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☞   Trouble

על אלה אנו בוכים | Al eleh anu bokhim (For these we weep), a lamentation for humanity’s destruction of habitat and species, by Rabbi David Seidenberg (neohasid.org)

A ḳinnah for humanity’s willful, negligent, and callous destruction of habitat and species known and unknown. . . .

אָב הָרַחֲמִים שׁוֹכֵן מְרוֹמִים | Av haRaḥamim Shokhein Meromim, a prayer for the martyred during the First Crusade & Rhineland massacres

A prayer for those martyred in the First Crusade and Rhineland Massacres, and by extension, all subsequent pogroms up until and including the Holocaust. . . .

קמע לשמירת המגפה | Amulet for Protection from the Plague, attributed to Rabbi Moshe Teitelbaum (ca. 19th c.)

A popular prophylactic amulet in the event of an epidemic. . . .

פתח לנו שער בעת נעילת שער | Open for us a gate at the closing of a gate, by Rabbi Dr. Dalia Marx (2005)

A prayer for the State of Israel during conflicts over sovereignty and dispossession. . . .

סדר לאבד פסלי עבודה זרה | Service for Destroying Idolatrous Statues, by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer (2020)

The argument that “statues preserve our heritage” is not one the halakhah tolerates, especially when the statues are celebrating the perpetrators of horrible atrocities. Here’s a service for those interested in fulfilling the Biblical commandment of destroying idolatrous statues. #BLM . . .

אוֹי לַלֵב שֶׁאֵינָה שְׁבוּרָה | Woe to the Heart that is not Broken, a ḳinnah by Rabbi Dr. Aryeh Cohen (2019)

A ḳinnah composed in response to the agonizing and cruel United States immigration policy implemented under the presidency of Donald Trump. . . .

תפילת הדרך | Tefilat haDerekh, a prayer for peace (trans. Rabbi David Seidenberg, neohasid.org)

In this Tefilat haDerekh (the prayer for travel), I’ve made a synthesis of Ashkenazi and Sefardi nusaḥ. Even though the translation is pretty close to literal in most places, it comes across as an extraordinary and activist prayer for peace. So I think of this prayer not just as a prayer for the beginning a physical journey, but for any spiritual journey, and especially for any campaign or action for justice and peace that a person or group might undertake. When applied to activism, the “enmity and ambush and theft and predation” we ask to be rescued from could also be interpreted as hatred, deceit, jealousy, and aggression, i.e., the kinds of feelings that cause people to work against each other, even within an organization, instead of working together. I first used this version of the prayer at the beginning of a tour of Israel and Palestine focused on the human rights and non-violent resistance, when the group passed through the first checkpoint of the trip. . . .

Dans un temps de calamité publique | [Prayer] in a time of public calamity, by Jonas Ennery & Rabbi Arnaud Aron (1852)

A prayer during an event of immanent communal danger and distress. . . .

תפלה לרבוי גשמים | Prayer in the event of excessive rain (Mantua, Italy 1729)

A prayer in the event of excessive raining causing economic hardship, from Mantua in 1729. . . .

A Supplication Before the Divine Throne During an Outbreak of Asiatic Cholera in Montreal by R’ Abraham de Sola (1849)

This is a faithful transcription of a prayer appearing at the end of a sermon delivered by Rabbi Abraham de Sola in K.K. Shearith Yisrael (Montreal), “during the prevalence of asiatic cholera,” and subsequently published in the Occident and American Jewish Advocate (7:7, Tishrei 5610/October 1849). The English translation is a “free translation” made by Rabbi Abraham de Sola. . . .

תפלה על המגפה שתעצר | Prayer for Cessation of the Disease Now Raging, by Rabbi Dr. Moses Gaster (1892)

A prayer for the end of a cholera epidemic written by Rabbi Dr. Moses Gaster in 1892. . . .

תְּחִינָה װען עס ברעכט אױס אַ מַגֵפָה | A Tkhine When an Epidemic Breaks Out (1916)

A tkhine in the event of an epidemic. . . .

מענטשן־פרעסער | Mentshn-Fresser (“People Devourer”), a Pandemic Ballad by Shlomo Shmulevitsh (1916)

A song in Yiddish bemoaning the suffering brought about in an epidemic. . . .

תפילה בתגובה למגפה | A Prayer in Response to the Coronavirus, by Rav Shmuly Yanklowitz (Valley Beit Midrash 2020)

A prayer offered in response to the COVID-19 coronavirus, by Rav Shmuly Yanklowitz (Valley Beit Midrash) . . .

תפילה בתגובה למגפה | Prayer in response to the Coronavirus Outbreak in Italy (Assemblea Dei Rabbini D’Italia 2020)

A prayer disseminated by the Assemblea Dei Rabbini D’Italia in response to the Coronavirus outbreak in Italy and around the world. . . .

