Since the death of Queen Elizabeth II, the traditional prayer that UK Jews have been reciting for hundreds of years has changed to include the name of King Charles III, as well as Prince and Princess of Wales William and Kate.
In addition, in the coming months, the United Synagogue will print a new version of its siddur (prayer book), with the updated version of the prayer for the royal family.
Jewish communities around the world have been accustomed to reciting a special prayer for the survival and peace of the heads of state in the countries they live in. In the UK, the prayer blessed Queen Elizabeth, and in the United States, it is a blessing to the president.
A source in the United Synagogue, the largest umbrella organization of synagogues in the UK, which is considered central to Modern Orthodoxy, has said they were planning on printing a new version of the siddur anyway – but now that the queen has died and there is a new king, they have decided to quickly edit the existing text to say: “He who gives salvation to kings and dominion to princes, Whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom – may He bless Our Sovereign lord, King Charles, our gracious Queen Consort Camilla, the Prince and Princess of Wales, and all the Royal Family.”
Prayer in memory of Queen Elizabeth II
In a memorial event organized by the Jewish community on Wednesday, UK Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis also added a special prayer for the memory of the queen. Part of the prayer reads, “The soul of Queen Elizabeth II, who has gone to her eternal home, we beseech You, Master of compassion, shelter her in the shadow of Your wings forever, and bind her soul in the bonds of everlasting life.”
“the soul of Queen Elizabeth II who has gone to her eternal home. We beseech You, Master of compassion, shelter her in the shadow of Your wings forever, and bind her soul in the bonds of everlasting life.”Prayer in memory of the Queen
The service also published a Hebrew translation of the British national anthem, “God Save the King.”
The UK’s Liberal Judaism Movement (a small UK stream, one of two organizations affiliated with the world Reform movement) has also published a prayer written by Rabbi Alexandra Wright in memory of the queen: “Eternal God, Source of compassion and strength, we stand before You in grief and sorrow to mourn the death of our Sovereign Lady, Queen Elizabeth, who died on Thursday at the age of 96.... May her reign remain an example to guide King Charles with integrity and truth, promoting freedom, justice and righteousness, so that all may be blessed with prosperity and peace.”