Alternative Prayer for Israel

Aryeh Cohen, a professor of rabbinic literature at American Jewish University and a founding member of the Shtibl Minyan, composed an alternative Prayer for Israel (in English and Hebrew) for the May/June 2002 issue of Tikkun Magazine. Copies of the prayer are available during services, and members may choose to recite it—or whatever prayer they feel appropriate—instead of the traditional Prayer for Israel.

English Version

My heart, my heart goes out to you Zion
Tears, jubilation, celebration, grieving
Did we not dream a dream that came to be?
And here it is—both song and lament.

We are mere matter, and our prayer is to the Creator,
Toward the Good and the Just, direct the people seeking refuge in Zion.
For all the world is Yours, and we have but one land,
Which we inherited together with the sons and daughters of Hagar.

Favor us with knowledge with which to understand
The wisdom of Avraham, “If you will go left, I will go right.”
Overflow with mercy on a great and troubled land
For “Zion will be redeemed in judgment and its inhabitants in righteousness.”

Hebrew Version

לִבִּי לִבִּי יוֹצֵא לָך צִיוֹן.
דְמָעוֹת וְצָהֳלָה, שִׂמְחָה וְיָגוֹן
הַלֹא חַלוֹם חָלַמְנוּ וַיֶהִי
וְהִנָהּ-גַם רִינָה גַם נֶהִי.

נַחְנוּ רַק חוֹמֶר וּתְּפִילָה לָנוּ לָיוֹצֵר,
לַטוֹב וְלַצֶדֶק הַכְווֵן אֶת הָעָם בְּצִיוֹן מִסְתַּתֵר.
כִּי לךְ כָּל הָאֳרֶץ וְלָנוֹ אֶרֶץ יְחִידָה,
אַשֶׁר יָרַשְׁנוּ יַחְדָיו עִם בְּנֵי הָגָר.

חוֹנֵנוּ דַעַת אַשֶׁר בּוֹן נָבִין
חָכְמַת אַבְרָהָם: “אִם תַּשְׂמְאִילָה וָאַיְמִין”.
רַחַמִים תַּשְׁפִּיעַ עַל אֶרֶץ רָבָּה הַגְזֵירָה
כִּי “צִיוֹן בְּמִשְׁפָּט תִּפָּדֶה וְשָׁבֶיהָ בִּצְדָקָה”.

Printable English and Hebrew Version