בסיעתא דשמיא

תפילה לשלום המדינה | Prayer for the Peace of the State of Israel, by Rabbi David Seidenberg (neohasid.org)

Proposed flag of the Judenstaat (Jewish State) by Theodor Herzl. As he wrote: "White field, seven golden stars."

The familiar prayer for the State of Israel, which is more literally titled “a Prayer for Peace for the State” tefilah lish’lom hamedinah, was written in 1948 by Rabbi Yitsḥak haLevi Hertzog (edited by S.Y. Agnon) in what had up until then been Palestine, in a time of war. The state was under direct attack by the Arab armies, and there was little distinction between peace, survival, and victory. As we approach Israel’s 70th birthday, it is time to make such distinctions. Israel and the Jewish people live in a much more complex reality today, where the triumph of one political party or set of goals can radically change the outlook for peace, and the possibility of justice. In our time, praying for peace for the state of Israel mist include praying for the rectification of its relationships with neighboring countries and with the Palestinian people, some of whom are Israeli citizens, and most of whom are in some way under Israel’s control. This prayer assumes that the best reality for the Jewish state is also the best reality for all of her citizens and for everyone who lives “in the land,” no matter where they are in relation to the Green Line or Areas A, B and C. . . .

קינה | Kinah/lamentation, by Aryeh Cohen (2004)

The yahrzeit of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzḥak Rabin, assassinated on 4 November 1995, is י״א בְּמַרחֶשְׁוָן (11 Marḥeshvan). . . .

תפילת המדינה | Prayer for the State [of Israel], by S.Y. Agnon (1948)

In September 1948, while editing Rabbi Yitshak haLevi Hertzog’s new Prayer for the Welfare of the State of Israel, S.Y. Agnon (1888-1970) drafted this adaptation. . . .

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

The Prayer for the Welfare of the State of Israel was composed by Rabbi Yitsḥak haLevi Hertzog, edited by S.Y. Agnon, and first published in the newspaper Ha-Tsofeh on 20 September 1948. . . .

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.” . . .

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. . . .

סדר לקריאת מגילת העצמאות | Reading of the Israeli Declaration of Independence for Yom Ha’atsma’ut

Jews have read sacred texts to commemorate miracles of redemption for a long time. Purim has Megilat Esther. Many communities read Megilat Antiochus or Megilat Yehudit for Chanukah. But to many modern Jews, the most miraculous redemption in recent history was the founding of the state of Israel, as we commemorate on Yom haAtzmaut. Like Purim, the story of the founding of Israel was entirely secular on a surface level, with no big showy miracles like a sea splitting or a mountain aflame. Like Chanukah, a Jewish state in the land of Israel won its independence against mighty forces allied in opposition. But we don’t have a megillah to read for Yom haAtzmaut. Or do we? Just as Megillat Esther is said to be a letter written by Mordekhai to raise awareness of the events of Shushan, so too does the Israeli Scroll of Independence, Megilat haAtzmaut, raise awareness of the events of the founding of the State of Israel. In this vein, I decided to create a cantillation system for Megilat haAtzmaut. Ta’amei miqra were chosen attempting to follow Masoretic grammatical rules – since modern Hebrew has a different grammatical structure, the form is somewhat loose. Because of the thematic similarities to Purim, I chose Esther cantillation for the majority of the text. Just as some tragic lines in Esther are read in Eikhah cantillation, some lines regarding the Shoah or bearing grim portents for the wars to follow are to be sung in Eikhah cantillation. And the final phrases of chapters II and III are to be sung in the melody for the end of a book of the Chumash, or the Song of the Sea melody. They can be done in a call-and-response form, with the community reading and the reader repeating. . . .

על הניסים ליום העצמאות | Al Hanissim for Yom Ha’atsma’ut, by Amos Ḥakham z”l

Hebrew Contribute a translation על הניסים ועל הפורקן ועל הגבורות ועל המלחמות ועל התשועות ועל הנפלאות שעשית לעמך בימים ההם בזמן הזה. בימים אשר שארית פליטת ישראל עם שרידי חרב הצר והאויב מצא מנוח בארץ אשר נשבעת לאבותינו לתת לנו ונוספו על בני ישראל היושבים שם מלפנים, יחד כולם ביקשו לפרוק מעליהם עול מלכות . . .

תפילה למדינת ישראל | Prayer for the State of Israel by Rabbi Dr. Aryeh Cohen (2002)

My heart, my heart goes out to you Zion Tears, jubilation, celebration, grieving Did we not dream a dream that came to be? And here it is—both song and lament. . . .

תפילה לישראל | A Prayer for Israel, by Rabbi Nahum Waldman z”l (2004)

This prayer for Israel was written by Rabbi Naḥum Waldman (1931-2004) for T’ruah: the Rabbinic Call for Human Rights. T’ruah works to ensure that Israel remains a safe and secure home for Jews and a place that lives up to the ideal stated in the State of Israel’s 1948 Declaration of Independence that Israel “will foster the development of the country for all of its inhabitants; it will be based on freedom, justice, and peace as envisaged by the prophets of Israel; it will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex.” . . .

