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☞   Government & Country

This is an archive of prayers offered for the welfare of one’s government and country in the Jewish Diaspora.

Click here to contribute a prayer you have written, or a translation of an existing prayer.


Looking for something else?

For prayers composed for democratic elections and voting, go here.

For opening prayers offered before legislative bodies, go here.

For prayers offered for military veterans and armed forces personnel, go here.

For prayers composed for social justice, peace, and liberty, go here.

For prayers offered for the well-being of the State of Israel, please visit here.

For prayers offered on Inauguration Day in the United States, please visit here.

אַ בְּרָכָה פֿאַרן קײסער | A Blessing for the Kaiser, from Fiddler on the Roof by Joseph Stein – Yiddish translation by Shraga Friedman (1965)

The blessing for Tsar Nicholas II as given in the lines of the musical, Fiddler on the Roof. . . .

Inauguration Day Prayer for the Government of the United States, by Rabbi David Seidenberg (neohasid.org 2021)

A prayer for the government of the United States of America on the day of the 59th Presidential Inauguration. . . .

Prayer for a Nation in Crisis, by Rabbi Barry Block (2021)

A prayer for the government on a day of violent insurrection in the heart of American democracy. . . .

A Prayer for the United States of America Right Now, by Rabbi Menachem Creditor (2021)

A prayer for America on the day upon which right-wing militias carried out an insurrection upon the representative democratic institution of the United States. . . .

A Prayer for our Country, its Leaders and its Citizens, by David Abernethy (2020)

A prayer for the United States, its leaders and government and its citizens — a personal response to things that were troubling me in the months before November’s election – in particular the level of divisiveness in our country, and what seemed to me to be a growing sense that it isn’t important to respect people we disagree with, and an ever more prevalent belief that we are entitled to decide for ourselves which rules to follow, and all that matters are own rights and our beliefs, not our responsibilities to one another. Inspired by the events of 2020 . . .

Benediction by Rabbi Lauren Berkun at the Democratic National Convention (2020)

The full text of Rabbi Lauren Berkun’s benediction offered at the end of the third day of the Democratic National Convention, 20 August 2020. . . .

תְּפִלָּה בְּעַד מֶמְשֶׁלֶת שָׁלוֹם | Prayer for a Government of Peace, by Zackary Sholem Berger (2019)

A prayer for a government when that government is causing pain through malicious policies. . . .

תְּפִלָּה לְמַעַן אַרְצוֹת הַבְּרִית בְּעֵת נִסָּיוֹן | A Prayer for the United States at a Time of Trial, by Rabbi Joe Schwartz (2019)

“A Prayer for the Spiritual Welfare of the United States at a Time of Trial,” by Rabbi Joe Schwartz was first published at The Forward on 28 June 2019. . . .

תפילה לארצות הברית לאחר הטבח בפּיטסבּורג | Prayer for the United States after the Pittsburgh Massacre, by Rabbi Stephen Belsky (2018)

A prayer composed in the aftermath of the mass murder of the Dor Ḥadash community at the Ets Ḥayyim (Tree of Life) Synagogue in Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh on Shabbat morning 27 October 2018. . . .

Prayer for Our Nation [upon the Inauguration of Donald Trump], by Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz (2017)

Because of my commitment to the integrity of prayer, starting this week, I can no longer recite or say amen to the Shabbat prayer for the success of the U.S. President. So I have drafted a new prayer that I will plan to recite each Shabbat morning. If you also feel it’s important to pray for the U.S. government but also feel you cannot pray for the success of this President, feel free to use this or adapt it as you please. I felt that it was not enough to simply avoid the U.S. President in the prayer for the government but to remind myself of the billions of vulnerable people who are at risk under his rule, and challenge myself each Shabbat to build up the strength for another week of spiritual resistance. . . .

תפילה למצביעי המדינה | Prayer for the Electorate, by David Zvi Kalman (2016)

A prayer for the electorate to be recited together with the Prayer for Government on the Shabbat before an election (federal, state, or local). . . .

Benediction by Rabbi Julie Schonfeld at the Democratic National Convention (2016)

The full text of Rabbi Julie Schonfeld’s benediction offered at the end of the first day of the Democratic National Convention, July 25th, 2016. . . .

Benediction by Rabbi David Wolpe at the Democratic National Convention (2012)

The full text of Rabbi David Wolpe’s benediction offered at the end of the second day of the Democratic National Convention, September 6th, 2012. . . .

