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Prayer for the First Days of Passover (פסח), by Marcus Heinrich Bresslau (1852)


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Prayer for the First Days of Passover, פסח.
הודו לו ברכו שמו Thank Him! Praise and exalt the Eternal Lord God of Ẓebaoth! To Him who is enthroned on high, whom heaven and earth exalt, our songs of praise shall resound on this day, on which the All merciful has, as suddenly as lightning, loosened the heavy and oppressive bonds of slavery in which our fathers had languished for centuries. The term of trial for our ancestors, appointed to be four hundred years, He, in His infinite mercy, shortened, and caused, by His paternal love, the bright star of freedom to rise from the dark night of bondage.
With filial love Thy people thank Thee, Almighty, for that long-looked-for redemption which is associated with everything great and sacred, that the hand of Thy gracious bounty hath bestowed upon us. Thankfully do their descendants yet eat the bread of affliction, which reminds them of that momentous event; with songs of joy, praise, and thanksgiving they now eat the bitter herbs which call back to their recollection those gloomy times which Thy people passed in Egypt, and which Thou hadst almost made them forget, by Thy great miracles and wonders.
For, what O Lord, are the precious goods on earth, and the greatest happiness of man, when all-darkening slavery suppresses every spark of gladness, and mixes poison in every cup of joy? Therefore, extol my soul, the high exalted Ruler of the World! Exalt Him for thy liberation from the yoke of Egyptian slavery, and strengthen thyself by confidence in Him; for, great and mighty, gracious and merciful, is our Heavenly Father, the God of Israel, who will restore us to perfect freedom in the days of the promised Messiah. Hallelujah, Hallelujah!

“Prayer for the First Days of Passover (פסח)” by Marcus Heinrich Bresslau was first published in his תחנות בנות ישראל Devotions for the Daughters of Israel (1852), pp. 20-21.

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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