תפילת לחולים במגפה | Prayer in response to the COVID-19 Coronavirus Outbreak, by Nurit Novis (2020)

A prayer in response to the suffering of the coronavirus and the danger posed by its global spread. . . .

מי שברך לשלום החולים במגפת נגיף הקורונה | Mi sheBerakh for the Welfare of those Ill from the Coronavirus Epidemic (Schechter Rabbinical Seminary 2020)

A Mi Sheberakh prayer offered on behalf of those battling, suffering from, and imperiled by the 2019-2020 Coronavirus Outbreak and pandemic. . . .

מי שברך על כל המחרפים נפשם לעצור את המגפה | Mi sheBerakh for the Medical Workers & Researchers on the Front Lines of the COVID-19 Coronavirus Pandemic (2020)

A prayer for the medical workers and researchers on the front lines of treating the afflicted and finding a cure for the COVID19 coronavirus pandemic. . . .

Prayer Amid the Pandemic, by Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis (Office of the Chief Rabbi of the United Kingdom 2020)

A prayer from the Office of the Chief Rabbi of the United Kingdom amidst the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. . . .

Prayer for Workers in a Time of Pandemic, by Rabbi Michael Rothbaum (New England Jewish Labor Committee 2020)

A prayer for workers and worker needs amid the 2020 COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak. . . .

תפילה פרטי ליושבי הסגר | Private Prayer for Those Dwelling in Quarantine, by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer (2020)

A private prayer for those dwelling in quarantine and are unable to fulfill any mitzvot that require public action. Can be recited as part of the “Shomea Tefilah” section of the amidah, or independently. . . .

[Prayer] in Spring, by Rabbi Avraham Samuel Soltes (ca. 1950s)

A prayer “in spring” that uses the metaphor of mining for seeking out the goodness in one’s fellow. . . .

Viddui for Coronavirus, by Rabbi Ora Nitkin-Kaner (2020)

A Viddui written for Jews who are losing a beloved to a plague, and who may not be able to be physically present or close to their loved one. . . .

אָנָּא בְּכֹחַ | Ana b’Khoaḥ, a 42 letter name piyyut with a singing translation by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi

The most well-known 42 letter divine name acrostic piyyut. . . .

תפילה נוכח הרעה מדרום | Prayer in the face of the worsening situation in southern Israel (Masorti Movement in Israel 2019)

A prayer for the safety of all the inhabitants of the Land of Israel offered during the November 12th, 2019 Tel Aviv rocket strike. . . .

May Wars Cease, a hymn by Rabbi Max Klein (1926)

A hymn for the end of war by Rabbi Max D. Klein. . . .

Gratitude Prayer, by Rabbi Menachem Creditor on the first anniversary of the Pittsburgh Tree of Life massacre

A prayer on the first anniversary of the Tree of Life massacre in Pittsburgh. . . .

תפילה לשלום העם הכורדי | Prayer for the Welfare of the Kurdish People (Masorti Movement in Israel, 2019)

A prayer for the welfare of the Kurdish People in Northern Syria (Rojava) following their betrayal by Donald Trump acting as commander-in-chief of the United States armed forces and their oppression by the Republic of Turkey. . . .

Hoshanot Liturgy for the Climate Crisis, adapted by R’ Ezra Weinberg from the words of Greta Thunberg

The words of Greta Thunberg adapted for a prayer for intervention in the antroppgenic climate crisis, for a Honshana ritual for Sukkot. . . .

אֵלֶּה אֶזְכְּרָה, נוּסַח פִּיטְסְבּוּרְג | Eileh Ezkarah for Pittsburgh, by Rabbi Jonathan Perlman with Rabbi Tamar Elad-Appelbaum and Rabbi Martin Cohen

A kinah for the martyrs of the Tree of Life synagogue massacre in Boston in 2018. . . .

Prayer for the Abducted Nigerian Schoolgirls, by Rabbi Hillel Lavery-Yisraëli (2014)

God of all people’s souls: Hasten, we pray, to rescue the hundreds of Nigerian young girls, innocent students who, in horrific cruelty, were abducted from their houses and schools by inhumane criminals intending to sell them into slavery and torture them. . . .

תְּפִלָּה לְהַצָּלָה מִפִּגּוּעֵי טֶרוֹר | Prayer for Rescue from Terror Attacks | Bön om skydd från terrorhot, by R’ Hillel Ḥayyim Lavery-Yisraëli

Let us not fear or be afraid, for you are our protector. “…Jacob shall return and live in peace and security; no one will terrify him again.” Guard our going out and our coming in, from now until eternity, and let us say, Amen. . . .

