#JusticeBlessings: A Shmoneh Esreh for Israel

T’ruah haverim/ot were invited to offer a blessing for Israel on the theme of one of the blessings of the weekday Amidah. Their compiled contributions form this 19-part prayer for Israel, which we offered aloud at the Yom Ha’Atzmaut celebration, May 12, 2016/4 Iyyar, 5776.


Mekor Chayim, Source of courage and loving-kindness for our ancestors in every generation, help us be worthy trustees for their dreams of a home which is safe, free, and just.  
Baruch Atah Adonai, magen Avraham v’ezrat Sarah.

—Rabbi Marc Margolius


In love, you sustain all living beings,
You lift up those who are bent down in despair,
You attend to our broken hearts,
You have the power to release us from anger and vengefulness.
Who can compare to you God?
You are the Source of life and death, granting Your faithful ones to choose between the blessing and the curse.  
You animate all life and challenge us to live in ways that sustain goodness.
Baruch Atah Adonai, m’haye kol chai.

—Rabbi Lauren Grabelle Herrmann


We proclaim Your holiness by recognizing the holiness of all people, all created in Your image. Help us to see that the yearning to be a free people in a free land is also the yearning to be a holy people in a holy land that recognizes the sanctity of all life. 
Baruch Atah Adonai, ha-El hakadosh.

—Rabbi Cecelia Beyer


Cold mind or warm mind? Cruelty or embrace? Mokhin d’gadlut—expansive mind—or mokhin d’katnut—small-mindedness? Which shall it be in Israel? The human mind is a marvel, but its use depends on the love which G-d gave it. Kal v’homer [all the more so], governments.  
Baruch Atah Yah, honen hada’at.

—Rabbi Ellen Lippmann  


May our individual actions as Jews, and our collective actions as a people throughout the whole world, return us to our commitment to the sacred path of justice and peace. 
Baruch Atah Ad-nai, harotzeh bi’tshuvah.

—Rabbi Beni Wajnberg


Divine Spirit, Abundant in Forgiveness, expand our hearts today. As we walk through this world together – Israelis and Palestinians, Jews and Muslims – let us forgive the missteps of our neighbors knowing that we, too, have fallen short in our pursuit of peace.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה’, חַנּוּן הַמַּרְבֶּה לִסְלחַ.

Blessed are you, Adonai, Gracious One with an abundant ability to forgive.

—Rabbi Rachel Grant Meyer


God of redemption, who places in our hands the tools of redemption. See our pain at the too many Israeli and Palestinian lives lost. Help us bring about the first flowering of a redemption that brings justice and peace to all. 
Baruch Atah Adonai, goel Yisrael.

—Rabbi Jill Jacobs


Heal the illnesses of vengeance and entitlement, of racism and collective hate. Let us merit being healers of body and soul to all who dwell among us and around us.
Baruch Atah Adonai, rofeh holei amo Yisrael.

—Rabbi David Dunn Bauer


בָּרֵךְ עָלֵינוּ ה׳ אֱלֹקֵינוּ אֶת הַשָּׁנָה הַזֹּאת וְאֶת כָּל בְּנֵי הָאָדָם לָטוֹבָה. וְתֵן כָּבוֹד הַבְּרִיּוּת לִבְּרָכָה בְּתוֹךְ לְבָבֵינוּ וְנִזְכֶּה לְשִׂיוְוִיוֹן

וּבָרֵךְ שֶׁנָּתְנּוּ כַּשָּׁנִים שְׁחֹלוֹמוֹתֵינוּ

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה׳ מְבָרֵךְ הַשָּׁנִים

Bless this year for us, Adonai our God, and bless all people for good. Grant us the wisdom to see the dignity in all people as a blessing, and may we merit to achieve equality for all. Bless this year to be as the years of which we dream. Baruch Atah Adonai, who blesses the years.

—Rabbi Mia Simring


Sound a great shofar
of liberty and welcome
so that Israel, a refuge for our own tempest-tossed huddled masses in decades past,
continues to be a safe home for all who seek her shelter.
Baruch Atah Adonai, mekabetz nidchei amo Yisrael. 

—Rabbi Lev Meirowitz Nelson


Restore our Standards of Justice as before;
Return our Advisors to our Founding Vision
Removing all sorrow and suffering,
Serving You Alone, with Lovingkindness and Compassion,
Righteousness through Justice.


בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה אֲדֹנָי מֶלֶךְ אוֹהֵב צְדָקָה וּמִשְׁפָּט 

Rabbi Simkha Weintraub


וּלְמַחֲרִימִים אֵל תְּהִי פִּתְחָה וְכָל הַרְשָׁעָה בְּתוֹכֵינוּ תַּאֲבִיד וְכָל אוֹיְבֵי עַמְּךָ מְהֵרָה יִתְחָרְטוּ וְשַׁנָּאֵי שְלוֹמֶךָ מְהֵרָה יִכָּנְעוּ 

בָּרוּכָה אָתָה שׁוֹבֵרֶת אוֹיְבִים וּמַכְנִיעַה זֵדִים

May Israel no longer provide cause to her critics, for You will have helped us to lose the evil within us. May the enemies of Your people soon repent, and those who hate Your peace speedily see their error. Blessed are You, who uproots hatred and subdues villains.

Rabbi Josh Frankel

Let divine mercy rise up for those who dwell in Israel: the open-hearted, the justice-seekers, the wise elders, the wide-eyed pursuers of peace.
May we faithfully embrace our shared dreams. 
Baruch Atah Adonai, mish’an umivtach latzadikim.

—Senior Organizer Marisa Elana James


Jerusalem is named the city of peace.

מָתַי תִּמְלֹךְ בְּצִיּוֹן בְּקָרוֹב בְּיָמֵינוּ 

Quickly establish peace and wholeness for Israelis and Palestinians, Jews, Christians, and Muslims, so it truly IS a city of peace.
Baruch Atah Adonai, boneh Yerushalayim.

—Rabbi Jeff Marker


The sprout of David shoots upward, flowers outward, springing from roots deeply set. M’heirah! Quickly, G?d, please. May the horn of David be plentiful, abundant, generous.
Salvation is an invitation, offered always, to us, by us. Every day, G?d, we have hoped for You, and now You offer us a hint of Your place.

וּמְצַפִּים תָּמִיד לִישׁוּעָה 

G?d, may we never cease from striving for Your salvation, even when it begins to arrive.


בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה׳ מַצְמִיחַ קֶרֶן לִישׁוּעָה 

Joshua Schwartz


Sh’ma koleinu – hear our voice – all our voices – regardless of religion, race, sex, or any other means to separate us. Hear our voices and prayers – as individuals, and joined in chorus.
Baruch Atah Adonai, shomei’a t’filah.

Cantor Lauren Levy


May the prayers and service of all who work for justice and peace cause Your loving Presence to return to that city which is holy to so many. May we all witness the return of Your compassionate Presence to Zion. 
Baruch Atah HaShem, hamahazir Shekhinato leTziyyon.

Student Rabbi Louis Polisson


We give thanks for the vision of a just Israel. We give thanks for the awareness that, today, we are all called upon to help bring that vision to life. 
Baruch Atah Adonai, hatov shimkha u-lekha na’eh lehodot.

David Shmidt Chapman


Source of peace, strengthen our resolve to bring about the prophetic vision of freedom, justice and peace for all people, in the land of Israel and, indeed, the whole world. Blessed is the One who makes peace.  

—Cantor Suzanne Bernstein

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