Memorial Prayer For Victims Of Holocaust
In the 1950's, the American Jewish Congress established the Seder Ritual Committee to compose and to distribute a memorial prayer for the victims of the Holocaust to be recited at the Seder after the prayer: Shifoch Chamascha. Over a period of 15 years, more than 75,000 copies of the prayer were distributed to synagogues and Jewish organizations around the country. You may have never heard of this prayer and two reasons can be given for why the prayer did not find a greater reception: no major publisher of Haggadahs ever included the prayer in one of its versions of the Haggadah and the Orthodox community failed to embrace the recital of the prayer. Here are the words of the prayer:
On this night of the Seder we remember with reverence and love the six millions of our people of the European exile who perished at the hands of a tyrant more wicked than the Pharaoh who enslaved our fathers in Egypt. Come, said he to his minions, let us cut them off from being a people, that the name of Israel may be remembered no more. And they slew the blameless and pure, men and women and little ones, with vapors of poison and burned them with fire. But we abstain from dwelling on the deeds of the evil ones lest we defame the image of G-d in which man was created.
Now, the remnants of our people who were left in the ghettos and camps of annihilation rose up against the wicked ones for the sanctification of the Name, and slew many of them before they died.
On the first day of Passover the remnants in the Ghetto of Warsaw rose up against the adversary, even as in the days of Judah the Maccabee. They were lovely and pleasant in their lives, and in their death they were not divided, and they brought redemption to the name of Israel through all the world.
And from the depths of their affliction the martyrs lifted their voices in a song of faith in the coming of the Messiah, when justice and brotherhood will reign among men.
All sing: ANI MAAMIN (“I Believe”) the song of the martyrs in the ghettos and liquidation camps.
Seder Ritual Committee