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Prayers for Israel

January 25, 2024

In his Shabbat sermon on November 3, 2023, Cantor Dan Mutlu shared songs of strength and hope, including "Ein Li Eretz Acheret" ("I Have No Other Country") by Ehud Manor, "Chai" ("I Am Alive") by Ehud Manor and Avi Toledano, and "Bring Him Home" by Claude-Michel Schönberg, Alain Boublil, and Jean-Marc Natel. During Shabbat on November 24, he sang "V'hi She'amda" ("This is the Promise") from the Passover Hagaddah as a poignant reminder of God's eternal promise of liberation.

Weekly prayer for the hostages

Central Clergy recite this prayer during services for those being held in captivity:

May the One who blessed our ancestors bless, protect and guard those missing in action or held captive.  We, the members of this holy congregation pray, on their behalf.  May the Holy One have compassion on them and bring them out from darkness and the shadow of death.  May God break their bonds, deliver them from their distress and bring them swiftly back to their families’ embrace.  Amen.

Prayer for the State of Israel by Rabbi Ayelet Cohen

מְקוֹר הַחַיִּים עוֹשֶׂה פֶלֶא
בָּרֵךְ אֶת מְדִינַת יִשְׂרָאֵל
וְאֶת כׇּל תּוֹשָׁבֵי הָאָרֶץ
הָגֵן עָלֶיהָ בְּאֶבְרַת חַסְדֶּךָ
וּפְרוֹשׂ עָלֶיהָ סֻכַּת שְׁלוֹמֶךָ
חַזֵּק אֶת לִבּוֹת אֶזְרָחֶיהָ
רוֹדְפֵי הַצֶּדֶק וְהַדֵּמוֹ קְרַטְיָה
שֶׁיַּעֲבִיר וּקוֹלָם
:כְּשׁוֹפָר בְּכׇל הָאָרֶץ


Source of life, Maker of wonders
bless the State of Israel
and all the inhabitants of the land.
Protect her with infinite compassion;
spread over her your shelter of peace.
Strengthen the hearts and the will of its citizens
calling out for justice and democracy.
May their voices ring out
like a shofar throughout the land.

צְמִיחַת גְּאֻלָּתֵנוּ
תֵּן בְּיָדָם לִנְטֹעַ מֵחָדָשׁ אֶת אֲשֶׁר נֶעֱקַר,
לְהַשְׁקוֹת אֶת אֲשֶׁר נָבַל
לְמַעַן יִפְרְחוּ וִישַׂגְשְׂגוּ שְׁתִילֵי הַבְטָחוֹת
מִקְלָט וְשִׁוְיוֹן,
אַל־תִּתֵּן לַמּוֹט רַגְלֵיהֶם,
:שֶׁלֹא יָנוּמוּ וְלֹא יִישְׁנוּ בָּרֵךְ אוֹתָם
           A budding redemption,
help them replant what has been uprooted
and tend what has been neglected
so the seedling promises of refuge and equality
blossom and thrive.
May their feet not give way;
let them not tire nor slumber nor succumb to fear.
חִזְקוּ וְאִמְצוּ, אַל־תִּירְאוּ
לְמַעַן עָתִיד מְשֻׁתָּף
:לְכׇל מִי שֶׁהָאָרֶץ הַזֹּאת הִיא בֵּיתוֹ
           Grant strength and courage —
nurture a shared future
for all who call the land home.
הָרוֹפֵא לִשְׁבוּרֵי לֵב
נְצֹר אֶת תִּקְווֹתֵינוּ
עֲזֹר לָנוּ לַחְגֹּג אֶת הַנֵּס
בַּהֲקָמַת מְדִינַת יִשְׂרָאֵל
עֲזֹר לָנוּ לְהִתְאַבֵּל עַל מָה שֶׁאָבַד
:בְּהַגְשָׁמַת חֲלוֹמֵנוּ
          Healer of the broken-hearted,
sustain our hope.
Help us celebrate what was and is miraculous
in Israel’s founding.
Help us grieve all that has been lost
in the realization of that dream.
יְהִי רָצוֹן שֶׁנִּהְיֶה אֲמִיצִים וְכֵנִים מַסְפִּיק
:לְהָכִיל אֶת הַשְּׁבָרִים בַּשָׁלֵם
           May we be strong enough and honest enough
to carry the shattered along with the whole.
יְהִי רָצוֹן שֶׁאַהֲבָתֵנוּ וּדְבֵקוּתֵנוּ
בַּחֲזוֹן הַנְּבִיאִים
תַּעֲמֹדְנָה כִּדְבַשׁ מִסֶּלַע
:וּכְשֶׁמֶן מֵחַלְמִישׁ צוּר
           May our love and our commitment
to the vision of the Prophets
endure like honey from the crag
and oil from the flinty rock.
יְהִי רָצוֹן שֶׁנִּזְכֶּה לִהְיוֹת שֻׁתָּפִים עִם אֱלֹהִים
וְעִם כׇּל תּוֹשָׁבֵיהָ אָרֶץ
:לְקַיֵּם וּלְהָגֵן עַל שָׁלוֹם וְצֶדֶק וְשִׂמְחַת עוֹלָם
           May we be partners with the Divine
and with all the inhabitants of the land
in establishing and protecting justice, peace and joy.

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