LONDON – Britain’s Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks has composed a special prayer to
commemorate Queen Elizabeth’s 60th anniversary on the throne.
prayer, which was recited in synagogues across the country last Shabbat, paid
homage to the queen for the way she has promoted good relations between all
faiths and for the example she has set in a life of duty.
“Her spirit has
helped make Britain the tolerant country it remains, and we are privileged to
have been blessed by all she does and is,” said Sacks, who is also a
“Her crown is honor and majesty; her scepter, law and morality,
equality and freedom. Her concern has been for welfare, freedom and unity, and
in the lands of her dominion she has sustained justice and liberty for all
races, tongues and creed,” he said in the prayer.
Blessing the queen, the
chief rabbi wished her many years of health.
“Together with all our
fellow citizens, we fervently pray that she be granted many more years of
blessing so that she may continue to bring honor and glory to the crown and to
all her people.”
Reaffirming the Jewish people’s loyalty, the chief rabbi
called for peace and prosperity both in Britain and Israel.
“In this year
of joyful remembrance and celebration, we express our deepest sentiments of
loyalty, esteem and gratitude.
We pray for the peace and prosperity of
Britain, for the well-being of the House of Israel, and for the redemption of
all mankind under the sovereignty of God.”
Last week, Sacks introduced a
debate in the House of Lords highlighting the role and contribution that faith
communities in Britain and the commonwealth have made during the queen’s
Joined in the House of Lords by fellow peers representing the
Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Sikh and Zoroastrian faiths, as well as
Archbishop of Canterbury Dr. Rowan Williams, the chief rabbi began his address
by noting “the gracious way” in which her majesty “has guided and sustained this
nation through one of its most challenging transitions, into a multi-ethnic,
multicultural and multi-faith society.”
The chief rabbi acknowledged that
while “it is not easy for any society to undergo change,” her majesty the queen
was “one of those rare individuals whose greatness speaks across all ethnic and
Praising the growth of interfaith relations during
her reign, the chief rabbi concluded his address saying, “We are enriched by our
religious diversity. Each faith is a candle; none is diminished by the light of
others; and together they help banish some of the darkness of the human heart.”