אֱלִי צִיּוֹן וְעָרֶיהָ | Eli Tsiyon v’Areha — Coronavirus, by Daniel Olson & Rabbi Benjamin Goldberg (2020)

An adaptation of the kinnah, “Eli Tsiyon v’Ar’eha,” Composed for Tisha B’Av 5780 in light of the Covid-19 pandemic. . . .

תפילה לשלום המדינה בזמן מלחמה | Prayer for the Welfare of Israel in Wartime, by Rabbi Ron Aigen (2014)

A prayer for the welfare of Israel composed during the 2014 Israel-Gaza Conflict. . . .

הגדה לסדר פסח | The Other Side of the Sea: A Haggadah on Fighting Modern-Day Slavery by T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights

“The wicked child asks: What does this work mean to you? Mah ha’avodah ha’zot lachem” (Exodus 12:26). I think about this question a great deal as a rabbi whose core work involves fighting modern-day slavery. I think about it when I talk to my children about what I do every day, when I call anti-trafficking activists and say, “What can rabbis do to support you?” or when I stand before Jewish audiences and urge them to put their energy behind this critical human rights issue. The answer must go deeper than simply saying, “We were slaves in Egypt once upon a time.” The memory of bitterness does not necessarily inspire action. What inspires me is not slavery but redemption. God could part the Sea of Reeds, but the Israelites could not truly be free until they had liberated themselves, after 40 years in the desert, from slavery. . . .

תפילה למעמד המשותף | أغنية الحياة والسلام | Prayer of Mothers for Life and Peace by Sheikha Ibtisam Maḥameed and Rabbi Tamar Elad-Appelbaum

God of Life Who heals the broken hearted and binds up their wounds May it be your will to hear the prayer of mothers For you did not create us to kill each other Nor to live in fear, anger or hatred in your world But rather you have created us so we can grant permission to one another to sanctify Your name of Life, your name of Peace in this world. . . .

A Prayer for Justice, Blessing, and Praise on Shabbat Shoftim, by Virginia Spatz

“Does joy come in the morning, where weeping has not tarried for the night? Can we dance together, if we have not yet joined in lament?” This prayer is a kavanah for the morning blessings, using language and images from the prayer “Mah Tovu” [how lovely are your tents] commonly recited in the early morning blessings. Offered with special intention for the healing of Congress Heights, Capitol View, and other neighborhoods in Washington, DC, rocked by persistent violence. . . .

תפילה למען ילדי העולם | Prayer for the Children of the World, by Rabbi Nava Hefetz

A translation in Arabic and English of Rabbi Nava Hafetz’s prayer for the children of the world: Creator of all life, sovereign of peace, Bless our children and the children of all the world With physical, emotional, and spiritual health. You who created them in Your image And lovingly imbued them with Your spirit, Let their paths be successful in this world that You created. Give them of Your resilience and strengthen the sinews of their bodies and minds. Guard and save them from all evil For Your mercy and truth abound. Grant peace to the Land and everlasting happiness to all its inhabitants. Amen, may it be Your will . . .

Between the Fires: A Kavvanah for Lighting Candles of Commitment, by Rabbi Arthur Waskow (the Shalom Center)

“Between the Fires: A Prayer for lighting Candles of Commitment” was composed by Rabbi Arthur Waskow, drawing on traditional midrash about the danger of a Flood of Fire, and the passage from Malachi. . . .

A Prayer for Compassion During Violent Conflict, by Trisha Arlin

We pray for those of us Who are so angry That we have lost compassion for the suffering Of anyone who is not a member of our group. And we pray for those of us Who cannot see the suffering Behind the loss of that compassion. We pray for the strength To resist the urge to inhumanity That we feel in times of fear and mourning. We pray for the courage To resist the calls to inhumanity That others may make upon us in times of crisis. . . .

A Jewish Prayer for Peace between England and her Colonies on a public day of fasting and prayer, 17 May 1776

Fred MacDowell: “Then, as now, war was looked upon by many as a great evil, especially between brothers, and many American Colonists only wanted the oppressive measures of King George III to be lifted, bloodshed ended, and peace restored. The nascent American Congress called for a day of “Humiliation, Fasting and Prayer” along these lines for May 17, 1776. It was for this occasion that this prayer was recited in Congregation Shearith Israel in New York. As you can see, a complete service was arranged for this occasion, meant to invoke the solemnity and seriousness of the occasion; after morning prayer, Taḥanun was to be sung to the tune of a Yom Kippur pizmon; a dozen Psalms recited, and then the Ḥazan would recite this prayer written for the occasion, and of course all were to be fasting. The prayer hopes for a change of heart for King George III and his advisors, that they would rescind their wrath and harsh decrees against “North America,” that the bloodshed should end, and peace and reconciliation should obtain between the Americans and Great Britain once more, in fulfillment of the Messianic verse that Nation shall not lift up sword against nation. Of course this was not meant to be, and six weeks later the American Congress declared independence from Great Britain, and there was no walking back from the hostilities which had already occurred.” . . .

