Thursday, April 28, 2011

He Who Gives Salvation to Kings and Dominion Unto Princes

Growing up in New Zealand, a central part of Shabbat Morning Services was the following Prayer for the Royal Family, recited in English throughout the British Commonwealth (although I never saw it in Canada). The wording is based on the prayer composed by Chief Rabbi Dr Hertz for the Royal Jubilee Service in 1935. Text in blue is said in New Zealand (and I assume other commonwealth nations).

He Who gives salvation to kings and dominion to princes,
Whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom – may he bless

OUR SOVERIGN LADY, QUEEN ELIZABETH

PHILLIP, DUKE OF EDINBOROUGH

CHARLES, PRINCE OF WALES

AND ALL THE ROYAL FAMILY

HIS EXCELLENCY THE GOVERNOR GENERAL OF NEW ZEALAND

AND ALL WHO LEGISLATE FOR ITS BENIFIT

So, in honour of tomorrow’s royal wedding (also being celebrated here in Modi’in a few doors up from my house), I thought that I’d share some Prayers for the Royal family from older siddurim.

This סדור ויעתר יצחק published in Berlin 1785 blesses an anonymous “King Ploni”

VyatarYitzhak

This סדור אשי ישראל published 1968 in Tel Aviv has standard text in Hebrew, with a blank space to insert the monarch of your choice:

AsheiYisrael

סדור שפתי ישנים published in Warsaw in 1865, complete with Polish translation blesses “the Father of Our Nation”, Alexander the 2nd, together with his wife Maria and his son Alexander

Polish

This Siddur Beit Yaakov published in 1889 in Bazitamar (sp?) has a prayer for Kaiser Alexander, his son Nikolai, and his wife Maria. I found another edition of the same siddur was published 1881 in Warsaw, with the same royal family.

BeitYaakov

And here is a prayer for Nikolai when he grew up to be Kaiser from סידור דרך החיים published in 1839 in Vilna.

DerechChayim

Over to America, This School Siddur from Philadelphia, 1904 has a prayer for The United States and its President, complete with inter-linear Yiddish translation.

Yiddish

This סדור חנוך תפלה החדש from New York 1940 expands the prayer considerably to bless not only the rulers, but also the country itself. The name of the ruler is listed as “President” and his assistant the “Vice President”. The same Nussach is in the 1916 סדור שפת אמת החדש also from New York.

ChinuchTfilla

And finally, here is the prayer as it appeared in the 1975 Singer Siddur that I received for my Bar Mitzvah:

Singer

With Best Wishes to William and Kate, may they enjoy many years of happiness together, and may G-d grant them the wisdom to rule with love and compassion towards the People and Land of Israel

6 comments:

MIghty Garnel Ironheart said...

I remember hearing the prayer for the royal family during my visit to Scotland years ago and being really impressed. All we get in Canada is something along the lines of:
Dear God, please guide the government of Canada, the prime minister and all his advisors and do try to not let them screw things up too much. Thanks.
Much, much blander, yes?

Michael Sedley said...

When I was in Canada, I was also surprised that they don't bless the queen (who is also queen of Canada).
Not only that, as you said, the prayer that they do say in most shuls is a Prayer for the Country ("Eretz Canada"), not the rulers or Government.

MIghty Garnel Ironheart said...

Yeah, Canada's different from other Commonwealth countries probably because of our proximity to the US which causes constant cultural contamination. Our newspapers often use the American spelling for the "ou" words like colour, we have a particularly strong anti-monarchist league and we want an NFL football team in Toronto even through the CFL team can't sell 25% of the seats in its stadium. We're sorta milquetoast that way.

Unknown said...

I have a set of DeSola Siddurim published in 1901, just in time to catch the prayer for Queen Victoria. Would you like a scan for the collection?

Michael Sedley said...

Yes Please - a 1901 English Siddur would be a greta addition if you could scan it for me.

IS the text much longer than the text currently used in British Siddurim - The current text (at the top of the post) was written by Rabbi Herz in honor of the Queen's Jubalee (I assume Queen Victoria).

If you have a chance, please email a scan to:
michaelsedley -at- hotmail -dot- com

I'm aslo interested if anyone has a German siddur printed in the 1930s which included a prayer for Chancellor Adolf Hitler.

Anonymous said...

Here's one from אוצר התפילות published in Vilna 1914

http://imgur.com/q4IjswP