☞   //   Prayers & Praxes   //   📅︎ Prayers for Days on Secular & Civil Calendars   //   International   //   Agunah Day

תפילה לעגונות | Prayer for the Liberation of Agunot, by Shelley Frier List (2005)

Hebrew (adaptation) Source (English)

בּוֹרֵא שָׁמַיִם וַאָרֶץ,
יְהִי רָצוֹן מִלְפָנֶיךָ שֶׁיִמָלְּאוּ רַחֲמֶיךָ לְהָתִיר נְשׁוֹת יִשְׂרָאֵל הַשְׁבוּיוֹת
בִּידֵי בַּעֲלֵיהֶן וּקָשׁוּרוֹת בְּכַבְלֵי כְּתוּבּוֹתֵיהֶן,
אַךְ קְדוּשָׁה וְאַהֲבָה כְּבַר סָרוּ מִמְעוֹנָן.
Creator of heaven and earth,
may it be Your will to free the captive wives of Israel
when love and sanctity have fled the home,
but their husbands bind them in the tatters of their ketubot.

הַסֵר נָא מֵעֲלֵיהֶן אֶת עוֹלָן הַמַּר
וְרַכֵךְ אֶת לִבָּם הַמְּאוּבָּן שֶׁל שׁוֹבֵיהֶן.
פְּתַח חַרְצוּבוֹת רֶשַׁע וּשְׁלַח בְּנוֹתֶיךָ חָפְשִׁי לִבְנוֹת בַּיִת בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל
וּלְגַדֵּל יְלָדִים בְּאַהֲבָה וְאַחְוָה, בְּשָׁלוֹם וְרֵאוּת.‏
Remove the bitter burden from these agunot
and soften the hearts of their misguided captors.
Liberate Your faithful daughters from their anguish.
Enable them to establish new homes and raise up children in peace.

הָשִׁיבָה שׁוֹפְטֵינוּ כְבָרִאשׁוֹנָה וְיוֹעַצֵינוּ כְּבַתְחִילָה
וְתֵן בְּלִבָּם רוּחַ חַכְמָה וּגְבוּרָה,
רוּחַ עֵצָה וְתוֹשִׁיָה לְהָצִיל עָשׁוּק מִיָד רוֹדֵף וְאִשָׁה מֵשִׁבְיָה.‏
Grant wisdom to the judges of Israel;
teach them to recognize oppression and rule against it.
Infuse our rabbis with the courage to use their power for good alone.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה,
בּוֹרֵא שָׁמַיִם וַאָרֶץ,
מַתִּיר אֲסוּרִים.‏
Blessed are you,
Creator of heaven and earth,
who frees the captives.

An agunah (Hebrew: עגונה‎, plural: agunot (עגונות); literally “anchored”) is a halachic term for a Jewish woman who is “chained” to her marriage when her husband refuses to grant her a divorce document (known as a ‘get’) in rabbinic Jewish religious law.

Agunah Day was established by ICAR – The International Coalition for Agunah Rights – in 1990, to raise public awareness to the plight of the Agunah and galvanize action to solve the problem. It is observed on the Jewish calendar date of the Fast of Esther. Like Esther, the Agunah of the present era does not want to be in the marriage in which she finds herself. Many women who are refused a get live in fear of their spouses and live a double life, just as Esther led a double life. Also, like Esther, the Agunah, a victim of get-refusal, finds herself lacking control of her own freedom.

Shelley Frier List’s prayer was originally printed in JOFA JOURNAL, Summer 2005 (5:4), p.5, wherein was added a Hebrew adaptation made by the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance (JOFA). (I’ve added “בּוֹרֵא שָׁמַיִם וַאָרֶץ” to the top and bottom of this prayer so that these gaps in the Hebrew adaptation are filled.) –Aharon Varady


Download Prayer-for-Agunot-Shelley-Frier-List-JOFA-Journal-Summer-2005-p.5.pdf (PDF, 75KB)

 PDF (or Print)



Comments, Corrections, and Queries