3

My father found the following apparently-Havdala-oriented prayer on an otherwise-blank page among my mother A"H's papers, handwritten by her. We don't know if it's something she composed or (more likely, I think) something she either transcribed or translated from an existing source.

I tried googling for some of the more distinctive phrases and came up with no direct hits.

Is this a published prayer, either in English or Hebrew?

God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob,
Protect in love Your dear people Israel.
The holy Sabbath is departing.
Send us a new week marked by
No lack of food,
Deepened faith,
Love for our fellowmen,
And strength to do Your will.
Master of the World,
You Who gives strength to the weak,
Give strength to Your dear Jewish children,
That they may praise You
And serve You alone.
May the days of the oncoming week bring
Strength, health, and blessing,
Children, life, and food
For us and for all Israel.
And let us say, Amen.

13

This looks like an English translation of the Yiddish prayer גאט פון אברהם:

גאט פון אברהם און פון יצחק און פון יעקב! באהיט דיין פאלק ישראל פון אלע בייזן אין דיינעם לויב, אז דער ליבער שבת קודש גייט אוועק. און די וואך זאל אונדז קומען צו אמונה שלימה, צו אמונת חכמים צו אהבת ודיבוק חברים טובים צו דביקות הבורא ברוך הוא מאמין צו זיין בשלושה עשר עיקרים שלך ובגאולה שלימה וקרובה במהירה בימינו ובתחיית המתים ובנבואת משה רבינו עליו השלום. רבונו של עולם! דו ביסט דאך "הנותן ליעף כוח", גיב דיינע יידישע קינדערלעך אויך כוח דיך צו לויבן און דיך צו דינען און ווייטער קיינעם נישט און די וואך זאל אונדז קומען צו חסד און צו מזל און צו ברכה און צו הצלחה און צו געזונט און צו עושר וכבוד און צו בני חיי ומזוני לנו ולכל ישראל, אמן

(Hebrew Wikipedia)

  • An abridgment, though. (+1.) – msh210 Mar 16 '17 at 7:19
5

You have found an English abridgement of the old Yiddish prayer, Gott fun Avrohom.

גָאט פוּן אַבְרָהָם - G-d of Abraham. It was customary in many European communities for the women to recite the following prayer for a successful week, before Havdalah. Since women generally did not recite the Maariv service, they would follow this prayer with בָּרוּךְ הוּא הַמָּבְדִיל בֵּין קֹדֶשׁ לְחוֹל, Blessed is He Who seperates between holy and secular, as substitute for אַתָּה חוֹנַנְתָּנוּ, You have graciously given us, which is inserted in the Shemoneh Esrei to proclaim the distinction between the sanctity respresented by the Sabbath, and the secularity represented by the weekdays. Today, many women maintain the custom of reciting Gott fun Avrohom before Havdalah. Rabbi Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev, traditionally recognized as the author of this prayer, however, wrote that it should be recited three times by men, women, and children, and that this recitation would help assure success in the ensuing week. Because it was designed both as a prayer, and as a source of inspiration, it was composed in Yiddish, the prevailing language among Eastern European Jews.

Here is the text of the prayer, vowelized for convenience:

גָאט פוּן אַבְרָהָם אוּן פוּן יִצְחָק אוּן פוּן יַעֲקֹב, בַּאהִיט דַיין פָאלק יִשְׂרָאֵל פוּן אַלֶעם בֵּייזִין אִין דַיינֶעם לוֹיבּ, אַז דֶער לִיבֶּער שַׁבָּת קוֹדֶשׁ גֵייט אַוֶועק, אַז דִיא וָואךְ זָאל אוּנְז קוּמֶען צוּ אֱמוּנָה שְׁלֵימָה, צוּ אֱמוּנַת חֲכָמִים, צוּ אַהֲבַת וְדִבּוּק חֲבֵרִים טוֹבִים, צוּ דְבֵיקוּת הַבּוֹרֵא בָּרוּךְ הוּא, מַאֲמִין צוּ זַיין בִּשְׁלוֹשָׁה עָשָׂר עִיקָרִים שֶׁלְּךָ, וּבִגְאוּלָה שְׁלֵמָה וּקְרוֹבָה בִמְהֵרָה בְּיָמֵינוּ, וּבִתְחִיַת הַמֵּתִים, וּבִנְבוּאַת מֹשֶׁה רַבֵּינוּ עָלָיו הַשָּׁלוֹם.

רִבּוֹנוֹ שֶׁל עוֹלָם דוּא בִּיסְט דָאךְ הַנּוֹתֵן לַיָּעֵף כֹּחַ, גִיבּ דֵיינֶע לִיבֶּע אִידִישֶׁע קִינְדֶערְלֶעךְ אוֹיךְ כֹּחַ דִיךְ צוּ לוֹיבֶּין, אוּן דִיךְ צוּ דִינֶען אוּן וַוייטֶער קֵיינֶעם נִישְׁט.

אוּן דִיא וָואךְ זָאל אוּנְז קוּמֶען צוּ חֶסֶד, אוּן צוּ מַזָל, אוּן צוּ בְרָכָה, אוּן צוּ הַצְלָחָה, אוּן צוּ גֶעזוּנְט, אוּן צוּ עוֹשֶׁר וְכָבוֹד, אוּן צוּ בָּנֵי חַיֵי וּמְזוֹנֵי, לָנוּ וּלְכָל יִשְׂרָאֵל. אָמֵן.

And finally, the translation into English (and you can see the similarities between the prayer you found and this one):

G-d of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, protect Your people, Israel, from all evil in Your praise - as the beloved, holy Sabbath takes leave - that the coming week may arrive to bring perfect faith, faith in scholars, love of and attachment to good friends, attachment to the Creator, Blessed is He, to have faith in Your Thirteen Principles, and in the complete and close Redemption, speedily in our days, in the Resuscitation of the Dead and in the prophecy of our teacher, Moses, peace be upon him.

Master of the universe, since You are the One Who gives strength to the exhausted - give Your beloved Jewish children the strength to praise You, and to serve only You and no other.

May this week arrive for kindness, for good fortune, for blessing, for success, for good health, for wealth and honor, and for children, life, and sustenance, for us and for all Israel. Amen.

(All quotations taken from the Complete ArtScroll Siddur, 1984.)


You might be interested in this other Mi Yodeya question, which concerns the authorship of Gott fun Avrohom.

5

Thanks to Scimonster and ezra identifying this as an abridged form of Gott fun Avrohom, some persistent Googling, and the Library of Congress, I've confirmed that this particular English abridged version comes from the book Levi Yitzhak of Berditchev; portrait of a Hasidic master, by R' Samuel H. Dresner (pp. 108-109).

There, R' Dresner says "both words and tune are ascribed to Levi Yitzhak," but in an endnote (on p. 215), he cites Samuel Horodetzky in ha-Hasidut v'ha-Hasidim (p.82, n. 16) questioning the authorship, and claiming that "a similar version of the song was already in use in Germany and Alsace, from where it may have found its way to the Ukraine [where R' Levi Yitzhak lived - IM]."

  • Did you come across the tune in your research? – Monica Cellio Apr 4 '17 at 16:21
  • @MonicaCellio no; I wasn't looking for that. – Isaac Moses Apr 4 '17 at 16:21

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