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Purim, Festival of Mirth — a prayer by Rabbi Abraham Cronbach (1924)

https://opensiddur.org/?p=54761 Purim, Festival of Mirth — a prayer by Rabbi Abraham Cronbach (1924) 2024-03-13 17:02:26 This prayer for "Purim, the Feast of Mirth" by Rabbi Abraham Cronbach is found in his, <em>Prayers of the Jewish Advance</em> (1924), on pages 43-46. Text the Open Siddur Project Aharon N. Varady (transcription) Aharon N. Varady (transcription) Abraham Cronbach https://opensiddur.org/copyright-policy/ Aharon N. Varady (transcription) https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/ Purim 20th century C.E. 57th century A.M. English vernacular prayer מוסר mussar prayers for entertainers
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Thou, our exceeding joy,
this feast of mirth appriseth us
that righteousness must be the goal
of our rollic and frolic even as it is
of our earnest moods.
Grant us then, we beseech Thee,
that merriment that worketh good,
but keep us far from the merriment that worketh ill.
May we turn from all that weakeneth body or mind,
reject every excess and spurn such pleasure,
as forgetting its due place,
would usurp that primacy which duty alone may hold.
Abundant be our laughter
but may it be kindly laughter,
laughing with others where we can,
laughing at others never.
Untimely laughter
or the laughter of ridicule, sarcasm or disdain,
not that be our laughter;
but the laughter of concord and joyous comradeship,
be that our laughter,
O Thou of Whom it hath been said,
“He Who dwelleth in heaven laugheth.” (Psalms 2:4)
Open Thou our eyes
to the happiness nestling everywhere.
May we not, seeking pleasures afar,
miss the delights of the simple and common near at hand.
May the unsought and unexpected joys
abounding like wayside flowers
along the path of our daily tasks
find us ever receptive.
Give growth to our capacity for joy.
Even amid care and age,
may it not forsake us utterly.
With an upward look unto Thee,
we would this day be mindful
of the world’s pleasure seekers
and pleasure makers.
Like Job of old
we pray that none of them
may sin and blaspheme the God in their hearts.
Do Thou bless and keep especially
the children and the youth,
they whose yearning for pleasure is mighty.
Let the joys of play and dance,
of the stage and of vigorous sport
prove hallowed and health giving.
May the numbers of them increase
that can exult in those things of beauty
that are a joy forever,
the glories revealed
by poet, painter, sculptor and musician
becoming sought as it is fitting they be sought
and the misleading, degrading and untrue
becoming shunned as it is fitting it be shunned.
Endow with exalted purpose
and fruitful achievement
all artists and players,
actors, performers and entertainers
and all such as provide and supervise
the amusements of the people.
Let wisdom and love
guide and gladden
the large-souled men and women
who ponder recreation for the people
and spend themselves in that cause.
May every noble endeavor
meet with noble response
that incentives toward goodness, truth and beauty may increase,
that the power of evil, falsehood and ugliness may wane
and that our pleasures may take us, O Father,
not away from Thee
but nearer to Thee.
Above all,
may we of the House of Israel
derive light from the memories of this day,
perceiving how,
not only in Persia of old
but in every land and age,
arrogance and pride
beget misunderstanding and contention.
How blessed the Purim mirth
that can dispel Haman hatred,
the kindly cheer
that can bring fellowship and peace!
May Mordecai
wisdom and faithfulness
and Esther
devotion and modesty,
Israel’s deliverance in the olden story,
enlarge into a world-wide deliverance,
our partial sympathies
growing into world-wide sympathies
and Thy name, O God,
unmentioned in that ancient book,
become written upon every soul
in letters of world-wide brotherhood and good will.
Amen.

This prayer for “Purim, the Feast of Mirth” by Rabbi Abraham Cronbach is found in his, Prayers of the Jewish Advance (1924), on pages 43-46.

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