תפילות לבחירות | Prayers for the Elections, by Noa Mazor and Rabbi Oded Mazor

ההכרזה על יום הבחירות בנויה על נוסח ברכת החודש, ומיועדת להיאמר בשחרית של שבת לפני הבחירות. קהילות שאינן נוהגות להתפלל בשחרית מוזמנות להשתמש בתפילה בתפילת קבלת שבת של אותה השבת. נכתב על ידי הרב עודד מזור.‏ . . .

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. . . .

The Last Tisha b’Av: A Tale of New Temples, by Rabbi Arthur Ocean Waskow and Rabbi Phyllis Ocean Berman (2006)

Long ago there came a Ḥassid, visiting from Vitebsk to see his Rebbe. Struggling up hills, over cobblestones, through narrow alleyways, the Ḥassid came panting, shaking, to the door of a pale and quiet synagogue. So pale, so quiet was this shul that the pastel paintings on the wall and ceiling stood out as though they were in vivid primary colors. As the Ḥassid came into the shul, he saw his Rebbe high on a make-shift ladder, painting a picture on the ceiling above the bimah. . . .

תפילת לשלום החיילים | Prayer on Behalf of the Jewish Soldier Going into Battle by Rabbi Dr. Nathan Lopes Cardozo

Bring our soldiers home from the battlefields, alive and unharmed in their own merit and in the merit of their wives, children and parents, so that they can sanctify Your name Let the blessing which You gave to Avraham come true “And through you all the families of the Earth will be blessed” For this is our hope . . .

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. . . .

תחנון לימים קשים | Taḥanun [Plea for Mercy] on Hard Days by Noa Mazor (trans. by Jonah Rank)

Lord, our God, bring us days of good, of mercy, of life and of peace. Give our leaders the capability to see the natural sanctity embedded in every person. Give us the ability to trust human beings fighting for their way, for their lives–for our lives. Lord, lay us down along Your path–a path for loving humanity as humanity, a path for welcoming peace between neighbors: between humanity and pain. . . .

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. . . .

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— . . .

תפילה יהודית ליום הנכבה | A Jewish Prayer for Nakba Day (يوم النكبة) by Sarah M.

Our God, and God of our ancestors, who answered Abraham when his son was bound on the altar, who remembered Sarah’s prayers in her tent for a child, and who found Hagar in the wilderness on the road to Shur, and who heard the cries of her child in the wilderness of Beer Shava, may He remember our Palestinian brothers and sisters who were killed, who were expelled, who fled, who were not allowed to return home, and those who are still at risk of losing their homes. . . .

תשעה באב | Prayer for Tisha b’Av by Reb Zalman Schachter-Shalomi z”l (translated by Gabbai Seth Fishman)

During the time before there was a State of Israel, those ideals in our hearts which we tried to practice and which we wanted others to practice, seemed not achievable where we were because, we felt we had no influence over our world where we were. And so, the longing for our homeland was tied into the longing for our dreams and our vision. Now that the state of Israel is with us, our dreams and our visions still remain distant from our lives and therefore when we say the Tisha B’av prayers we need to remind ourselves of the distance between that which we would have in this world and that which we do have. . . .

על הניסים ליום העצמאות | Al HaNissim on the State of Israel’s Independence Day by Josh Weinberg

We THANK YOU for the miracles, for the redemption, for the mighty deeds and saving acts, brought about by You, and for the wars which You waged for US in this time. On the 5th day of the month of Iyar 5708, at the moment of declaration of the establishment of the State of Israel, the People of Israel gained sovereignty on its land and control over its destiny. The miracle of the establishment of a Jewish State is the first flowering of our redemption. The State arrives through a strong historical and traditional connection as the Jews through each generation strived to return and stand firm on their ancient homeland. In the recent generations they have returned to their land en masse as pioneers, clandestine immigrants, and defenders, they made the deserts bloom, revived their ancient Hebrew language, built towns and cities, and established a growing community in control over its own culture and economy. Born is a nation that seeks peace, defends itself, and brings the blessing of progress to all of its citizens. This is the day which the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it! As it is written: “For I will take you from among the nations, and gather you out of all the countries, and will bring you into your own land.” (Ezekiel 36:24). And to your people Israel who you provided salvation and relief to this day, You helped us to overcome nations and marched us over peoples, and delivered our inheritance which is now the State of Israel. In its accordance this State will be open for Jewish immigration and for the Ingathering of the Exiles; it will foster the development of the country for the benefit of all its inhabitants; it will be based on freedom, justice and peace as envisaged by the prophets of Israel; it will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex; it will guarantee freedom of religion, conscience, language, education and culture; it will safeguard the Holy Places of all religions. “Peace be within your walls, and prosperity within your palaces” (Psalms 122:7). . . .

