The Baal Shem Tov, or Besht —  the founder of Chasidism — 
met the soul of the Messiah during an ascent to heaven. 
The Besht asked him, "When will the Master come?" 
The Messiah answered, "When your wellsprings break forth to the outside!" 
(from a letter written by the Besht to his brother-in-law about one of his soul ascents) 


 

A prayer for the land and state of Israel, for our times

Get the PDF or DOC in two formats (with commentary, or 2 per page)

The traditional 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 the chief rabbis of 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.

It is long past time to make such distinctions. Israel and the Jewish people live in a much more complex reality, a democratic reality, where the triumph of one political party or set of goals can change the outlook for peace, and the possibility of justice. In our time, praying for peace for Israel must include praying for the rectification of its relationships with neighboring countries, and with the Palestinian people, some of whom are Israeli citizens, and the majority of whom are in some way under Israel’s control. And in light of the protests against right-wing judicial reforms and threats to minority rights and dignity, it's all the more important to prayer for Israel's democracy.

This prayer does that. It also imagines and presumes 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.

  • Read more about this prayer on The Times of Israel
  • Get an RTF of the prayer that you can easily adapt to your own layout or revise -- this also includes a rewrite of the 11th and 12th blessings of the Amidah about supporting justice and righteous rulers and judges, and about fighting enmity and division and attacks on democracy.
  • You will also find a version of this prayer on opensiddur.org and on Ritualwell, along with many other alternative prayers for Israel.
Coexistence

I wore a button like this through the 80's. I don't know if a two-state solution is still possible, but what is not possible is a forever occupation.

The text of the prayer:

Our Nurturer / Our Parent, in heaven and on Earth, Rock of Israel and its redeemer, bless the land of Israel and with it the state of Israel, so that the State of Israel may become the beginning of the flowering of our redemption.

Shield her with Your embrace of love and spread over her Your sukkah-shelter of peace, and send Your light and Your righteousness to her heads, ministers, advisers, and to the nation that elects them, and to her judges, may they be stalwart to bring Justice, and strengthen the voice of those who support democracy. Align them all with the divine spirit of justice, as it says, Zion through justice will be redeemed, and her captives, through righteousness. (Isaiah 1:27)

Rescue all of Your land, from the Jordan River to the sea, from the spilling of blood, and all residing and sojourning there, under every government, from haters without and hatred within.* Grant peace and abundance and healing throughout the land, and secure calm to her defenders, lasting joy to all her inhabitants, and real hope for all her peoples. And let us say: Amen.

* During the pandemic, I have sometimes added here: "and from plague and from famine and from being exiled" - mimageifah umira'av umihaglayah. (For the latter I would have in mind a new exile that could be brought on by negating the Torah's covenant, which is based on respecting the land, the poor and the stranger, as well as the exile of Palestinians from their land.) In response to the current protests for democracy and against anti-democratic illiberal "reforms", I added here: "Send Your light and Your righteousness...to her judges, may they be stalwart to bring Justice, and strengthen the voice of those who support democracy." (See Hebrew in the right column of this page.)

  

אֹמְנֵנוּ | אָבִינוּ שֶׁבַּשָּׁמַיִם וּבָאָרֶץ
צוּר יִשְׂרָאֵל וְגוֹאֲלוֹ, בָּרֵךְ אֶת אֶרֶץ יִשְׂרָאֵל,
וגם מדינת ישראל כְּדֵי שֶׁתְּהֵא לְרֵאשִׁית צְמִיחַת גְּאֻלָּתֵנוּ

הָגֵן עָלֶיהָ בְּאֶבְרַת חַסְדֶּךָ
וּפְרֹשׂ עָלֶיהָ סֻכַּת שְׁלוֹמֶךָ
וּשְׁלַח אוֹרְךָ וְצִדְקֶךָ לְרָאשֶׁיהָ שָׂרֶיהָ יוֹעֲצֶיהָ
וְלַלְּאוֹם שֶׁבּוֹחֵר בָּם
וּלְשׁוֹפְטֶיהָ, שֶׁיִהְיוּ אֵיתָנִים לִשְׁפֹט צֶדֶק
וְחָזֵק קוֹל תוֹמְכֵי הַדֶּמוֹקְרָטִיָה
תַקֵּן כֻּלָם בְּרוּחַ מִשְׁפָּט מִלְּפָנֶיךָ
שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר ״צִיּוֹן בְּמִשְׁפָּט תִּפָּדֶה וְשָׁבֶיהָ בִּצְדָקָה.״

הָצֵל נָא אֶת כָּל אַרְצֶךָ בֵּין יַרְדֵּן לַיָּם
מִשְּׁפִיכוּת דָּמִים
וְכָל הַיּוֹשְׁבִים בָּהּ תַּחַת כָּל שִׁלְטוֹן
מִשׂוֹנְאִים בַּחוּץ וּמִשִּׂנְאָה בִּפְנִים
וְנָתַתָּ שָׁלוֹם וְשֶׁפַע בְּכָל בָּאָרֶץ
וְשַׁלְוָה לִמְגִנֶיהָ
שִׂמְחַת עוֹלָם לְכָל יוֹשְׁבֶיהָ
וְתִקְוָה טוֹבָה לְכָל עַמֶּיהָ
וְנֹאמַר אָמֵן




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Design in progress © Rabbi David Mevorach Seidenberg 2006