תפילה לעת שרפה – וחמת האש תשכך | Prayer for the Wildfires to Subside (Masorti Foundation, trans. by R’ Jonah Rank)

The Prayer for the Fire (תפילה לעת שרפה) was first published by the Masorti Foundation at their website here in response to the November 2016 wildfires in Israel. Translation by Rabbi Jonah Rank. Transcription by Aharon Varady. . . .

תפילה לשלום אזרחי סוריה וחלבּ (ארם-צובה, אר”ץ)‏ | Prayer for the Well-being of the Citizens of Syria and Residents of Aleppo (Masorti Movement in Israel)

This prayer for peace for the citizens of Syria and residents of Aleppo was first published by the Masorti Movement in Israel, via their web page here. The prayer was transcribed to Unicode Hebrew by Aharon Varady. Translation adapted by Aharon from one provided by Rivka Kellner in a Facebook comment. . . .

תפילה לשלום העם הסורי | Prayer for the Peace of the Syrian People (Rabbi Yuval Cherlow, 2013) trans. Elli Sacks

This prayer for the peace of the Syrian people was composed in 2013 by Rabbi Yuval Cherlow and translated by Elli Sacks of Modi’in. Our Hebrew source of the text was first published in this YNet article. Our source for Elli Sacks’s translation is this post in Alan Brill’s blog. Rabbi Cherlow suggests that Psalms 37 and Psalms 120 are particularly appropriate for praying for peace in Syria. Both psalms speak of the plight of the innocent righteous when evil men plot against them. Thank you to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency for informing us of this prayer, and to YNet, and Alan Brill for providing the source text. . . .

מי שברך למיני פשעי שנאה | Mi sheBerakh for Hate Crimes and Bigotry, by Isaac Gantwerk-Mayer

From resurgent neo-fascist movements to religious extremist attacks, hate crimes are on the rise all over the world right now. At times like this many people live in fear – fear of being attacked or maligned, physical, mental or emotional. Hatred is not new to the Jewish people, but traditionally it was considered “just the way it is.” As Americans, we should believe better. The midrash (Devarim Rabbah 5:10) says that hateful speech kills three – the speaker, the listener, and the subject. This Mi Sheberakh was written as a prayer for all those of every people and nation that are affected by hatred and bigotry. . . .

כעבור סופה | After the Storm: A Prayer to Choose Life by Rabbi David Seidenberg (neohasid.org)

The prayers for hurricane victims that are circulating through the Open Siddur Project and elsewhere are poignant and heartfelt, but they don’t speak an important piece of the truth that we need to hear. What about our collective responsibility for climate disruption that undoubtedly increases the harm caused by this and every major storm? And what about the Deuteronomic promise that God brings us recompense for our actions davka through the weather? Here’s an attempt at a prayer that incorporates a deeper understanding of our responsibility. For the final version of this prayer, I started with an anonymous Hebrew translation of my original English prayer, then I tweaked it and wove in scriptural references, and retranslated it back into English. . . .

והיה אם שמע | v’haya im shemo’a: a Prayer in a Time of Planetary Danger by Rabbi Arthur Waskow

A midrashic translation/ interpretation of the second paragraph of the Sh’ma. . . .

A HaLakhma Anya Passover Seder Supplement for the COVID-19 Coronavirus Pandemic (Our Common Destiny 2020)

A Passover supplement created for recitation at Passover seders in the context of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. . . .

תְּפִלָּה יְהוּדִית לְיוֹם הַנַּכְּבָּה | A Jewish Prayer for Nakba Day (يوم النكبة), by Sarah M.

A Jewish prayer for Nakba Day, as commemorated on May 15th in the civil calendar of the Dawlat Filasṭīn. . . .

תחינה ליובל מלחמת ששת הימים | A prayer on the 50th anniversary of the Six Day War, by Rabbi Ofer Sabath Beit Halachmi (2017)

“A prayer on the 50th anniversary of the Six Day War” by Rabbi Ofer Sabath Beit Halachmi was first read on 11 Sivan 5777 (June 5th 2017) and published on his Facebook page. English translation: Rabbi Rachel Sabath Beit-Halachmi, Rabbi Andrea Coustan London and Daniel London. . . .

