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Prayer for the 7th Day of Sukkot (הושענא רבה), by Marcus Heinrich Bresslau (1852)


Contribute a translationSource (English)

O Lord, abundant in goodness and truth!
Animated with pious reflections,
urged by Thy commandment to celebrate this Festival,
I venture to approach Thee this day
which according to custom in Israel
is distinguished by sacred observances
tending to impress us
with our nothingness and our humbleness,
like unto the willow of the brook,
a symbol of plaintiveness, tears, and suffering.
For what is our life,
what is our strength,
and what is our virtue?

We ourselves have as little merit as that willow of the brook,
which has neither taste, nor flavour, nor fragrance.
Be it then a token of deep humility,
to guard us against over-rating our powers,
and over-valuing our merits.
Be this willow a warning to us
not to grow over-bearing and haughty in prosperity,
not to become proud and vain in affluence;
not to boast of our piety,
not to land ourselves for our religious observances;
nor to be intoxicated with joy during these Festivals,
but to allow the injunction of the Psalmist,
“serve the Lord in fear and rejoice in trembling.” (Psalms 2:11)

Grant, therefore, O Lord,
that our attention during our Service
may not be distracted by worldly affairs,
that our devotions may not be disturbed,
that our mind be not divided
between the worship of Thee
and that of worldly matters.

Grant that in our rejoicing on these Festivals
at the goodness Thou hast bestowed upon us,
we may tremble also at the punishment which awaits us,
if we abuse Thy kindness and forbearance.

Strengthen us, Omnipotent Father,
to combine this joy and fear,
so that we may not be haughty in prosperity,
nor faint-hearted in adversity.
But that we may be able to attain the golden medium,
in order to walk straightly and uprightly in Thy ways
towards the goal of life,
so that we may merit the blessing of again celebrating this Festival
with that joy and praise to Thee
as our ancestors did in the times of Thy glorious Temple
in Thy holy City.

“Prayer for the Seventh Day of Tabernacles (הושענה רבה)” by Marcus Heinrich Bresslau was first published in his תחנות בנות ישראל Devotions for the Daughters of Israel (1852), p. 37.

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.






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