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Father, See Thy Children
Father, see Thy suppliant children
Trembling stand before Thy throne,
To confirm the vow of Horeb:
We will serve the Lord alone.
Thy commands shall be engraven
On the tablets of our heart
Till the heart in death be broken,
And the cord of life shall part.
When dark tempests, lowering, gather,
It will be our strength and stay;
It will be our guardian angel
Upon life’s laborious way.
As a shelt’ring cloud at noontide,
As a flaming fire by night,
Through prosperity and sorrow,
It will guide our steps aright,
Till our lives shall bud and blossom
With the beauty of Thy truth,
And we reap, in age, the fruitage
Of the planting of our youth.
“Hymn for Shaḇuoth (Father, See Thy Children)” is based on “Confirmation (Father, see thy suppliant children)” an original hymn by Felix Adler published in Hymns, for Divine Service in the Temple Emanu-El (1871), hymn 34, p. 68. (While the Union Hymnal credits the Hamburg Temple Hymnal and Adler as a translator, I couldn’t locate any hymn in German corresponding to these lines in the hymnal of the Israelitischer Tempel in Hamburg (1880). Perhaps there is another famous synagogue hymnal they are referring to from Hamburg. If you know for certain that Adler was not the original author of this hymn, please leave a comment with a link or reference to the original source, or contact us.)
The last four lines of the hymn have been amended and replaced with “Till our lives shall bud and blossom…” by Angie Irma Cohon, for use on Shavuot. This version was published in her תפלת ישראל (Tefilat Yisrael) A Brief Jewish Ritual (Women of Miẓpah 1921), p. 19. –Aharon Varady
“Hymn for Shaḇuoth (Father, See Thy Children) — adapted by Angie Irma Cohon (1921) from a Confirmation hymn by Felix Adler (1868)” is shared through the Open Siddur Project with a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International copyleft license.
Works of related interest:
Confirmation (Father, see Thy suppliant children), a hymn for a Confirmation ritual by Felix Adler (1868)
אֲשׁוֹרֵר שִׁירָה | Ashorer Shirah, a piyyut in honor of the Torah by Ḥakham Raphael Baruch Toledano (ca. 20th c.)
Preis der Gotteslehre, a hymn translated by Felix Adler (1868) adapted from a songbook of the Cooperative for Reform Judaism in Berlin (1846)
מזמור לתודה לכבוד משה איש האלהים | A Thanksgiving in Commemoration of Moses Maimonides, an octocentennial prayer by Ḥakham Shem Tov Gaguine (Bevis Marks Synagogue, 27 May 1935)