Prayer for Our Country [upon the Inauguration of Barack Hussein Obama], by Ilana Joy Streit (2009)

A prayer upon the inauguration of President Obama in January 2009. . . .

תפילה לשלום העיר תל אביב־יפו | Prayer for the Welfare of Tel Aviv-Yafo, by Rabbi Isser Yehuda Unterman (1959), amended by Rabbi Esteban Gottfried (2009)

A prayer was composed by Rabbi Isser Yehuda Unterman, chief rabbi of Tel Aviv, for the city’s 50th anniversary (Jubilee) celebration, amended by Rabbi Esteban Gottfried of Beit Tefillah Yisraeli. . . .

Invocation by Rabbi David Saperstein at the Democratic National Convention (2008)

The full text of Rabbi David Saperstein’s invocation offered on the fourth day of the Democratic National Convention, August 8th, 2008. . . .

Invocation by Rabbi Ronne Friedman at the Democratic National Convention (2004)

The full text of Rabbi Ronne Friedman’s invocation offered on the fourth day of the Democratic National Convention, July 29th, 2004. . . .

Prayer for the United States Government, by Dr. Ester R. Fuchs (2001)

A prayer for the government and of good governance in the United States of America. . . .

Invocation by Rabbi Irving Greenberg at the Democratic National Convention (2000)

The full text of Rabbi Irving Greenberg’s invocation offered on the third day of the Democratic National Convention, August 16th, 2000. . . .

Benediction by Rabbi Moshe Faskowitz at the Democratic National Convention (1996)

The full text of Rabbi Moshe Faskowitz’s invocation offered at the Democratic National Convention, August 27th, 1996. . . .

Invocation by Rabbi Jacob Goldstein at the Democratic National Convention (1992)

The full text of Rabbi Jacob Goldstein’s prayer offered at the Democratic National Convention, July 14th, 1992. . . .

Benediction by Rabbi Morris Shmidman at the Democratic National Convention (1988)

The full text of Rabbi Morris Shmidman’s benediction offered at the Democratic National Convention, July 20th, 1988. . . .

Invocation by Rabbi Martin Weiner at the Democratic National Convention (1984)

The full text of Rabbi Martin Weiner’s invocation offered on the second day of the Democratic National Convention, July 17th, 1984. . . .

הַנּוֹתֵן תְּשׁוּעָה | Prayer for the Government on Thanksgiving Day, offered by Rabbi David de Sola Pool (1945)

The Prayer for the Government offered by Rabbi David de Sola Pool in his service for Thanksgiving Day in 1945. . . .

הַנּוֹתֵן תְּשׁוּעָה | A Prayer for the Welfare of the Government of Franklin D. Roosevelt during WWII (from A Naye Shas Tkhine Rav Pninim, ca. 1942)

A prayer for the welfare of the government in Yiddish from A Naye Shas Tkhine Rav Pninim (after 1933). . . .

Gebet für das Vaterland | A Prayer for the Fatherland (Siddur Sephat Emeth, Rödelheim, 1938)

This prayer for the country is found in the Siddur Sephat Emeth, which was published by the venerable Rödelheim publishing house in Frankfurt in 1938. This was probably the last siddur ever published in pre-Holocaust Germany. This prayer is full of pathos and yearning, and in a time of rising government-sponsored antisemitism worldwide it’s worth keeping in mind. . . .

הַנּוֹתֵן תְּשׁוּעָה | Prayer for the Royal Family of Queen Elizabeth II (1962)

The text of the prayer, haNoten Teshuah, as adapted for Queen Elizabeth II. . . .

הַנּוֹתֵן תְּשׁוּעָה | Prayer for the Royal Family of King George VI (1942)

The text of the prayer, haNoten Teshuah, as adapted for King George VI. . . .

הַנּוֹתֵן תְּשׁוּעָה | Prayer for the Royal Family of King George V (1931)

The text of the prayer, haNoten Teshuah, as adapted for King George VI. . . .

תְּפִלָּה בְּעַד הַמֶּמְשָׁלָה | Prayer for the Government, by Rabbi Dr. Louis Ginzberg (1927)

The prayer for the government familiar to all Conservative movement congregations, as written by Rabbi Dr. Louis Ginzberg with an English translation by Rabbi Tim Bernard. . . .

