Showing posts from July, 2012

On the Liturgy of Tisha B'Av

Here's a link to the essay on the liturgy of Tisha B'Av that I wrote for the Rabbinical Assembly's Tisha B'Av and Kinot volume.

"A blessing for the Czar?" -- in honor of July 4

My synagogue owns a set of huge ma h zorim – prayerbooks for Jewish holidays – that was printed in Lithuania in 1914. I like to look at these books every year as July 4 approaches.  I carefully turn their yellowed, crumbling pages until I get to the Prayer for the Government, recited shortly after the reading of the Torah and Haftarah.  And in this prayerbook, the prayer reads: Mahzor Kol-Bo , Vilna, 1914 TRANSLATION: May He Who grants salvation to kings and dominion to rulers, Whose kingdom is a kingdom spanning all eternity, Who releases David, his servant, from the evil sword, Who places a road in the sea and a path in the mighty waters – May He bless, protect, guard, assist, elevate, exalt, and lift upwards Our master CZAR NIKOLAI ALEXANDROVICH, With his wife, the honorable CZARINA ALEXANDRA FEODOROVNA Their son, the crown prince ALEXI NIKOLAIOVICH And his mother, the honorable CZARINA MARIA FEODORAVNA And the entire house of our king