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Prayer for the Festival of Rejoicing in the Torah (שמחת תורה), by Marcus Heinrich Bresslau (1852)


Contribute a translationSource (English)

O Lord God, abundant in mercy and truth!
Thou hast deigned thousands of years past
to reveal Thy Law unto mankind
for their guidance on earth
and their salvation in a future life.
This law,
as unchangeable as its Divine author
is yet and ever will be preserved by them.
Truly this law emanating from the Essence of perfection
“Is perfect, quickening the soul;” (Psalms 19:8)
the statutes ordained by Thee, O God of righteousness,
are “Righteous, rejoicing the heart.” (Psalms 19:9)

Let us therefore, rejoice this day, O Lord,
in this great boon,
let us be glad at having lived another year
to complete the reading of those sacred books
which Thou hast bestowed upon us
through Thy faithful servant Moses.

Grant, O Thou Divine Legislator,
that after the completion
and recommencement of this reading,
I may be spared again to commence
and again to complete it
many successive years.

And grant also that our reading thereof
may lead to our properly studying it,
to our meditating therein day and night,
to our instilling its sacred tenets
and impressing its holy observances
into the minds of our children;

grant that we may keep, cherish, and esteem it,
that we may always be mindful of the precious admonition
given by Thy servant Moses,
“for not on bread only liveth man,
but by every word that proceeded out of the mouth of the Lord,
liveth man.” (Deuteronomy 8:3)

Grant that I may not be abashed to learn from any one,
and that I may impart from my humble knowledge to the uninstructed;
then indeed will it be “our life and the length of our days”[1] From “ohev amo yisrael,” the blessing immediately preceding the qriyat shema. 
in this and in the coming world.

“Prayer for the Festival of Rejoicing in the Law שמחת תורה (9th Day of Tabernacles)” by Marcus Heinrich Bresslau was first published in his תחנות בנות ישראל Devotions for the Daughters of Israel (1852), p. 83.

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.





1From “ohev amo yisrael,” the blessing immediately preceding the qriyat shema.



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