תְּפִלָּה לָעֵצִים עַל ט״וּ בִּשְׁבָט | Prayer for the Trees of Erets Yisrael on Tu Bishvat, by Rabbis for Human Rights in Israel (2011)

In the wake of the continued uprooting of fruit trees and human settlements in the Land of Israel, T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights shared the following petitionary prayer. . . .

Prayer after a Mass Shooting at a Public School, by Rabbi David Dine Wirtschafter (2018)

Rabbi David Dine Wirtschafter writes, “Our hearts and prayers go out to the people of Marshall County, Kentucky who, now have joined an ever growing list of places to experience a mass shooting at a public school. We grieve for the families of the two teenagers who were killed. May the 18 others who were injured speedily recover from their wounds. These incidents are terrible no matter where they happen but there is something all the more unsettling when they occur so close to home.” . . .

תפילה לישראל ופלסטין | Prayer for Israel and Palestine by IfNotNow-Chicago (5778)

On 29 September 2017 IfNotNow Chicago writes, “Tonight begins Yom Kippur. We are asking our community, when you say the prayer for Israel this Kol Nidre, will you say it for all the people that live in Israel and Palestine? Will you stand for freedom and dignity for all Palestinians and Israelis? Our members have re-imagined the Prayer for the State of Israel. We hope you use this New Prayer for Israel and Palestine, and share it with your own community.” . . .

תפילה לשלום ופיוס לישראלים ולפלסטינים ולכל העם | A Prayer for Peace and Reconciliation for Israelis, Palestinians, and all People by Rabbi Samuel Feinsmith

Master of compassion and forgiveness, Cosmic Majesty Who is peace— Teach us Your ways, Show us the path that preserves life. Take note, Lord, for we are suffering deeply. Our guts are wrenched, Our hearts are turning within us. Violence has devoured outside, and inside it feels deathly. When enemies rose up against us to kill our babes, Courageous, precious boys, full of the light of life, shining like the radiance of the sky, Our hearts became angry, our vision lost its strength, and our spirits sunk. And still we turn to you— . . .

Prayer at the National Commemoration of the 34th Anniversary of the Beirut Barracks Bombing, by Rabbi Arnold Resnicoff 23 October 2017

A prayer delivered by Rabbi Arnold Resnicoff at the commemoration for the 34th anniversary of the 1982 Beirut Barracks Bombing. . . .

Memorial Prayer for Those Lost Through Human Strife, by Rabbi Chaplain (Lieutenant) Alexander David Goode (ca. 1943)

A memorial prayer for service members lost in times of war, given by a chaplain who sacrificed his life for others during WWII. . . .

Scaling the Walls of the Labyrinth: Psalms 67 and Ana b’Khoaḥ

Psalm 67 is a priestly blessing for all the peoples of the earth to be sustained by the earth’s harvest (yevulah), and it is a petition that all humanity recognize the divine nature (Elohim) illuminating the world. Composed of seven verses, the psalm is often visually depicted as a seven branched menorah. There are 49 words in the entire psalm, and in the Nusaḥ ha-ARI z”l there is one word for each day of the Sefirat haOmer. Similarly, the fifth verse has 49 letters and each letter can be used as a focal point for meditating on the meaning of the day in its week in the journey to Shavuot, the festival of weeks (the culmination of the barley harvest), and the festival of oaths (shevuot) in celebration of receiving the Torah. Many of the themes of Psalm 67 are repeated in the prayer Ana b’Koaḥ, which also has 49 words, and which are also used to focus on the meaning of each day on the cyclical and labyrinthine journey towards Shavuot. . . .

תפילת נחם לשלם בירושלם | Tefilat Naḥem for the Peace of Jerusalem on Tisha b’Av, by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer

On Tisha be’Av, Jewish communities all over the world add a paragraph called Tefilat Naḥem (the prayer of comfort) to the standard daily Amidah (either for the afternoon service or for all services) praying for a return to Jerusalem. The traditional text discusses Jerusalem being defiled, in the hands of the idol worshipers, putting our people to the sword. But post-1967, Jerusalem has been under Israeli control, and this text has, to many people, felt no longer appropriate in the face of a Jerusalem being rebuilt. Many have written their own versions of a new Tefilat Naḥem for a Jerusalem under Israeli control, but I have felt dissatisfied with a lot of these. Some treat Jerusalem as already fully redeemed, which any glance at the news tells you isn’t the case. Others treat the major step in redeeming Jerusalem as building the Temple, but this seems to me to be only one eschatological part of a larger hope for Jerusalem. Jews have often considered the peace of Jerusalem to be a microcosm of the peace of all the earth. Thus for the Shabbat and Yom Tov Hashkivenu we pray for God to “spread the shelter of peace over us, all Israel, and Jerusalem.” The name Jerusalem, ירושלים, has been analyzed as “they will see peace” יראו שלום, since the peace of Jerusalem means all will see peace. But it’s clear that the peace of Jerusalem is not final or eternal, and it remains a city on the edge of a knife. So my version of Tefilat Naḥem prays not for a return, nor for a Temple, but for the peace of Jerusalem. It can be used at the same time as the standard Tefilat Naḥem (as an extension of the Birkat Yerushalayim in the Shmoneh Esreh for Tisha b’Av) or on its own. Thus I used four asterisks (a tetrapuncta) instead of God’s name, for those who would prefer to avoid a b’rakhah levatalah. Those who would prefer to use this blessing in the Amidah itself could replace the tetrapuncta with the name itself. . . .

