Tefilat Haderekh, The Traveler’s Prayer

A Jewish prayer that asks for a safe journey.

The Traveler’s Prayer — also known as the Wayfarer’s Prayer or Tefilat Haderekh in Hebrew — is a prayer said at the onset of a journey. It is customary to recite when one embarks on a long trip, regardless of the mode of transport. The prayer asks God to deliver the traveler safely, to protect them from any dangers or perils they may encounter along the way, and to return them in peace.

Traditionally the prayer is recited after the onset of the journey. Some say it should be said after departing the city limits.

Traveler’s Prayer in English Translation

May it be Your will, Lord, our God and the God of our ancestors, that You lead us toward peace, guide our footsteps toward peace, and make us reach our desired destination for life, gladness, and peace. May You rescue us from the hand of every foe, ambush along the way, and from all manner of punishments that assemble to come to earth. May You send blessing in our handiwork, and grant us grace, kindness, and mercy in Your eyes and in the eyes of all who see us. May You hear the sound of our humble request because You are God Who hears prayer requests. Blessed are You, Lord, Who hears prayer.

Traveler’s Prayer in Hebrew (courtesy of Sefaria)

יְהִי רָצוֹן מִלְפָנֶיךָ יי אֱלֹהֵינוּ וֵאלֹהֵי אֲבוֹתֵינוּ,
שֶׁתּוֹלִיכֵנוּ לְשָׁלוֹם וְתַצְעִידֵנוּ לְשָׁלוֹם וְתַדְרִיכֵנוּ לְשָׁלוֹם, וְתִסְמְכֵנוּ לְשָׁלוֹם,
וְתַגִּיעֵנוּ לִמְחוֹז חֶפְצֵנוּ לְחַיִּים וּלְשִׂמְחָה וּלְשָׁלוֹם.
אם דעתו לחזור מיד אומר וְתַחְזִירֵנוּ לְשָׁלוֹם
וְתַצִּילֵנוּ מִכַּף כָּל אוֹיֵב וְאוֹרֵב וְלִסְטִים וְחַיּוֹת רָעוֹת בַּדֶּרֶךְ,
וּמִכָּל מִינֵי פֻּרְעָנֻיּוֹת הַמִּתְרַגְּשׁוֹת לָבוֹא לָעוֹלָם,
וְתִתְּנֵנוּ לְחֵן וּלְחֶסֶד וּלְרַחֲמִים בְּעֵינֶיךָ וּבְעֵינֵי כָל רֹאֵינוּ,
כִּי אל שׁוֹמֵעַ תְּפִלָּה וְתַחֲנוּן אַתָּה.
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה לפי נוסח ספרד יי שׁוֹמֵעַ תְּפִלָּה:
כִּי מַלְאָכָיו יְצַוֶּה לָךְ לִשְׁמָרְךָ בְּכָל דְרָכֶיךָ:
יי יִשְׁמָר צֵאתְךָ וּבוֹאֶךָ מֵעַתָּה וְעַד עוֹלָם:
וְיַעֲקֹב הָלַךְ לְדַרְכּוֹ וַיִּפְגְּעוּ בוֹ מַלְאֲכֵי אֱלֹהִים.
וַיֹּאמֶר יַעֲקֹב כַּאֲשֶׁר רָאָם ר”ת רפאל אוריאל מיכאל:
מַחֲנֵה אֱלֹהִים זֶה, וַיִּקְרָא שֵׁם הַמָּקוֹם הַהוּא מַחֲנָיִם.
יְבָרֶכְךָ יי וְיִשְׁמְרֶךָ:
יָאֵר יי פָּנָיו אֵלֶיךָ וִיחֻנֶּךָּ:
יִשָּׂא יי פָּנָיו אֵלֶיךָ וְיָשֵׂם לְךָ שָׁלוֹם:

Traveler’s Prayer in Transliteration

Y’hi ratzon milfanecha Adonai Eloheinu ve-lohei avoteinu she-tolichenu l’shalom v’tatz’idenu l’shalom, v’tism’chenu l’shalom, v’tadrichenu l’shalom, v’tagi’enu limchoz cheftzenu l’chayim ul’simha ul’shalom. V’tatzilenu mi-kaf kol oyev v’orev v’listim v’chayot ra-ot ba-derech, u-mi-kol min-ei pur’aniyot hamitrag’shot la-vo la-olam. V’tishlach b’racha b’chol ma’a’se yadeinu v’tit’neinu l’chen ul’chesed ul’rachamim b’einecha uv’einei kol ro-einu. V’tishma kol tachanuneinu ki el sho-me-ah t’fila v’tachanun ata. Baruch ata Adonai sho-me’a t’fila.


Listen to the Traveler’s Prayer (courtesy of Mechon Hadar)


A Few Musical Versions of the Traveler’s Prayer



Tefilat Haderekh (Debbie Friedman song)



Tefilat Haderekh (Audio Version)


Birkat Hagomel

A related prayer is called Birkat Hagomel (sometimes known as “benching gomel”). This blessing is for deliverance and is typically recited in the presence of a minyan, or prayer quorum, often in the synagogue following the reading of the Torah. It is commonly said after recovering from serious illness but can also be recited in gratitude for completing a dangerous journey.

Birkat Hagomel in Hebrew (courtesy of Sefaria)

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה’ אֱלהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעולָם. הַגּומֵל לְחַיָּבִים טובות. שֶׁגְּמָלַנִי כָּל טוב
הקהל עונה אמן. ואומרים
מִי שֶׁגְּמָלְךָ טוב. הוּא יִגְמָלְךָ כָּל טוב סֶלָה

Birkat Hagomel in Transliteration and English Translation

Baruch ata Adonai, Eloheinu melech ha-olam, ha-gomel t’chayavim tovim she-g’malani kol tuv.

Blessed are You, Lord our God, ruler of the world, who rewards the undeserving with goodness,
and who has rewarded me with goodness.

After the recitation of this blessing, the congregation responds:

Mi she-g’malcha kol tuv, hu yi-g’malcha kol tuv selah.

May he who rewarded you with all goodness reward you with all goodness for ever.

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