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Lincoln’s Birthday (February 12th)

This is an archive of prayers, elegies, and other works composed in honor of President Abraham Lincoln (12 February 1809- 15 April 1865), whose birthday is celebrated as a civic holiday in the United States. (The corresponding birthdate in the Jewish calendar year would be commemorated on 26 Shevat.)

Click here to contribute a prayer you have written in honor of Abraham Lincoln.


Looking for something else?

For public readings selected in honor of President Abraham Lincoln, go here.

For prayers written for, or relevant to commemorating the achievements of President George Washington, go here.


Prayer for National Holiday, by Rabbi Morrison David Bial (1962)

Opening Prayer on the Significance of Lincoln’s Birthday, by Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan, J. Paul Williams, and Eugene Kohn (1951)

Prayer of the Guest Chaplain of the U.S. House of Representatives: Rabbi Dr. Leo Baeck on 12 February 1948

An American Covenant of Brotherhood, by Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan and Eugene Kohn (1945)

That Religion Be Not a Cloak for Hypocrisy, by Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan (1945)

Prayer for Brotherhood, by Stephen Vincent Benét on United Nations Flag Day (14 June 1942)

Needed Prophets for Our Day, a prayer-poem by Mordecai Kaplan (1942) adapted from “The Divinity School Address” by Ralph Waldo Emerson (1838)

זֶה הֶעָפָר הָיָה פַּעַם הָאִישׁ | This Dust was Once the Man, an elegy for President Abraham Lincoln by Walt Whitman (1871), Hebrew translation by Shimon Halkin (1952)

הוֹ קְבַרְנִיט! קְבַרְנִיטִי!‏ | O Captain! My Captain!, an elegy for President Abraham Lincoln by Walt Whitman (1865), Hebrew translation by Shimon Halkin (1952)

אָ, קאפּיטאן! מײַן קאפּיטאן!‏ | O Captain! My Captain!, an elegy for President Abraham Lincoln by Walt Whitman (1865), Yiddish translation by Eliezer Meler (1940)

אָ, קאפּיטאן! מײַן קאפּיטאן!‏ | O Captain! My Captain!, an elegy for President Abraham Lincoln by Walt Whitman (1865), Yiddish translation by Avrom Valt-Lyessin (1913)

שריך לינקאלען | Memorial Prayer for Abraham Lincoln, by Isaac Goldstein haLevi (1865)

Prayer after the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln by Rabbi Sabato Morais (18 April 1865)

Abide in Me, and I in You: the Soul’s Answer, a prayer-poem by Harriet Beecher Stowe (1855/1865)

Prayer for the United States and President Abraham Lincoln, by Rabbi Sabato Morais (15 April 1862)

The Peace of Pity — three stanzas adapted from “Worship,” a poem by John Greenleaf Whittier (1848)