Newly Huddled Tender Masses: A Prayer for Children, by Rabbi Menachem Creditor

A plea to not become numb in the face of overwhelming cruelty. . . .

תפילה לשלום ירושלים | Prayer for the Peace of Jerusalem, by Rabbi Eliyahu Yosef She’ar Yashuv Cohen

The “Prayer for the Peace of Jerusalem” by the late chief rabbi of Ḥaifa, Eliyahu Yosef She’ar Yashuv Cohen zt”l (1927-2016), is often included in programs praying for peace in Jerusalem in periods of conflict. . . .

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

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. 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. 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. Blessed are you, Creator of heaven and earth, who frees the captives. . . .

תהלים קמ״ב | Psalms 142 and Mi sheBerakh for those in captivity or whose whereabouts are unknown

May the one who blessed our ancestors, Avraham, Yitzḥak, and Yaakov, Yoseph, Moshe, and Aharon, David and Shlomo, Ruth, Sarah, Rivka, Miriam, Devorah, Tamar, and Raḥel, bless and safeguard and preserve the captives… . . .

A Prayer for Pittsburgh [after the Tree of Life synagogue massacre], by Rabbi Menachem Creditor (2018)

“A Prayer for Pittsburgh” was first published by Rabbi Menachem Creditor at his website, and shared with the Open Siddur Project via our Facebook discussion group. . . .

א תְּפִילָה פיר שָׁלוֹם הַמְדִינָה | A Prayer for the Welfare of the Government 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). . . .

זאָג ניט קײן מאָל | Partisaner Lid (the Partisan Song), by Hirsh Glik (Vilna Ghetto, 1943)

The Yiddish resistance song, “Partisaner Lid” (The Partisan Song) was composed by Hirsh Glick in the Vilna Ghetto in 1943. . . .

תפילת הודיה לגשם | Thanksgiving Prayer for Rainfall in Lands Where It is Needed, by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer

A prayer of thanksgiving for when it rains in a land needing rainfall. . . .

תפילת הודיה לשלג | Thanksgiving Prayer for Snowfall in Lands Where It is Needed, by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer

A prayer of thanksgiving for when it snows in a land needing snowfall (and ultimately, snowmelt). . . .

הרחמן הוא ישבור עול כיבוש | Prayer to the Compassionate One for the Peace of Two States for Two Peoples (for Inclusion in the Birkat Hamazon) by Ira Tick

A prayer for the peaceful resolution of Israel’s conflicts with her neighbors and a mutually agreeable end to her dominion over the Palestinians, in Hebrew and in English, appropriate for inserting in the Birkat HaMazon especially on Shabbat and Festivals, or for reciting at any time. . . .

Prayer for Israeli-Palestinian Solidarity, by Rabbi Ḥanan Schlesinger

A prayer for Israeli-Palestinian solidarity to mitigate the danger that comes when our particular identities greatly eclipse our universal identity as Bnei Adam. . . .

A Prayer for the Greater Iowa City Church of the Nazarene, by Rabbi Menachem Creditor

A prayer in solidarity with the Greater Iowa City Church of the Nazarene, whose building was the target of hateful vandalism. . . .

From the Depths: A Prayer For Christchurch, by Rabbi Menachem Creditor (2019)

A prayer written in response to the massacre of Muslim worshipers during Friday prayers in Christchurch, New Zealand. . . .

Prayer for Universal Peace, by Rabbi Hillel Lavery-Yisraëli

A prayer for universal peace offered by Hillel Yisraeli-Lavery as an opening prayer to a talk given in Hamilton, Canada by 2011 Nobel Prize winner Leymah Gbowee. . . .

אֱלֹהִים בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל | Elohim b’Yisrael :: A piyyut containing the 42 Letter Name, recorded in Sefer haPeliah

The earliest recorded prayer or piyyut providing an acrostic for the 42 letter divine name. . . .

