Al Hanism, 5784

On Hanukkah it’s traditional to add Al Hanisim, “About the Miracles,” to the Amidah and the Grace after Meals. How do we praise God’s miracles in the aftermath of the shock assault, kidnappings, and wanton violence on Shabbat Simchat Torah? How do we say this prayer in the face of war? Here’s an adaptation of Al Hanisim for this difficult year. The adaptation of the traditional Hebrew — a collaboration with Avital Ordan — reflects the idea that some miracles happen in secret, known as nissim nistarim.

על הניסים, תשפ”ד

For all the miracles,
Seen and unseen,
Done and yet to be done,
We thank You.

God of miracles,
Ancient and new,
We do not wait for signs and wonders,
Defending our people and our land,
Fighting to free the hostages.

Perhaps the acts of survival
And moments of heroism
On that Black Shabbat,
Hint at God’s guiding hand
Hidden from our sight.
Let us pray for unseen miracles.

Perhaps the hostages
So far released,
Remind us of
God’s power to redeem.
Let us pray for miracles
For all to see
As in the days of old.

Woe to our hearts
That these miracles are incomplete,
That our soldiers still fight and die,
Kill and are killed,
For this land and this nation.

Woe to our hearts
That these miracles are unfinished,
That hostages still languish in captivity
As the pawns and trophies of heartless terror.

God of miracles,
Ancient and new,
We do not wait for signs and wonders.
We take this as our sacred task,
Defending our nation.
Still we yearn for Your mighty hand
And outstretched arm
To bring us blessings
Hidden or revealed.

על הניסים ועל הפרקן ועל הגבורות ועל התשועות ועל המלחמות הנסתרות והנגלות, שנעשו, שנעשות, שיעשו איתנו בכל עת ועת, בימים האלה ובזמן הזה

We thank You for the miracles, the redemption, the heroics, the blessings, and the victories hidden and revealed, that You did, are doing, and will do for us in every age, in these days and at this season.

Al hanissim v’al hapurkan v’al hagvurot v’al hat’shuot v’al hamilhamot hanistarot v’haniglot she’nasu, she’naasot she’yi’asu eitanu b’col et va’et bayamim ha’eleh u’vazman hazeh.

© 2023 Alden Solovy and ToBendLight

New here? Subscribe here to get my newest prayers by email.
Share the prayer! Email this to a friend.

Postscript: I learned about nissim nistarim at the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies learning with Rabbi Michael Hattin. A version of Al Hanisim is also added to the Amidah and the Grace after Meals during Purim. Thanks to my friends Haim Watzman and Miriam Fine for their comments on earlier drafts.

Please check out These Words: Poetic Midrash on the Language of Torah and my other CCAR Press volumes: This Grateful Heart, This Joyous Soul, and This Precious Life, which can also be purchased as the Grateful/Joyous/Precious trilogy. For reprint permissions and usage guidelines, see “Share the Prayer!” To receive my latest prayers via email, please subscribe (on the home page). You can also connect on Facebook and Twitter. For a taste of my teaching, see my ELItalk video, “Falling in Love with Prayer.”

Please consider making a contribution to support this site and my writing.

Photo Source: Alden Solovy

Tags: , , , , , , ,

“Alden has become one of Reform Judaism’s master poet-liturgists…" - Religion News Service, Dec. 23, 2020

“Mesmerizing, spiritual, provocative, and thoughtful, Alden was everything you would want in a guest scholar and teacher.” – Rabbi Denise L. Eger, Congregation Kol Ami, Los Angeles, and Past President, CCAR

"Alden Solovy has become one of the most revered liturgists of the last decade…" - Jewish Post & Opinion, March 29, 2023

“Alden left everyone feeling inspired.” – Cantor Jeri Robins, Shabbat Chair, NewCAJE6