The El Male' Rahamim prayer (God Full of Compassion) is recited for the repose of the souls of the dead. Although the custom of praying for the repose of the dead dates back to early times, the current version — recited among Ashkenazim after a burial, on the thirtieth day after death, at tombstones consecrations and at the Yizkor service — is late, probably dating from the time of the Chmielnicki pogroms (1648-1649). (The El Male' Rahamim prayer corresponds to the Sephardi Ashkavah prayer).

Below is a spcial version composed for victims of the Holocaust. The traditional solemn, stirring melody is sung here by Cantor Adler.

The page is courtesy of World ORT's yahrzeit reminder service and memorial website.

Rendition by Cantor Chaim Adler

God full of mercy who dwells on high
Protector of widows and father for the fatherless
Please be not silent and show no restraint
on behalf of the Jewish blood that has been spilled like water.
But grant perfect rest on the wings of Your Divine Presence
In the lofty abode of the holy, pure and valiant
who shine as the brightness of the heavens
to the souls of our brothers and sisters
Six million Jewish
men, women and children
Who were put to death, slaughtered, burned,
starved, buried alive
Or who suffered other forms of unnatural death
at the hands of the accursed Nazis
and their associates — may their name be wiped out!
In Auschwitz, Treblinka, Maydanek, Malthausen
and in other death camps in Europe
And who gave up their lives in order to Sanctify God's name.
Because we are at one with their memory
and we pray for the elevation of their souls
Their resting place shall be in the Garden of Eden.
Therefore, shall the Master of mercy care for them
under the protection of His wings for all time
And bind their souls in the bond of everlasting life.
O Earth! Do not conceal their blood
and let there not be a resting place for their cry
In their merit shall the remnant of Israel
return to its rightful place
And as for the holy ones, their righteousness
shall be in front of the Lord as an everlasting memory
They will come in peace and will rest in peace
They will meet their rightful destiny at the end of days
and let us say Amen.

footnotes World ORT's yahrzeit reminder service and memorial website.



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