Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Al HaNissim prayers (your choice) for Yom HaAtzmaut/Israel Independence Day

Here's the (Conservative) Rabbinical Assembly's version.

Here's the Machon Shilo version (courtesy of Miami Al a few years ago).

Personally, I prefer the Conservative version--though my Hebrew comprehension is limited, it seems to me that the RA's version more closely resembles the traditional Al HaNissim prayers for Chanukah and Purim.

On second thought, I think I was thrown some by the grammatical switch in the Machon Shilo version--being Israeli, their version says "we," rather than "they."  I'm not quite sure how I feel about their prayer's last line mentioning the future, which the other Al HaNissim prayers don't do.

Update, same day:  See four versions of Al HaNassim for Yom HaAtzmaut.  I just found this webpage via internet search, and haven't read all four yet, but I did read the Kibbutz HaDati version and found it way too expansionist for my personal preference.

Later update, same day:  Of the four versions above, my favorite is the Israeli Reform version.  Editor Rabbi Yehonatan Chipman, who gathered these four version onto one webpage for comparison, is correct, in my opinion, in criticizing the American Conservative and Israeli Masorti versions for putting too heavy an emphasis on the Holocaust and not enough on pre-Holocaust Zionist history.

He's also correct, I believe, in stating that the section of the Amidah prayer in which Al HaNissim is included is the section for praise, not requests.  Therefore, whether I choose the Machon Shilo version or the Israeli Reform version for future use, I will refrain from reciting the final sentence, which, in both versions, asks for G-d's present or future help.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Assuming that an entity "hears" our prayers, do you really think it cares whether you insert a request in the section for "praise"? While I think I understand the purpose for a standardized form of prayer, I take great comfort in the teaching of R' Ralph Waldo Emerson, who reminded us that "a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds"

Wed May 07, 05:02:00 PM 2014  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

I guess I have a "little mind." Guilty as charged. :)

Thu May 08, 12:07:00 AM 2014  

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