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Prayer of Thanksgiving for the Last Days of Passover.
Father of mankind! Accept the highest praise to Thy glory; accept the solemn festivity of this day; accept this thank-offering of the mind, which, in deep humility, I bring unto Thee for that victory which in times of yore my forefathers achieved on this day through Thy paternal support.
Yonder on the strand of the sea, where a double death awaited the scarcely liberated slaves, yonder in the raging element, the wild flood of the sea, Thou didst appear to them as a father and a saviour, and inflicted on the enemies of Thy people that which they designed to perpetrate on thy chosen race. Already had Pharaoh and his army divided in their imagination the spoil of the persecuted; already did they exclaim intoxicated with joy, “I will draw my sword, my hand shall destroy them!” (Exodus 15:9)
But Thou, loving Father, didst determine the destruction of the persecutor, Thou beckonedst to the sea, and it obeyed; the floods stood upright as a wall, and the people favoured by Thee, passed with dry feet to the other shore of the sea, which the enemy hoped also to gain. But—a breath from thee—and billows towered upon billows which swallowed up the horse and his rider.
Then exclaimed every one of the liberated people: “He is my God and I will praise him, my father’s God, and I will exalt Him!” (Exodus 15:2) The leaders and the army, men and women, grey-headed men and youths tuned the song of praise, concluding with the sublime words: יי ימלוך לעולם ועד “The Lord shall reign for ever and ever.” (Exodus 15:18)
Yea Thou wilt reign unto eternity, Thou our Redeemer, Thou Holy One, and Saviour of Israel. Therefore shall my soul praise Thee for ever. Hallelujah!
“Prayer of Thanksgiving for the Last Days of Passover” by Marcus Heinrich Bresslau was first published in his תחנות בנות ישראל Devotions for the Daughters of Israel (1852), pp. 21-22.
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.
“Prayer of Thanksgiving for the Last Days of Passover, by Marcus Heinrich Bresslau (1852)” is shared through the Open Siddur Project with a Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication 1.0 Universal license.
Works of related interest:
📖 רֻחָמָה | Ruḥamah: Devotional Exercises for the Use of the Daughters of Israel, by Rabbi Morris Jacob Raphall (1852)
📖 אמרי לב | Prayers and Meditations, and abridged translation by Hester Rothschild (1855) of a collection of teḥinot and paraliturgial prayers by Rabbi Arnaud Aron & Jonas Ennery (1852)