تعالوا نضيئ شمعات السلام | בואו נאיר נרות שלום | Let us Light Candles for Peace, by Sheikha Ibtisam Maḥameed and Rabbi Tamar Elad-Appelbaum

Two mothers, one plea: Now, more than ever, during these days of so much crying, on the day that is sacred to both our religions, Friday, Sabbath Eve Let us light a candle in every home – for peace: A candle to illuminate our future, face to face, A candle across borders, beyond fear. From our family homes and houses of worship Let us light each other up Let these candles be a lighthouse to our spirit Until we all arrive at the sanctuary of peace. . . .

מי שברך לעגונות | Mi sheBerakh to Support Agunot and Call Get Refusers to Account, by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer

This prayer, following the structure of the Mi Sheberakh supplications during the Torah service, is meant to call get refusers to account, by name, and make a statement that their behavior is evil and will not be tolerated. . . .

הושׁענות | Hoshanot by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, translation by Gabbai Seth Fishman

A supplemental Hoshanot liturgy for Sukkot confessing a selection of humanity’s crimes against creation. . . .

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. . . .

היום | TODAY: A Rosh haShanah Prayer to End Gun Violence, by Rabbi Menachem Creditor

A prayer in English to end gun violence before Rosh haShanah, . . .

Prayer at the Dedication of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial by Rabbi Arnold Resnicoff on 13 November 1982

The closing prayer at the Nov 13, 1982 dedication of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC. by Rabbi (Navy Chaplain) Arnold E. Resnicoff. . . .

מי שברך לאסונות טבע | Mi sheBerakh for Natural Disasters, by Isaac Gantwerk-Mayer

A Mi Sheberakh prayer for those affected by natural disasters. This prayer uses many standard liturgical phrases in a new context to stress that God, while full of great power, is not a God of destruction but one of peace and life. Quoting the famous vision of Elijah at Ḥorev, this prayer is for those who seek comfort and tranquility from their God. . . .

תפילה לבאסטאן | Prayer for Boston after the bombing, by Rabbi Stephen Belsky (2013)

May the One who spoke the world into being, and who blessed humanity created in God’s image, and who brought about the miracle of these United States to promote freedom and peace among all people — bless, guard, and protect all the inhabitants of the Boston area, and strengthen and encourage their leaders, representatives, police officers, and detectives; bring them out from the shadow of death to light, and from danger to relief; and may the verse be fulfilled for them which says, ‘God is good to all, and shows mercy to all God’s creatures.’ And let us say: amein. . . .

תפילה לבאסטאן | Prayer After the Bombing in Boston, by Rabbi Rachel Barenblat (2013)

I wrote this a few days after the Boston Marathon bombing. It arose out of a meditation service which I led at my synagogue. The doors to our sanctuary were open, so we had the sounds of the nearby wetland in our ears, and I invited the meditators to join me in cultivating compassion and sending it toward Boston. The line “My heart is in the east and I am in the west” is adapted from the medieval Spanish poet Judah haLevi. . . .

קדיש יתום בזמן מלחמה | Mourner’s Ḳaddish in Times of War and Violence, by Arthur Waskow

Jews use the Kaddish to mourn the dead, though it has in it only one word — “nechamata,” consolations – which hints at mourning. And this word itself is used in a puzzling way, once we look at it with care. As we will see below, it may be especially appropriate in time of war. The interpretive English translation below may also be appropriate for prayers of mourning and hope in wartime by other spiritual and religious communities. In this version, changes in the traditional last line of the Hebrew text specifically include not only peace for the people Israel (as in the traditional version) but also for the children of Abraham and Hagar through Ishmael (Arabs and Muslims) and for all the life-forms who dwell upon this planet. . . .

מִי שֶׁבֵּרַךְ | Mi sheBerakh for Victims of Slavery, by Rabbi Joshua Boettiger (2009)

We are grateful to Rabbi Joshua Boettinger and Rabbis for Human Rights–North America (RHR-NA) for sharing the following petitionary prayer, A Misheberakh for Victims of Slavery. Originally published by RHR-NA on their website in 2009, the prayer attends to the desperate need to eradicate all forms of slavery that persist today, especially in advance of the holiday celebrating our Z’man Cheruteinu, the season of our freedom, every Spring, every Pesaḥ. . . .

עַל הַנִּסִּים בִּימֵי הוֹדָיָה לְאֻמִּיִּים | Al Hanissim prayer for thanksgiving on all Secular/National Days of Gratitude, by Aharon Varady

Opportunities to express gratitude on secular, nationalist days of thanksgiving demand acknowledgement of an almost unfathomably deep history of trauma — not only the suffering and striving of my immigrant ancestors, but the sacrifice of all those who endured suffering dealt by their struggle to survive, and often failure to survive, the oppressions dealt by colonization, conquest, hegemony, natural disaster. Only the Earth (from which we, earthlings were born, Bnei Adam from Adamah) has witnessed the constancy of the violent deprivations we inflict upon each other. The privilege I’ve inherited from these sacrifices has come at a cost, and it must be honestly acknowledged, especially on secular/national days of thanksgiving, independence, and freedom. I insert this prayer after Al Hanissim in the Amidah and in the Birkat Hamazon on national days of independence and thanksgiving. . . .

