Note: Hyphenating the name of G-d is a 20th-Century Orthodox custom. During the 19th-Century, Jewish writers, both Orthodox and Reform, would spell the name out completely. When this prayer was transcribed, I did not have OCR and typed it all in by hand, so I followed the modern custom of not spelling out G-d. Beth Ahabah does not have an original of this prayer, but G-d would not have been hyphenated in the original document.
This prayer was composed by Rev. Max Michelbacher of Congregation Beth Ahabah, Richmond, Virginia, and distributed to Jewish Confederate soldiers. Prayer sheet courtesy Congregation Beth Ahabah.
Shemang Yisroel, Ad-nay El-hainoo, Ad-noy Achod!
Oh G-d of the Universe! Although unworthy through my manifestold transgressions, I approach the seat of thy mercy, to crave thy favor, and to seek thy protection. I supplicate thy forgiveness, O most merciful Father, for the many transgressions and the oft repeated disobedience, which cause Thee to command destruction over me. Behold me now, O my Father, supplicating Thy protection! Thou who art near when all other aid faileth! O spare me, guard me from the evil that is impending!
This once happy country is inflamed by the fury of war; a menacing enemy is arrayed against the rights, liberties and freedom of this, our Confederacy; the ambition of this enemy has dissolved fraternal love, and the hand of fraternity has been broken asunder by the hands of those, who sit now in council and meditate our chastisement, with the chastisement of scorpions. Our firesides are threatened; the foe is before us, with the declared intention to desecrate our soil, to murder our people, and to deprive us of the glorious inheritance which was left to us by the immortal fathers of this once great Republic.
Here I stand now with many thousands of the sons of the sunny South, to face the foe, to drive him back, and to defend our natural rights. O Lord, G-d of Israel, be with me in the hot season of the contending strife; protect and bless me with health and courage to bear cheerfully the hardships of war.
O L-rd, Ruler of Nations, destroy the power of our enemies! "Grant not the longings of the wicked; suffer not his wicked device to succeed, lest the exalt themselves. Selah. as for the heads of those that encompass me about, let the mischief of their own lips cover them. Let burning coals be cast upon them; let them be thrown into the fire, into deep pits, that they rise not up again." (Psalm 140). Be unto the Army of this confederacy, as thou were of old, unto us, thy chosen people- Inspire them with patriotism! Give them when marching to meet, or, overtake the enemy, the wings of the eagle- in the camp be Thou their watch and ward- and in the battle, strike for them, O Almighty G-d of Israel, as thou didst strike for thy people on the plains of Canaan-guide them O L-rd of Battles, into the paths of victory, guard them from the shaft and missile of the enemy. Grant that they may ever advance to wage battle, and battle in thy name to win! Grant that not a standard be ever lowered among them! O L-rd, G-d, Father, be thou with us!
Give unto the officers of the Army and of the Navy of the Confederate States, enterprise, fortitude and undaunted courage; teach them the ways of war and the winning of victory. Guard and preserve, O L-rd, the President of the Confederate States and all officers, who have the welfare of the country truly at heart. Bless all my fellow-citizens, and guard them against sickness and famine! May they prosper and increase!
Hear me further, O L-rd, when I pray to Thee for those on earth, dearest to my heart. O bless my father, mother, brothers and sisters. (if married: my wife and children.) O bless them all with earthly and heavenly good! May they always look up to Thee, and may they find in Thee their trust and strength.
O L-rd, be with me always. Show me the way I have to go, to be prepared to meet Thee here and hereafter.
My hope, my faith, my strength are in Thee, O L-rd, my G-d, forever- in Thee is my trust. "For thy salvation do I hope, O L-rd! I hope for Thy salvation, O L-rd! O L-rd, for Thy salvation do I hope!" Amen! Amen!
Shemang Yisroel, Ad-noy El-hainoo, Ad-noy Achod!