p. 59-61.

In his preface to Devotions, Bresslau is clear that his prayers in English were adapted from traditional teḥinot that had earlier been published in France, Germany, and Poland. If you know of a specific prayer that may have served as the basis for this one, please leave a comment or contact us.





1In the absence of Offspring this sentence is omitted.
2Cf. Psalms 51:19.



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