Yom Ha’atzmaut


In French Sephardi synagogues there is no tradition of praying for the state of Israel even though most people have relatives there. In French Ashkenazi shuls however – whether they are Orthodox, Masorti or Reform – a prayer which is included in the siddurim is said each Shabbat for the welfare of the State of Israel and its defence forces.

Similarly the new Sacks siddur, a commented version of the famous Singer’s Prayer Book, includes such a prayer. As a means to celebrate Yom Ha’atzmaut, Israel’s national independence day, I have chosen to share it with you.

May He who blessed our fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, bless the State of Israel, its leaders and advisors in the land which He swore unto our father to give us. Put into their hearts the love and fear of You to uphold it with justice and righteousness, and may we be worthy in our days to witness the fulfilment of the words of Your Servants, the prophets: “For out of Zion shall go forth the Law and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.” Heavenly Father: Remember the Israel Defence Forces, guardians of your Holy Land. Protect them from all distress and anguish, and send blessing and success to all the work of their hands. Grant peace in Your Holy land and everlasting happiness to all its inhabitants, so that Jacob shall again have peace and tranquillity, with none to make him afraid. Spread the tabernacle of Your peace over all the dwellers on earth. May this be your will and let us say, Amen.