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☞   Lincoln’s Birthday (February 12th)

This is an archive of prayers and elegies composed for President Abraham Lincoln’s Birthday celebrated as a civic holiday in the United States.

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For public readings selected for Lincoln’s Birthday, go here.

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

A civic prayer for the Sabbath occurring during Brotherhood Week (February 19th-28th) in the United States. . . .

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

This opening prayer-essay for Lincoln’s Birthday, “The Significance of the Day,” was first published in The Faith of America: Readings, Songs, and Prayers for the Celebration of American Holidays (Jewish Reconstructionist Foundation 1951) — as preface to a number of readings selected by Mordecai Kaplan, Eugene Kohn, and J. Paul Williams for the day. . . .

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

“That Religion Be Not a Cloak for Hypocrisy,” by Rabbi Mordecai Menaḥem Kaplan can be found on p. 435-5 of his The Sabbath Prayer Book (New York: The Jewish Reconstructionist Foundation, 1945). . . .

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

This prayer by Rabbi Mordecai M. Kaplan, first penned in his diary for 23 August 1942, was first published in The Radical American Judaism of Mordecai M. Kaplan, by Mel Scult (1990). Although the prayer was not included in Kaplan’s Sabbath Prayer Book (New York: The Jewish Reconstructionist Foundation, 1945), it was added to the loose-leaf prayerbook he kept at the Society for the Advancement of Judaism synagogue. . . .

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)

An elegy by Walt Whitman for President Abraham Lincoln after his assassination, in English with Hebrew translation. . . .

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

Walt Whitman’s famous poem eulogizing President Abraham Lincoln after his assassination, in English with Hebrew translation. . . .

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

Walt Whitman’s famous poem eulogizing President Abraham Lincoln after his assassination, in English with Yiddish translation. . . .

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)

Walt Whitman’s famous poem eulogizing President Abraham Lincoln after his assassination, in English with Yiddish translation. . . .

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

This prayer by Stephen Vincent Benét (1898-1943) was first publicly read in 1942 in the course of a United Nations Day speech by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. . . .

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

Exalted are you Lincoln. Who is like you! You were highly respected among Kings and Princes. All that you accomplished you did with a humble spirit. You are singular and cannot be compared to anyone else. Who among the great are like Lincoln? Who can be praised like you? . . .

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

A hymn by the abolitionist Harriet Beecher Stowe, included in the hymnal of Congregation Adath Jeshurun in Philadelphia in 1926. . . .

Three stanzas adapted from “Worship,” a poem by John Greenleaf Whittier (1848)

A hymn for peace and the end of war. . . .