תשעה באב | Prayer for Tisha b’Av by Reb Zalman Schachter-Shalomi z”l (translated by Gabbai Seth Fishman)

Source (Hebrew) Free Translation (English)

נחם יה אלהנו
אבלי בית בחירתך
המתאבלים על מקדשיה.
May the One who knows of our wishes for a better world, and Who sees the longing and sadness that we hold in our hearts and the brokenness that we encounter in our lives, dear Yah our God, please comfort us.
We are in mourning for the loss of Your chosen House, special place.
We grieve the holiness that once could reach to us from without and which held us up as we lived our lives.

נחם נא בכפלים המתלוננים בצל זכרונותיה,
בין נצוצי קדושתה שנפלו לשבירה.
Dear Yah, comfort especially those who are so broken by the world that they’ve become bitter and alienated from the holiness they could love, but have lost touch with because of its remoteness from them.

נחם נא את יושבי עיר הקודש,
עיר הבירה של מדינת ישראל,
ראשית צמיחת גאולתנו,
אַל־קוּדשׂ בת־עין הפלשתינאים:
And comfort those who reside in Yerushalayim because they feel these things more acutely and basically than we;
residents of Yerushalayim, the capital of the state of Israel
which is the place from where the first signs of our redemption begin;
the city also called Al Quds, the holy place for Palestinians.

נא תשקט את חמתם
ואת פחדם מהתקפות.
Please may there be quiet and ease.
Please assuage their anger and reduce their terror of being attacked.

נא תשפיע עליהם
רוח חכמה והשכל
לחזק אחד את רעהו
לכנות אחד את השני בשמות
וכנויי הערצה.
Please pour down to them
a spirit of wisdom
and the wherewithal to support one another,
that one reaches out one to another
with words of respect and honor.

נא תעמוד בעזרתם
להקים ממשלות השקט
ובטח ויושר הדדי.
Please establish in support of them
the bringing about of a government of ease and calm
in which the representatives of the people treat one another with honesty and integrity.

נחמנו נא יה האל הגדול הגבור והנורא
בחזיון הקודש של בית תפילה לכל העמים.
Please comfort us Yah, haEl haGadol haGibor v’haNora
with that holy vision of a House of prayers for all peoples.

תן בלבבנו רגשי כבוד ואחוה,
דת ועם אחד אל חברו וידעו כולם
כי הם פעוליך יה ושאתה פעלתם
Place into our hearts feelings of respect and kinship for one another,
one Law, one nation with everyone joining and being aware
that they are Your creation, oh Yah and that You are their Creator and may Your glory be entreated,

ושכבודך נעתר על ידי שירים שונים המתיחדים
במזמור שיר ליום שכולו שבת.
may it come about that we are all entreating and praying and hoping through the various hymns which will be united into a psalm,
a song for a time that is completely Shabbos / full of peace and calm.

יהי רצון מלפניך
שכל הנכנסים בשערי עיר הקודש
ירווּ בנשמתם נחמה שלמה,
נחמה בכפלים:
May it be Your will, dear God,
that the souls of all who enter the gates of the Holy city
may be refreshed with complete ease,
doubly consoled.

ברוך אתה יה מנחם ציון ובונה ירושלים,
עיר השלום ירושת העולם.
Barukh atah Yah, who comforts Zion and builds Yerushalayim,
Ir Hashalom, Yerushat haolom / Jerusalem, city of peace, world’s legacy.
Amen.

During the time before there was a State of Israel, those ideals in our hearts which we tried to practice and which we wanted others to practice, seemed not achievable where we were because, we felt we had no influence over our world where we were. And so, the longing for our homeland was tied into the longing for our dreams and our vision. Now that the state of Israel is with us, our dreams and our visions still remain distant from our lives and therefore when we say the Tisha B’Av prayers we need to remind ourselves of the distance between that which we would have in this world and that which we do have.

[This prayer was originally posted with translation to Jewish Renewal Hasidus by Gabbai Seth Fishman, here.]

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