Prayer for the Government, &c. &c.

By The Reverend [Hazzan] Gershom Seixas, Religious Discourse delivered in the Synagogue in This City on Thursday, 26th November, 1789, Agreeable to the Proclamation of the President of the United States of America, to be observed as a day of Public Thanksgiving and Prayer(New York, NY: Shearith Israel Synagogue, 1789) p. 15. 

May he that dispenseth salvation unto kings, and dominion unto princes; whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom; that delivered his servant David from the destructive sword; that maketh a way in the sea, and a path through the mighty waters: Bless, preserve, guard, assist, and supremely exalt to the highest degree, the President and Vice-President of the Union, the Senate and the House of Representatives of the United States of America; the Governor, the Lieutenant Governor, the People of this State represented in the Senate and Assembly, with the Judges and Magistrates of this city; and all Kings and Potentates in alliance with these States.

May the Supreme King of Kings, through his infinite mercies, preserve them, and grant them life, and deliver them from all manner of trouble and danger. May he fix and establish them in their several departments in peace and tranquility. May the Supreme King of Kings implant among them amity, brotherly love and peace. Let not their lips speak evil, nor their tongues utter deceit.

May the Supreme King of Kings, through his infinite mercies, impart his divine wisdom to the Rulers of these States, and grant them a spirit of just counsel, so that they may be enabled to support their determinations with wisdom and judgment; and may peace ever subsist between them and the Kings and Potentates in alliance with them; and establish to them a covenant of peace until time shall be no more, so that national shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they make war anymore. Amen.

Grant it thus, O Lord! for the sake of thy great and ineffable name, and for the sake of thy people, and thine inheritance, who offereth up their supplications to thee whose seat is in heaven, invoking thee to hasten and let thy tender mercies anticipate our prayers, for we are greatly deficient and undeserving; incline thine ear and hearken, and do not despise our unworthiness nor our cry unto thee.

We beseech thee, O most gracious father and merciful King, to whom peace pertaineth, that thou wilt long cause us to enjoy a firm peace and tranquility; and as thou hast been pleased to establish us in peace, so spread over us thy tabernacle of peace everlasting, and speedily effectuate, that among us may be heard “the voice of him who bringeth glad tidings,” announcing that “the redeemer cometh to Zion.” So be it thy will, and we say Amen.


A Prayer by the Hazan (for Thanksgiving)

By The Reverend [Hazzan] Gershom Seixas, Religious Discourse delivered in the Synagogue in This City on Thursday, 26th November, 1789, Agreeable to the Proclamation of the President of the United States of America, to be observed as a day of Public Thanksgiving and Prayer(New York, NY: Shearith Israel Synagogue, 1789) p. 16. 

May the Lord our God be with us, as he was with our fathers; may he never leave us or forsake us; that he may incline our hearts unto him, to walk in all his ways, to keep his commandments, his statutes, and his judgments which he commanded our fathers. And may these my words, wherewith I have made supplication before the Lord, be nigh unto the Lord our God, day and night, that he maintain the cause of his servant, and the cause of his people Israel, at all times, as the matter shall require.

That all the people of the earth may know that the Lord he is God, and none else.

This book of the law shall not depart from thy mouth; and thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then shalt thou make thy way prosperous, and then shalt thou be prudent.

Have I not commanded thee? Be strong and of good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed; for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.

May our Prayers be acceptable before You, Lord our God, our Rock and our Redeemer.

Prayer for a Shaliach Tsibbur before Shacharit on the High Holy Days (excerpt)

Unknown Authorship. Found pasted into a manuscript of Rosh Ha-Shanah nusach by Abraham Baer, dated 1870. Translated by Hinda Tz. Eisen, 2013.

Prayer for Shaliach Tsibbur Privately

God, True King, Shaddai, the Highest Ruler, accept my supplication willingly and with strength of heart. […] Have mercy upon me and hear the prayer which I pray today for myself and for my household and for my witnesses who agree with my prayer. Include my prayer among the righteous and the clean prayers that Israel will make. […] May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable before You, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer, Amen Selah. May it be Your will, O Awesome One, that you will bestow upon me a pleasant and pleasing voice today, and may my voice not give out and my throat not tire; may my voice be pleasant and strong like it says [in Your Torah], “the voice of the Shofar was ever-going and strong.” Amen, Selah.

True Repentance

From Likutei T’fillot for the month of Elul (6:42), based on the teachings of Rebbe Nachman of Breslov. Accessed here on August 13, 2013, p. 38. Translated by Hinda Tzivia Eisen.

Lord my God, my soul very much knows that I am very far from true repentance, for my sins have passed in my head and they have confused my thoughts, so much so that I don’t have any idea how to return to you. The knowledge eludes me and my heart has left me. I walk in this world here and there dejected, without knowledge, and without heart.

Prayer for a Sick Person

From Rabbi Simon Glazer, Techinah: Prayers and Religious Duties for the Daughters of Israel (New York: The Star Hebrew Book Company, 1930), p. 70-72. Adapted by Hinda Tz. Eisen.

Merciful Father of all mankind, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob! I come before You broken down in spirit and body, full of contrition and humility, to pray for the restoration of the health of [name of sick person]. Have compassion upon him/her; let no evil befall me by the misfortune of this dearly beloved member of my family.

You, O Lord, are mighty and righteous in judgment; who am I to advance my cause before Your Throne of Glory? But You, O Lord, know the needs of even Your smallest creature and provide sustenance for it. In Your hand are all living; our souls are Yours; so too our lives; our fate on this earth, and You alone have the right to judge us when our earthly cares no longer trouble our consciousness. In Your hand is the real cure of all sickness; You are the only source of all help and succor. But You did ordain in Your Torah, that when one is sick, medical aid must be given to relieve suffering, to effect a cure and to restore health and vigor.

May the doctor, under whose care the sick person now is, be Your true messenger of mercy and bring the proper remedy to this member of my family. […] May I be deserving to receive Your blessings for complete healing to this member of my family, speedily. Amen.

Prayer for the Government

From the Jewish Welfare Board, Abridged Prayer Book for Jews in the Armed Forces of the United States (Philadelphia, PA: Jewish Publication Society Press, 1941), p. 107. Adapted by Hinda Tz. Eisen.

May He who is the source of all good gifts bless all those assembled here and be with all the members of their families and their households; may He prosper and help them in their needs and guide them in their difficulties. May He hear the prayers of all who worship Him in truth, comfort the sorrowing, and cheer the silent sufferers. May God reward with the joy of goodness the charitable and the merciful who aid the poor, care for the sick, teach the ignorant, and stretch forth their helping hand to those who have lost their way in this world.

Fervently we invoke Your benediction for this our country and our nation. Guard them, O God, from calamity and injury; may their adversaries not triumph over them, but the glories of a just, righteous, and God-fearing people increase from age to age. Enlighten and sustain with Your power those whom the people have set in authority: the President and his counsellors and advisers, the judges, law-givers, and executives, and all those who are entrusted with our safety and with the preservation of our rights and liberties. may peace and good will obtain amongst all the citizens of our land; may religion spread its blessings among us, and exalt our nation in righteousness. Amen.