תפילה לשלום מדינת ישראל | Prayer for the Welfare of the State of Israel by Rabbi Yitsḥak haLevi Hertzog (1948)

Source (Hebrew) Translation (English)

אָבִינוּ שֶׁבַּשָּׁמַיִם,
צוּר יִשְׂרָאֵל וְגוֹאֲלוֹ,
בָּרֵךְ אֶת מְדִינַת יִשְׂרָאֵל,
רֵאשִׁית צְמִיחַת גְּאֻלָּתֵנוּ.
Our father in Shamayim (Heaven),
Rock fortress and redeemer of Yisra’el —
bless the State of Israel,
the initial sprouting of our redemption.

הָגֵן עָלֶיהָ בְּאֶבְרַת חַסְדֶּךָ,
וּפְרֹשׁ עָלֶיהָ סֻכַּת שְׁלוֹמֶךָ,
וּשְׁלַח אוֹרְךָ וַאֲמִתְּךָ לְרָאשֶׁיהָ, שָׂרֶיהָ וְיוֹעֲצֶיהָ,
וְתַקְּנֵם בְּעֵצָה טוֹבָה מִלְּפָנֶיךָ.
Shield her beneath the wings of your lovingkindness;
spread over her your Sukkah of peace;[1]Cf. the prayer “Hashkivenu,” Cf. Amos 9:11, Cf. Rav Avraham Isaac Kook, Mo’adei HaRe’iyah (Silver from the Land of Israel) p. 97
send your light and your truth to its leaders, officers, and counselors,
and correct them with your good counsel.

חַזֵּק אֶת יְדֵי מְגִנֵּי אֶרֶץ קָדְשֵׁנוּ,
וְהַנְחִילֵם אֱלֹהֵינוּ יְשׁוּעָה
וַעֲטֶרֶת נִצָּחוֹן תְּעַטְּרֵם,
וְנָתַתָּ שָׁלוֹם בָּאָרֶץ
וְשִׂמְחַת עוֹלָם לְיוֹשְׁבֶיהָ.
Strengthen the defenders of our Holy Land;
grant them, our elo’ah, salvation,
and crown them with victory.
Establish peace in the land,
and everlasting joy for its inhabitants.

וְאֶת אַחֵינוּ כָּל בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל פְּקָד־נָא
בְּכָל אַרְצוֹת פְּזוּרֵיהֶם,
וְתוֹלִיכֵם מְהֵרָה קוֹמְמִיּוּת לְצִיּוֹן עִירֶךָ
וְלִירוּשָׁלַיִם מִשְׁכַּן שְׁמֶךָ,
כַּכָּתוּב בְּתוֹרַת משֶׁה עַבְדֶּךָ:
”אִם יִהְיֶה נִדַּחֲךָ בִּקְצֵה הַשָּׁמַיִם,
מִשָּׁם יְקַבֶּצְךָ ה׳ אֱלֹהֶיךָ וּמִשָּׁם יִקָּחֶךָ.
וֶהֱבִיאֲךָ ה׳ אֱלֹהֶיךָ אֶל הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר יָרְשׁוּ אֲבֹתֶיךָ
וִירִשְׁתָּהּ,
וְהֵיטִבְךָ וְהִרְבְּךָ מֵאֲבֹתֶיךָ.“(דברים ל:ד-ה)
Remember our brethren, the whole house of Yisra’el,
in all the lands of their dispersion.
Speedily bring them to Tsiyon, your city,
to Yerushalayim, dwelling of your [spoken] name,
as it is written in the Torah of your servant Moshe:
“Even if you are dispersed in the uttermost parts of the world,
from there YHVH your elo’ah will gather and fetch you.
YHVH your elo’ah will bring you into the land which your ancestors possessed,
and you shall possess it;
and Hashem will make you more prosperous and more numerous than your ancestors.”[2]Deuteronomy 30:4-5

