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) 

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Pope Francis's Prayer for Our Earth – in Hebrew and English

Pope Francis ends Laudato Si, his encyclical on climate change, with two prayers, one for all people, and one specifically for Christians. Not surprisingly, the prayer for all people has lots of resonance with Jewish liturgy, and it very naturally translates itself into Hebrew. I initally made this translation, which includes elements from the High Holiday liturgy, for Rosh Hashanah, but it stands as a prayer we can use all year round. It is a fitting tribute to Pope Francis, who is doing so much to focus our world on what truly matters and to reach out to all people of all faiths to work together, that we should bring this prayer into the synagogue.

Read the prayer below, and download the pdf in two-column format here.

You can also get Neohasid's Prayer for the Earth, with commentary and explanation, here.


תְּפִילַת הָאָרֶץ

אֵל עֶליוֹן, הָאֵל הַגָּדוֹל וְהַגִּבּוֹר
אַתָּה הוּא מְלֹא כָּל הָאָרֶץ
וּכְבוֹדְךָ מָלֵא עוֹלָם
וְכָּל הַבְּרִיוֹת עַד הַקָּטָן שֶׁבַּהֶן
אַתָּה מַחֲזִיק וּמַחֲסֶה
כָּל הַנִמְצָאִים בְּחֶמְלָה

שְׁפוֹךְ עָלֵינוּ כֹּחַ אַהֲבָתֶךָ
לְמַעַן נִשְׁמֹר עָל הָחֲיִים וְנוֹעָם תִּפְאָרְתוֹ
מִלֵאנוּ בְּשַׁלְוָה, וְשִׂים שָׁלוֹם עָלֵינוּ
שֶׁנֵשֵׁב כְּאַחִים וְאֳחָיוֹת יָחַד
שֶׁלֹא יֵרַע אַף אֶחָד

אֱלֹהֵי הַדַּלִּים וְהַיָּתוֹם וְהָאֲלְמָנָה
תֵּן כֹּחַ בְּיָדֵינוֹ לְהַצִּיל
הָעֲזוּבִים וְהַפְּלִיטִים בְּאֶרֶץ תֵּבֵל
שֶׁהֵשֶׁהֵם יְקָרִים בְּעֵינֶיךָ

שְׁלַח רְפוּאָה לְנַפְשֵׁנוּ בַּחַיִּים
וְאַז נָגֵן הָעוֹלָם
וְלֹא נִדְלַק בַּעוֹלָם
וְאַז נִזְרָע תִּפְאֶרֶת הָחֲיִים
וְלֹא הַשְׁחָתָה וְהַשְׁמָדָה

פְּתַח לֵבָב כָּל בּוֹצֵעַ
לַחֲטוֹף הָעֲנִי וְהָאָדָמָה
לָמַּדֵנוּ לְגַלּוֹת
מַעֲלַת הַבּורֵא בְּכָל הַנִּבְרָאִים
לִהְיוֹת מָלֵא יִרְאָה וְהִתְבּונְנוּת
לְהַכִּיר שֶׁנֵעֲשׂוּ אֲגֻדָּה אַחַת
עִם כָּל הַבְּרִיוֹת, בְּדָרְכֵנוּ
לְהַגִּיעַ אֶל אוֹר הָאֵין סוֹף

נוֹדֶה לְךָ הַשׁוֹכֵן בְּתוֹכֵנוּ
שֶׁאַתָּה עִמָּנוּ תָּמִיד בְּכָל יוֹם
אַנָא תּוֹמְכֵנוּ
לַעֲשׂוֹת רְצוֹנְךָ בְּלֵבָב שָׁלֵם
לִרדוֹף צֶדֶק בְּרִיבֵנוּ
לְהָבִיא מִשְׁפָּט אַהָבָה וְשָׁלוֹם 

A prayer for our earth

All-powerful God, great and mighty
You are present in the whole universe
and Your glory fills the world even unto the smallest of Your creatures.
You embrace and shelter
with Your tenderness all that exists.

Pour out upon us the power of Your love,
that we may protect life and its beauty.
Fill us with peace, and settle peace upon us
that we may live as brothers and sisters,
harming no one.

O God of the poor, orphan, and widow,
help us to rescue
the abandoned and forgotten of this earth,
so precious in Your eyes.

Bring healing to our lives,
that we may protect the world
and not prey on it,
that we may sow life’s beauty,
not pollution and destruction.

Touch the hearts of those who look for gain
at the expense of the poor and the earth.
Teach us to discover
the divine worth of each thing,
to be filled with awe and contemplation,
to recognize that we are profoundly united
with every creature, as we journey
towards Your infinite light.

We thank you who dwells within us
for being with us each day.
Encourage us, we pray,
to do Your will with a whole heart
to pursue righteousness in our struggle
for justice, love and peace.



Design in progress © Rabbi David Mevorach Seidenberg 2006