Kinah (lamentation) for Yitzhak Rabin, by Rabbi Dr. Aryeh Cohen (2004)

A kinah (lamentation) for Israeli Prime Minister Yitzḥak Rabin, assassinated on 4 November 1995, the yahrzeit of which is י״א בְּמַרחֶשְׁוָן ‎(11 Marḥeshvan). . . .

אחרי הסערה | A Prayer in the Aftermath of a Devastating Storm, by Rabbi Menachem Creditor

Fixated as we are by incalculable losses in our families, our neighbors, human beings spanning national borders, we are pummeled into shock, barely even able to call out to You. We are, as ever, called to share bread with the hungry, to take those who suffer into our homes, to clothe the naked, to not ignore our sisters and brothers. Many more of our brothers and sisters are hungry, homeless, cold, and vulnerable today than were just a few days ago, and we need Your Help. . . .

אחרי הסערה | A Prayer for Central Oklahoma After the Tornado, by Rabbi Abby Jacobson (2013)

Merciful God, a great and powerful windstorm has passed, and it has torn apart the buildings and shattered the rocks before You. You told Elijah, the prophet, that You were not in the windstorm. Please, then, be in the still, small voices of the children crying out to be found. Be in the voices of the rescuers calling out for survivors. Be in the cries of those who are lost and of those who have lost. . . .

אחרי הסערה | Prayer in the Aftermath of the Hurricane, by Rabbi Samuel Barth (2012)

A prayer offered in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy in 2012. . . .

על חטא | For the Sin of Torture: A Communal Confession by Rabbi Ed Feld

For the sin which we have committed before You through diminishing the image of God. . . .

A Jewish Prayer for Nakba Day (يوم النكبة), by Rabbi Brant Rosen

A Jewish Prayer for Nakba Day, by Rabbi Brant Rosen. . . .

תפילה לילדי עזה | A Prayer for Gaza’s Children, by Bradley Burston (2008)

Lord who is the creator of all children, hear our prayer this accursed day. God whom we call Blessed, turn your face to these, the children of Gaza, that they may know your blessings, and your shelter, that they may know light and warmth, where there is now only blackness and smoke, and a cold which cuts and clenches the skin. . . .

אָנָּא בְּכֹחַ | Ana b’Khoaḥ, with Spanish translation by Rabbi Isaac ben Shem Tov Cavallero (1552)

An early printing of the 42 divine name letter acrostic piyyut, Ana b’Khoaḥ. . . .

על חטא | For the Sin of Destroying God’s Creation by Rabbi Danny Nevins, adapted by Rabbi David Seidenberg (2007)

Eternal God, You created earth and heavens with mercy, and blew the breath of life into animals and human beings. We were created amidst a world of wholeness, a world called “very good,” pure and beautiful, but now your many works are being erased by us from the book of life. . . .

A Love Song to Arabs from a Jew, by Pesach Dahvid Stadlin (2011)

A song in English with Arabic translation, addressed from a Jew living in Jerusalem to his Arab neighbors, locally and regionally during the Arab Spring. . . .

אחרי הצונמי | Prayer in the Wake of the Tsunami by Rabbi Shai Held (2004)

A prayer composed by Rabbi Shai Held in the aftermath of the devastating 2004 Asian Tsunami. . . .

תפילה לנספים בשטפונות | Prayer for Flood Victims (Masorti Movement in Israel)

Flash floods are dangerous in every season, but are rare in the dry season, after most rain and snow are thought to have fallen. Changes in the global climate due to global warming caused by anthropogenic activities such as the burning of fossil fuels and the conversion of land for raising animals for their meat is a significant contributor to extreme weather experienced around the world. The Masorti Movement of Israel’s prayer for flood victims was first published on their website, here. . . .

תפילה למען תושבי/ות אל-עראקיב | A Thanksgiving Day Prayer for the Residents of Al-Araqeeb (قرية العراقيب), by Rabbi Arik Ascherman

How is it that El-Arakib sits alone and desolate, like a widow a seventh time? “The Daughter of Zion has lost her glory.” (Lamentations 1:6) For, while we had dreamed that our state would “Ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or gender,” (Israeli Declaration of Independence) our prayers have not yet been fulfilled. . . .


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