a row of sunflowers
Via Wikimedia Commons.

A Jewish Prayer for Ukraine

This prayer for Ukraine is inspired by the liturgy of Rosh Hashanah which asks God for an end to tyranny.


May God grant the Ukrainian people the fortitude to resist and reverse any onslaught from Russia.

May the defeat of Putin’s army bring about a rebirth of freedom for the Russian people.

May Russia and its neighbors live together in amity through democracy.
May the hope of the Rosh Hashanah liturgy ring throughout the land —

May all evil (Rishah=Russia) dissipate like smoke,
for the removal of tyranny ushers in the overall reign of God.

Peace for all.



Reuven Kimelman’s prayer takes its cue from the biblical verse, “When God is acknowledged sovereign over all the earth, God will be one and His name one.” Zachariah, 14:9 It puns on the Hebrew word for evil, rishah, which sounds similar to Russia.

This prayer originally appeared on The Jewish Experience, Brandeis University’s website devoted to exploring Jewish issues.

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