Prayer for the Government of the United States of America, by Rabbi Leo Jung (1927)

A prayer on behalf of the government of the United States of America by one of the leading architects of Modern Orthodoxy in America. . . .

Prayer for the Government of the United States of America, by Rabbi Norman Salit (1927)

A prayer on behalf of the government of the United States of America by one of the leading architects of Modern Orthodoxy in America. . . .

תפלה בעד שלום המדינה | Prayer for the Welfare of the State by Avraham Hyman Charlap (1916)

Please, God Adonai, Who creates the skies and drapes them over the earth, Who spreads out the earth and its descendants, Who grants life to its nations, and vigor to those who walk upon it, You positioned borders on earth and sustained sovereigns and states. These United States, too, Your hands arranged. They began in distress, but through Your great and abundant kindness, have grown like a cedar in Lebanon, adding vitality, strength, and success with each generation. America’s wings stretch from sea to shining sea, and over far islands. Like the sun at its zenith, it lights the world and its inhabitants with laws and ordinances good and upright, righteous and fair. . . .

Ima a királyért és a hazáért | Prayer for the King and the Homeland [of Hungary], by Rabbi Simon Hevesi (1911)

A paraliturgical prayer for the government presented opposite Hanoten T’shuah in Rabbi Simon Hevesi’s siddur Ateret Shalom v’Emet (1911). . . .

Az uralkodóház és a hazáért | [Prayer] For the Royal Family and the [Hungarian] Homeland, by Rabbi Gyula Fischer (1908)

Modeled after the prayer Hanoten T’shuah, this patriotic paraliturgical prayer for the Kingdom of Hungary by Rabbi Gyula Fischer was published in the prayerbook for Jewish women, Rachel: imák zsidó nők számára (1908). . . .

הַנּוֹתֵן תְּשׁוּעָה | Prayer for the Royal Family of King Edward VII (1904)

The text of the prayer, haNoten Teshuah, as adapted for Edward VII. . . .

גאָט בענטש אַמעריקע | God Bless America, for Armistice/Veterans Day by Irving Berlin (1918/1938)

The words of the prayer for Armistice Day 1938, “God Bless America” by Irving Berlin, in English and Yiddish. . . .

Prayer for the Congregation and the Government, by the Central Conference of American Rabbis (1895)

A prayer for the government composed by the Central Conference of American Rabbis and included in their Union Prayer Book. . . .

אֵל שְׁמֹר הַמַּלְכָּה | God Save the Queen (Hebrew translation, ca. 1892)

“God Save the Queen” is an adaptation of “God Save the King,” a work by an unknown author, first circulated by periodicals in mid-18th century England. The author of the Hebrew translation is also unknown and was published in a pamphlet circulated by New Road (Whitechapel) Synagogue in 1892. We are grateful to the Jewish East End of Londonwebsite for providing the source image for the transcription of this work in the Public Domain. . . .

Prayer for the Centennial of the Inauguration of George Washington, by Rabbi Yaakov Yosef (1889)

The proclamation and prayer of chief rabbi Yaakov Yosef, on the centennial of President George Washington’s Inauguration . . .

הַנּוֹתֵן תְּשׁוּעָה | Prayer for the Royal Family of Queen Victoria (1864)

The text of the prayer, haNoten Teshuah, as adapted for Queen Victoria. . . .

תפילה לה׳ בעד חיי׳ המלך אדוננו ובעד טובת | Prayer for Alexandru Ioan I Cuza, Domnitor of Romania, by Rabbi Meir Leibush (1862)

The life of Rabbi Meir Leibush ben Yeḥiel Michel (MALBIM, 1809-1879) as a wandering rabbi and brilliant intellect reflects the changing expectations of Jews and Jewish religious authorities during the period of emancipation in 19th century Eastern Europe. In his capacity as the chief rabbi of Bucharest, Romania, MALBIM composed a prayer for Prince Alexander Ioan I Cuza (1820-1873), Domnitor. The prince had united the Danube principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia in 1862 to form the Kingdom of Romania. During his reign, he managed to bring about a series of important land reforms benefiting the peasantry of Romania, and he did try to improve the situation for Jews under his rule. The emancipation of the Jews of Romania, announced with the Proclamation of Islaz during the Wallachian Revolution of 1848, had never actually gone into effect. In 1865, the prince announced a project which would lead to the “gradual emancipation of the people of Mosaic faith” but this effort was never realized due to Alexandru Ioan’s forced abdication and replacement by a Prussian King in 1866. . . .

