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[Prayer for] the Sabbath, by Rabbi Abraham Cronbach (1924)

https://opensiddur.org/?p=54841 [Prayer for] the Sabbath, by Rabbi Abraham Cronbach (1924) 2024-03-17 11:56:51 This prayer for "The Sabbath" by Rabbi Abraham Cronbach is found in his, <em>Prayers of the Jewish Advance</em> (1924), on pages 69-72. Text the Open Siddur Project Aharon N. Varady (transcription) Aharon N. Varady (transcription) Abraham Cronbach https://opensiddur.org/copyright-policy/ Aharon N. Varady (transcription) https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/ Erev Shabbat International Workers' Day (May 1st) Labor Day (1st Monday of September) 57th century A.M. English vernacular prayer 20th century C.E. labor
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Eternal One,
Who fulfillest Thyself in many ways,
we adore Thy will in that which is passing
as well as in that which we still retain.
“In Thy love
hast Thou given us
the Sabbath Day”[1] Cf. in the Shabbat Evening qiddush following the blessing over the wine. 
our fathers prayed.
Lord,
we shall no less behold Thy love
in these[2] Original reads, “those” (a typo).  changes of times,
conditions and duties
whereby the fair Sabbath of our fathers
can no longer be ours.
The joyous attire,
the festive board,
the shining tapers,
the sacred wine cup;
the blissful greeting of the Princess, the Bride;
the radiant home circle,
the melodies sweet and solemn;
the happy hours of repose and worship,
the calm and cheer suffused near and far—
ah, we shall not murmur
that these are ceasing to be.
We would make for ourselves a new Sabbath, Lord,
an inward Sabbath of devotion
to those towering ideals
which the Sabbath of old
hath ever bodied forth:
the holiness of work
and the holiness of rest.
Upon our work
we would ask Thy blessing first
even as the words are written first,
“six days shalt thou labor and do all thy work.” (Exodus 20:9, Deuteronomy 5:13)
Not only for the physical sustenance
that we earn by our work,
but, more than that,
for the stability and the hope,
the avoidance of sin,
the discipline and the health,
the strength and the poise that our work imparts
do we thank Thee.
O sanctify our work.
May it arouse within us
our utmost consecration and zeal.
Deliver all who are ill-paid,
overworked
or placed amid unfitting
or humiliating conditions of work.
Help those who are unsuited,
unhappy
or unwilling at their work
and lead into happier hours
those upon whom
the blight of unemployment
hath fallen.
May ampler wisdom,
growing within our economic life,
soon find a way to end
its many woes.
And may we heed the Sabbath’s clarion reminder
that man liveth not by toil alone[3] C.f. Deuteronomy 8:3. 
but that his capacity
for love and laughter,
music and beauty,
poetry and play,
friendship and prayer,
must have our earnest regard.
O forgive us
that we have ofttimes
treated our fellowmen
as mere mechanisms of toil
and not as beings variously endowed.
And then we acknowledge the holiness of rest
proclaimed by the ancient Sabbath;
the rest which is not indolence
but timely refreshment
for farther effort and leisure
for the manifold other sides of our nature,
among them, the seeking of Thee.
O blessed the moments of relief
from the trenches of life’s warfare
with their tumult and their din
when our souls, in sweet relaxation,
may lovingly commune
with Him Who is our Commander
in the fray.
Lord,
it is only with us who are finite
that there is a time for work
and a time for rest.
With Thee Who art one—
being absolute and beyond all limits
of time, space or power—
work and rest are one,
eternal work
and eternal rest!
O Thou to Whom a thousand years
are less than yesterday when it is past,
yea, briefer than a watch in the night, (Psalms 90:4)
not in six days of creation
but in the untold eons of evolution
is Thy presence visible.
Thou art the fiery mist
unfolding into nature
orderly and fair.
Thou art the planets’ majestic sweep.
Thou art the earth
with its green-clad hills,
its flowery dales,
its heaving oceans,
its countless things that grow,
its myriad things that breathe.
Thou art the tiny worm
transformed, after ages unnumbered,
into high-thinkng man.
Thou art the fury of the primeval sea and jungle,
“red in tooth and claw,”[4] From Canto 56 of Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s “In Memoriam A.H.H. Obiit MDCCCXXXIII” (1850). 
transmuted at last,
into home and friendship and love,
yea into a social order
travailing to fling off its sins
and to become the Kingdom of God.
And Thou art the perfect rest,
the rest unto our souls,
the Sabbath of our yearning hearts,
the foretaste of the Sabbath everlasting.
Except in Thee
we have no rest.
O may the rest
that cometh from an approving conscience,
above all,
be ours.
May ours, with Thy help,
be that righteousness whose effect is
quietness and confidence forever.
Though the Sabbath of old be waning,
may we hold so fast to its priceless bequests that,
even amid life’s burdens and distractions,
we may, looking unto Thee,
find in Thee, O Eternal One,
our consummate rest.
Amen.

This prayer for “The Sabbath” by Rabbi Abraham Cronbach is found in his, Prayers of the Jewish Advance (1924), on pages 69-72.

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Notes

Notes
1Cf. in the Shabbat Evening qiddush following the blessing over the wine.
2Original reads, “those” (a typo).
3C.f. Deuteronomy 8:3.
4From Canto 56 of Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s “In Memoriam A.H.H. Obiit MDCCCXXXIII” (1850).

 

 

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