Reform movement releases prayer to honour Queen as longest-reigning sovereign


A prayer that honours Queen Elizabeth as the longest-reigning British monarch has been released by the Reform movement to mark the royal milestone in September.

Reform Senior Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner explained that the prayer was devised to be delivered during Shabbat service either before or after the Queen becomes Britain’s longest-reigning sovereign on September 9, overtaking the record set by her great-great grandmother Queen Victoria of 63 years, 216 days.

It will follow the weekly prayer said by Reform shuls for the royal family, but with the added value that, written in Hebrew and English, it can be sung to the tune of the National Anthem.

In translation, it reads: “Supreme Sovereign, / Whose reign is everlasting, / Grant long life to our / Sovereign Lady, Queen Elizabeth. / May God bless her / and keep her / and save her / for a good life.”

Listen to the prayer now:

“The weekly prayer we say for the Royals is about us being grateful to be in Britain and being part of British society,” said Rabbi Janner-Klausner. “But here we want to specifically praise the fact that we have the longest-serving British monarch, who holds a beautiful relationship with the Jewish community.

“We are a very grounded and integrated Jewish community, who are very keen and appreciate of being in Britain; this is one of the manifestations of it. Part of it is about the Queen, but more than anything, it is a message about loving being British Jews.”

She added: “I’m going to be in Maidenhead, so Rabbi Jonathan Romain has agreed to do a duet with me.”

According to Rabbi Romain - who, as the rabbi of the only synagogue in the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, is occasionally called upon to represent the community as the "royal rabbi" - he will be presenting a copy of the prayer to the royal palace a week after the anniversary, when he attends a dinner at Windsor Castle.

He said: "British Jews have not always had a great relationship with British monarchs - reduced to the status of chattels by Henry I, taxed mercilessly by John and expelled by Edward I.

"But the reign of Elizabeth II had been one of stability and toleration, in which individual Jews have prospered and the community at large has flourished.

"The Queen's role in guiding out constitutional monarchy deserves every appreciation and makes Britain one of the best countries for Jews to live in freely."

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