Prayer for our country (on the 4th of July)
July 04, 2013
In many communities, including mine, there is a tradition of reading a pair of prayers toward the end of services: one prayer for our own nation, and one prayer for Israel. At my small shul we don't do this every week, though we do maintain the tradition of reading these two special prayers during the Days of Awe. As our Prayer for Israel, in recent years we've used a text written by Nahum Waldman (available here at the URJ website). As our prayer for our own nation, this year we'll be using something new. I enclose it below in case it's helpful to anyone else -- either as something to tuck away for your own upcoming High Holiday services, or for your 4th of July davenen, or however else you see fit. Feel free to use it and share it, as long as you preserve its attribution.
Prayer For Our Country
O God and God of our ancestors
receive our prayer for this land which we love.
Pour out Your blessing on this nation
and on everyone in our government.
Give those who serve our country
innate appreciation for the Torah's principles
of justice and peace.
Help them to see Your face in every constituent.
Cultivate in them, and in us,
the sense that we are all one family
obligated to care for each other
with kindness and compassion.
Banish hatred from our hearts
and from the hearts of our elected officials.
Help us to make this country
a light unto the nations.
May it be Your will
our God and God of our generations
that this nation be a blessing
to all who dwell on earth.
Help us to enact the words of Your prophet:
“Nation shall not lift up sword against nation.
Neither shall they learn war anymore."
And let us say: Amen.
Rabbi Rachel Barenblat