Actions de graces pour notre émancipation en France | Thanksgiving for our Emancipation in France, by Rabbi Arnaud Aron & Jonas Ennery (1852)

A prayer of gratitude for the emancipation of French Jewry. . . .

הַנּוֹתֵן תְּשׁוּעָה | Prayer for the Royal Family of King George III (1810)

The prayer, haNoten Teshu’a, as adapted for King George III in 1810. . . .

Prayer for the Government in honor of George Washington, First President of the United States of America by Ḳ.Ḳ. Beit Shalome (1789)

The following prayer for the government was composed by Congregation Beth Shalome in Richmond, Virginia in 1789. Please note the acrostic portion of the prayer in which the initial letters of the succeeding lines form the name: Washington. . . .

הַנּוֹתֵן תְּשׁוּעָה | Prayer for the Government of the United States of America, presented by Gershom Seixas on Thanksgiving Day 1789

The prayer for the government presented by Gershom Seixas at K.K. Shearith Israel on Thanksgiving Day 1789. . . .

תפילה לשלום המלכות | Prayer for the Welfare of George Washington, George Clinton, and the Thirteen States of America by Hendla Jochanan van Oettingen (1784)

Prayers recited on special occasions and thus not part of the fixed liturgy offered America’s foremost Jewish congregation far greater latitude for originality in prayer. At such services, particularly when the prayers were delivered in English and written with the knowledge that non-Jews would hear them, leaders of Shearith Israel often dispensed with the traditional prayer for the government and substituted revealing new compositions appropriate to the concerns of the day. A prayer composed in 1784 (in this case in Hebrew) by the otherwise unknown Rabbi (Cantor?) Hendla Jochanan van Oettingen, for example, thanked God who “in His goodness prospered our warfare.” Mentioning by name both Governor George Clinton and General George Washington, the rabbi prayed for peace and offered a restorationist Jewish twist on the popular idea of America as “redeemer nation”: “As Thou hast granted to these thirteen states of America everlasting freedom,” he declared, “so mayst Thou bring us forth once again from bondage into freedom and mayst Thou sound the great horn for our freedom.” . . .

הַנּוֹתֵן תְּשׁוּעָה | Prayer for King George III (1766)

The prayer for King George III in the English colonies before the Revolutionary War. . . .

Prayer for Reparation and Restoration, an alternative to the Prayer for Welfare of the Government by Rabbi Brant Rosen

A prayer for collective and communal well-being with an emphasis on dismantling systems of oppression and repairing their harms. . . .

הַנּוֹתֵן תְּשׁוּעָה | Prayer for the Prosperity of his Royal Majesty, delivered by Rabbi Jacob Jehudah Leon Templo to King Charles II (1675)

Rabbi Jacob Judah Leon’s Prayer for King Charles II, from his 1675 booklet, was the first Jewish prayer in English for an English king (Mocatta Library, University College London). . . .

הַנּוֹתֵן תְּשׁוּעָה | The Prayer for the Safety of Kings, Princes and Commonwealths, presented by Menasseh ben Israel to Oliver Cromwell (1655)

From “How Faithful The Nation of the Iewes are.” in To His Highnesse The Lord Protector Of The Common-Wealth Of England, Scotland, And Ireland, The Humble Addresses Of Menasseh Ben Israel (1655), p.11-13 (p.91-93 in L. Wolf’s edition). The Hebrew liturgy shown was transcribed from the “Prayer for the Dutch royal family and the city council of Amsterdam” (1950) and has been edited to fit this earlier version of the text. What is clear in comparing this version with the version that became prominent in England and elsewhere, is the removal of the angelo-astrological phrase on the rise of the planetary star corresponding to the particular Sar in heaven and lord on earth. What changed between 1655 and the 18th century? Increased anxiety over exoteric references in the kabbalah following the messianic movement of Shabbetai Tsvi, and also, the Enlightenment. We’ll be keen to find other examples of Hanoten Teshua from before and after 1655, that might add additional light on how this prayer may have changed. Related to the liturgical phrase on the rise of the planetary star, Menasseh ben Israel includes a reference in his argument to Cromwell for the proper regard that should be granted the Jews by the other nations. The reference is to Zohar Pekudei (Zohar II 267b:8-10) and we believe this may be the first time anyone has ever located the actual text being referred to here. . . .