וְיַחֵד לְבָבֵנוּ לְאַהֲבָה וּלְיִרְאָה אֶת שְׁמֶךָ,
וְלִשְׁמֹר אֶת כָּל דִּבְרֵי תּוֹרָתֶךָ.
וּשְׁלַח לָנוּ מְהֵרָה בֶּן דָּוִד מְשִׁיחַ צִדְקֶךָ,
לִפְדּות מְחַכֵּי קֵץ יְשׁוּעָתֶךָ.
הוֹפַע בַּהֲדַר גְּאוֹן עֻזֶּךָ עַל כָּל יוֹשְׁבֵי תֵּבֵל אַרְצֶךָ,
וְיֹאמַר כֹּל אֲשֶׁר נְשָׁמָה בְּאַפּוֹ:
יהוה אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל מֶלֶךְ,
”וּ֝מַלְכוּת֗וֹ בַּכֹּ֥ל מָשָֽׁלָה.“(תהלים קג:יט)
אָמֵן סֶלָה.
Unite our hearts to love and revere your name,
and to observe all the precepts of your Torah.
Speedily send us your righteous Moshiaḥ of the House of David,
to redeem those waiting for your salvation.
Shine forth in your glorious majesty over all the inhabitants of your world.
Let everything that breathes proclaim:
YHVH Elo’hei Yisra’el is King;
“their majesty reigns over all.”[3]Psalms 103:19[4]Cf. Amidah, Kedushat Hayom for Yamim Noraim. This entire final section is a paraphrase of the malkhuyot. Many thanks to Avital Morris, Eliran Sobel, and Amit Gvaryahu for helping to source this section.
Amen. Selah.

The Tefilah l’Shalom Medinat Yisra’el (“Prayer for the Welfare of the State of Israel”) was composed by Rabbi Yitsḥak haLevi Hertzog (1888-1959), edited by Shmuel Yosef (S.Y.) Agnon (1888-1970), and first published in the newspaper Ha-Tsofeh on 20 September 1948.

This prayer was instituted at the time by the Chief Rabbis of Israel, Rabbi Hertzog and Rabbi Ben Tsiyon Meir Ḥai Uziel. According to the custom of the Ashkenazic communities, the time for reciting the prayer was set between the end of the Torah reading and the haftara for the return of the Torah scroll to its place in the Holy Ark. In Sephardic communities, it is customary to recite the prayer at the time of the removal of the Torah scroll from the Holy Ark. (At this point in prayer, it was customary the prayer “Hanoten Tshuah”, blessing the ruler of the state and their immediate family.)

Because the State of Israel is referred to as “the beginning of the sprouting/growth of our redemption,” the prayer was not universally accepted. This expression, and the reservations about the state in general, are some of the reasons why non-Zionist and anti-Zionist Jews do not recite in in their synagogues. In fact, the recitation of this prayer and, to a lesser extent, the prayer for the safety of IDF soldiers, became one of the main differences between prayer in Ḥaredi synagogues and prayers in National Religious Zionist synagogues in Israel and in the Diaspora.

Transcription Sources

Tefilah L’Shalom Medinat Yisrael (HaTsofeh, 20 September 1948, bottom right, page 2)

Download Tefilah-LShalom-Medinat-Yisrael-HaTsofeh-20-September-1948-.pdf (PDF, 2.03MB)

Notes   [ + ]

  1. Cf. the prayer “Hashkivenu,” Cf. Amos 9:11, Cf. Rav Avraham Isaac Kook, Mo’adei HaRe’iyah (Silver from the Land of Israel) p. 97
  2. Deuteronomy 30:4-5
  3. Psalms 103:19
  4. Cf. Amidah, Kedushat Hayom for Yamim Noraim. This entire final section is a paraphrase of the malkhuyot. Many thanks to Avital Morris, Eliran Sobel, and Amit Gvaryahu for helping to source this section.

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