I've always been struck by the beauty of the following Hebrew prayer for the dead (translated into early modern English):

O Lord and King, who art full of compassion, God of the spirits of all flesh, in whose hand are the souls of the living and the dead, receive, we beseech thee, in thy great loving-kindness the soul of our brother who hath been gathered unto his people. Have mercy upon him; pardon all his transgressions; for there is none righteous upon the earth, who doeth only good, and sinneth not. Remember unto him the righteousness which he wrought, and let his reward be with him, and his recompense before him. Shelter his soul in the shadow of thy wings. Make known to him the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand, bliss for evermore.

O Lord, who healest the broken-hearted and bindest up their wounds, grant thy consolation unto the mourners. Strengthen and support them in the day of their grief and sorrow; and remember them for a long and good life. Put into their hearts the fear and love of thee, that they may serve thee with a perfect heart; and let their latter end be peace. Amen.

However, I've never been able to find out where it comes from. I read somewhere that it was from the Siddur, but I'm pretty sure that it's not the Yahrzheit, or the Yizkor, or part of Kaddish. Does anyone recognize this prayer? I'd be particularly interested if anyone knows where I could find the original Hebrew (preferably with stresses).

The prayer can be found at, for example, http://www.hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=34254&st=&pgnum=1116 and http://www.hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=34254&st=&pgnum=1118

These pages are from The Authorized Daily Prayer Book by Dr Joseph H. Hertz.

  • 2
    Donkey_2009, welcome to Mi Yodeya, and thank you for bringing your question here! Could you please edit in where you found this text, both to give proper credit and to aid potential answerers in helping you source it? I hope we can help you with this question. I also hope you'll look around Mi Yodeya and find other information that interests you, perhaps starting with our 71 other prayer-book questions.
    – Isaac Moses
    Commented Oct 4, 2013 at 14:50
  • BTW, the Hebrew text is on the odd numbered pages of the link
    – Epicentre
    Commented Oct 6, 2013 at 4:11

1 Answer 1


According to the annotations in the prayer book itself, this appears to be a version of the Kel Malei Rachamim prayer by England's Chief Rabbi Rabbi Nathan Adler (Chief Rabbi from 1845 until his death in 1890), as edited by the Chief Rabbi (and author of the siddur linked to in the question), Rabbi Joseph Hertz (Chief Rabbi of the United Kingdom from 1913 until his death in 1946.)

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