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Three Alternative Versions of the Prayer for the State of Israel

Jewish communities, in Israel and abroad, pray for the State of Israel all year round hoping for peace in the Middle East, a stable government that will provide its citizens safety, a flourishing economy and more. It is customary to add a prayer for Israel at the end of the Shaharit (morning) service.

There are many versions of this prayer, not only because of the various denominations of Judaism, but also as a result of the different hopes for which people want to pray. Here are three versions of a prayer for the State of Israel: from our siddur Kol Haneshamah: Shabbat Vehagim, from Avoda She-balev, the siddur of the Israel Movement for Progressive Judaism and from the Shtibl Minyan in Los Angeles

Kol Haneshamah: Shabbat Vehagim
(Siddur of the Reconstructionist Movement)

TEFILAH LIMDINAT YISRAEL / PRAYER FOR THE STATE OF ISRAEL

Rock and champion of Israel, please bless the state of Israel, first fruit of the flourishing of the fruit of our redemption. Guard it in the abundance of your love. Spread over it the shelter of your peace. Send forth your light and truth to those who lead and judge it, and to those who hold elective office. Establish in them, through your presence, wise counsel, that they might walk in the way of justice, freedom and integrity. Strengthen the hands of those who guard our holy land. Let them inherit salvation and life. And give peace to the land, and perpetual joy to its inhabitants. Appoint for a blessing all our kindred of the house of Israel in all the lands of their dispersion. Plant in their hearts a love of Zion. And for all our people everywhere, may God be with them, and may they have the opportunity to go up to the land. Cause your spirit’s influence to emanate upon all dwellers of our holy land. Remove from their midst hatred and enmity, jealousy and wickedness. Plant in their hearts love and kinship, peace and friendship. And soon fulfill the vision of your prophet: “Nation shall not lift up sword against nation. Let them no longer learn ways of war.”
And let us say: Amen.

Graphic shows the Hebrew text of the Prayer for State of Israel from the Kol Haneshamah: Shabbat Vehagim.

Avoda She-balev (Siddur of the Israel Movement for Progressive Judaism)

PRAYER FOR THE PEACE OF ISRAEL

Our Divine Guardian, Rock and Redeemer of Israel, bless the State of Israel, the beginning of our redemption. Shield it beneath the wings of Your steadfast love and spread over it the shelter of Your peace. May a spark of Your spirit inspire the actions of its President, Prime Minister, officials, judges and advisors that they may follow the path of righteousness, liberty and freedom. Strengthen the hands of those who build and protect our Holy Land and grant them salvation and life. Grant peace to this land and everlasting joy to its inhabitants.

Be near to all the people of Israel throughout the lands of their dispersion. Plant within their hearts the love of Zion, and may those of our people are so inspired come to Jerusalem, Your city, which bears Your name. Spread Your spirit over all the inhabitants of our land. Uproot hatred, jealousy and evil; plant in our heart love and brotherhood, peace and friendship. And speedily fulfill the version of Your prophet: Nation will not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn more any more. Lo yi-sa goi el goi che-rev, lo yil-du od mil-cha-ma.

And let us say: Amen.

Graphic shows the Hebrew text of the Prayer for the Peace of Israel from the siddur of the Progressive movement in Israel.

Shtibl Minyan of Los Angeles

Perhaps the most recently composed prayer for Israel is one created in 2002 by members of the Shtibl Minyan in Los Angeles. They saw their challenge as staying true to their political principles, while expressing their support for Israel. You can read more about this prayer and see the text in Hebrew on the Shtibl Minyan’s website. Or you can also read an article about the story of this prayer’s development in the Forward.

PRAYER FOR THE PEACE OF ISRAEL

Please God, Bless the state of Israel/Please God, Mercifully receive our prayer for the state of Israel and its government.

Guard it in the abundance of your love. Spread over it the shelter of your peace. Send forth your light and truth to those who lead and judge it, to those who hold elective office and those who defend it. Strengthen them and establish in them, through your presence, wise counsel, that they might walk in the way of justice, freedom, and integrity.

Give peace to the land and perpetual joy to its inhabitants.

Appoint for a blessing all our kindred of the house of Israel in all the lands of our dispersion. Plant in our hearts a love of Zion.

And for all our people everywhere, may God be with them and may they have the opportunity to go up to the land.

Cause your spirit’s influence to emanate upon all dwellers of our holy land. Remove from their midst hatred and enmity, jealousy and wickedness. Plant in their hearts love and kinship, peace and friendship.

And soon fulfill the vision of your prophet, “Nation shall not lift up sword against nation. Let them learn no longer ways of war.”

And let us say: Amen.

Type: Ritual