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Prayer on the Approach of Childbirth, by Rabbi Moritz Mayer (1866)

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O my God! more and more it approaches, the great hour, on which I shall give birth to another being, according to Thy wise ordination. God! Thou knowest my weakness,—Thou wilt pardon me, that I look toward that hour with dread and anxiety. For Thou, Omniscient One, alone knowest, what that hour shall be unto me. Therefore, I call unto Thee, from the depths of my soul: Fortify me with strength and courage in the hour of danger,—God of mercy! grant that the life of my child may not be my death! shorten the woes and pains that await me,—let Thy help be nigh unto me in the moment of danger, and do not remember the multitude of my sins. Convert, O God! my pain into delight at the lovely sight of a living, well-formed and healthful babe, whose heart may ever be dedicated unto Thee. Lord! have mercy upon me! Into Thy hand I confide my life,—keep and preserve me from all evil. Amen.

“Prayer on the Approach of Accouchement” 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

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