תפילה (ישראלית) לפני הכניסה לקלפי (למאמין וללא מאמין)‏ | Prayer before entering the voting booth in Israel (for believers and non-believers)

May it be the will [before the Lord our God and the God of our ancestors] that this ticket which I am placing in my ballot will join thousands of other tickets that will promise reasoned leadership that will strengthen democratic values, aspire towards peace with our neighbors, separate religion and state, be concerned with the weak and protect the laborers, fight corruption and exercise leadership through personal role modeling. May it be the will [before the Lord our God and the God of our ancestors] that the nation sitting in Zion will merit years of freedom, quiet, productivity, education and good health and that our children may never fear at all. . . .

Prayer for Entering the Knesset by Dr. Chaim Hames-Ezra (2013)

May it be Your will, Lord our God, God of our fathers and mothers, that I leave this house as I entered it – at peace with myself and with others. May my actions benefit all residents of the State of Israel. May I work to improve the society that sent me to this chamber and cause a just peace to dwell among us and with our neighbors. May I always remember that I am a messenger of the public and that I must take care to keep my integrity and innocence intact. May I, and we, succeed in all our endeavors. . . .

תפילה לבוחר טרם הבחירות | A Prayer for Voters Before the Elections by Rabbi Esteban Gottfried

רִבּוֹן כָּל הַמַעֳשִים, אַתָּה חוֹנֵן לְאָדָם דֲּעַת וּמְלַמֵּד לֶאֶנוֹש בִּינָה. חָנֵּנוּ מֵאִתְּךָ חָכְמָה, בִּינָה וְהַשְכֵּל בּעֶת מִילוּי זְכוּתֶנו וְחוֹבַתֵנוּ הַאֶזְרַחִית לִבְחוֹר אֶת מַנְהִיגֵינו.‏ . . .

מי שברך לחיילי צה”ל | Mi Sheberakh Prayer for the Welfare of Israel Defense Forces Soldiers, amended by Dr. Alex Sinclair (2012)

May the Lord give our soldiers wisdom, understanding, and insight, so that they do not destroy the righteous with the wicked, as it is written in Your Torah: “Far be it from you to do such a thing, to kill the righteous with the wicked, treating them the same. Far be it from you – should the Judge of all the Earth not do justice?” (Genesis 18:25) . . .

תפילה למדינת ישראל | Prayer for the State of Israel by Rabbi Arik Ascherman (2008)

Sovereign of the Universe, accept in lovingkindness and with favor our prayers for the State of Israel, her government and all who dwell within her boundries and under her authority. Reopen our eyes and our hearts to the wonder of Israel and strengthen our faith in Your power to work redemption in every human soul. Grant us also the fortitude to keep ever before us those ideals to which Israel dedicated herself in her Declaration of Independence, so that we may be true partners with the people of Israel in working toward her as yet not fully fulfilled vision. . . .

על הניסים ליום העצמאות | Al Hanissim for Yom ha’Atsmaut: Theological and Liturgical Reflections by Yehonatan Chipman

Every year on Yom ha-Atzmaut I feel a certain sense of frustration about its liturgy, and the failure of Religious Zionism to shape the holiday into one that would make a clear and definite religious statement. The “festive” prayer for Yom ha-Atzmaut is a hotchpotch of Yom Kippur, Kabbalat Shabbat, Shabbat Mevarkhim, and Pesaḥ. One gets a sense that there is an avoidance of hard issues. Even such a simple thing as saying Hallel with a blessing is not yet self-evident, but a subject of constant debate. Every year, there seem to be more leading rabbis, who adopt crypto-Ḥaredi stances, issuing pronunciamentos as to why one must not enter into the doubt of saying a brakha levatala, an unnecessary blessing, in this case. (As I was typing these words, I was interrupted by a phone call from a friend with this very question!) Bimhila mikvodam (no affront to the honor due them intended), but what on earth do they think the Talmud is talking about when it says that “On every occasion that Israel are in distress and then delivered, they are to recite the Hallel” (Pesaḥim 116a), if not the likes of Yom ha-Atzmaut? . . .

תפילת ט״וּ בִּשְׁבָט | A Tu Bishvat Prayer for Trees, 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. . . .

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. . . .

באנו חשך לגרש | Banu Ḥoshekh l’Garesh, by Sara Levi-Tanai (1960)

Some might seem surprised that this work isn’t in the Public Domain simply by virtue of the song’s popularity. Translations of Banu Ḥoshekh L’garesh are not uncommon despite the apparent lack of translation rights provided to translators. This all underlines how copyright is regularly ignored in the living practice of creative cultures. And yet, copyright law and the protections it affords are ignored at the peril of a copyrighted work’s remixers, publishers, translators, and other creatives. Both the song and an anonymous English translation are here being provided as an example for this article on copyright under Fair Use. Each individual contribution to our collective intellectual commons may be small, but together, our contributions will make a tremendous resource for a renewed vibrant living and creative culture. . . .

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. . . .


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