Peace upon you, our masters, mentors and teachers; may you have peace from now until eternity. May you lie in peace on your resting places without being pained at the distress of those who are close to you. May you dwell in the thick cloud, and may you rest in the shelter of the Most High, in the shadow of the Omnipotent.
How fortunate and how good is your portion — that you merited to follow your Creator and have your candle shine forth, that you instructed Israel concerning just statutes and good judgments, enabling the people of your generations to be righteous. Your lot is good, for your rewards are very great.
May the great and holy King, blessed be He, hasten and speed your resurrection, and your rising with all the other righteous and pious men of the world. May He cause you to merit the world which is all good and unending, which is blessed in all elements. May you take pleasure in the [spiritual] creatures of the fields and the animals of a thousand hills, the Leviathan [of the banquet of Mashiach], and the [secrets of the Torah which are likened to] aged wine [dating from the beginning] of creation, the finest of all good, in a thousand portions.
Just as you labored in your tasks in this world, occupying yourselves with the words of the Torah, so too, may you go from strength to strength, from one [heavenly] academy to another, reaching a truly awesome place. May you merit to hear from G-d, may He be blessed and extolled, new insights regarding the rationales for the Torah upon which He will expound and which will be revealed in the Future.
May it be the will of our Father in heaven that I be worthy — in your merit, and in the merit of the other righteous and pious men who rest here — that G-d Almighty, the Pardoner, will forgive all my sins, iniquities and transgressions. For it is for the sake of your glory that I have come here to praise [His] great and awesome name and to prostrate myself on your graves, asking that you pray for me, that He should deliver me from robbery, injury, and pillaging, from difficult travail, from fear, consternation, and strange and shameful death, and from trying times.
May my deeds be endowed with blessing and success, my afflictions be healed, my bread and water be blessed, all sickness removed from my midst, and may I be delivered from all enemies, lurking foes, and robbers.
May I, and all of Israel, be granted a generous gift and generous sustenance for the sake of your merit and your righteousness.
May I be granted a good portion and generous reward so that I will merit the life of the World to Come. May I merit good tidings, to hear favorable reports.
May I be granted long days, and years of life and peace, tranquillity and security. May my soul not be gathered in with sinners, nor my life with bloody men. May it not be in the midst of my days that I be gathered in; may I complete my days in good old age.
May I be granted increased wisdom, knowledge, understanding, grace, kindness and mercy before Him, before His throne of glory, and before all the created beings who see my countenance.
May my heart be focused to love Him and fear His name, to fulfill His will with a complete heart.
May He listen to the voice of my supplications and not turn me away empty-handed from His presence.
One should lift his eyes with his outstretched hands to G-d in heaven, and say:
I beseech You, Lord of the worlds, Merciful One Who is full of compassion: If I have erred, sinned, transgressed, or committed iniquity, performing this or that [forbidden] deed, either I myself or in a previous incarnation, and thus marred my actions, whether in this incarnation or another incarnation, with a deed that lacks the light of dawn, — God, hear; God, forgive, God listen and act, do not delay.
Do not see me shunned and ignore me. You will surely help and surely raise up the creature whom You formed. For who am I that You have brought me to this position. I am not needed by You. It is only in Your great kindness that You created me, so that I could achieve merit. You brought me into being from nothingness.
If I have corrupted my deeds and impaired my sustenance, do not rebuke me in Your wrath or make me suffer through judgment. If you do this to me, it would have been better had I not been created, nor emerged into the world.
But since You look to the ultimate outcome from the very beginning, You place Your mercy before Your judgment, and it is characteristic of You to be patient in wrath to the wicked and to the good, and to grant respite, so that the stability of the world can be maintained. For God is good to all and His mercies extend over all of His works. May Israel rejoice in its Creator.
If my deeds have cause a separation between holy and holy, choose [me], draw [me] close, and renew [me]. Return us to You, God, and we will return, and we will create a regiment [of loyalty] for You in the world.
If You have covered Yourself with a cloud so that prayer cannot pass, drive away the Scoffer, who writes words of hatred and grief, and thus strife will be removed. Let me rejoice with ever-renewing happiness.
If you do not do this for my own sake, do it in the merit of our ancestors. Redeem me and be gracious unto me. Let Your right hand deliver and answer me. May the words of my mouth be acceptable; do not take into account any blemish or faithlessness. May my stumbling words, nor my tongue which is utterly imperfect, and be as acceptable before You as if I were an intercessor who could recite many praises and fashion royal crowns. May my words be considered like the words of Moshe’s song at the Red Sea, and like David’s musical instruments. May it be considered as if my intentions mirrored the sublime mysteries, as if I were reciting Your praises with the angels and holy beings who sing and make melodies. May my inarticulate utterances be as lovingly cherished as sweet praise and song.
Taking wise counsel, I have come to visit the graves of the righteous, masters of their souls, so that the departed will also ask for mercy for me. For it is also of benefit for them, for there are many
times when a soul emanates from another soul, attached like a branch
to a tree, and clinging like a link in a chain. Here the dead inherit the living to increase their light.
God of forgiveness, may Your ears be attentive and Your eyes open as You listen to the prayer of the soul and spirits of Your servants, to the prayer of man who is composed of senses and faculties, and who relates tales arising from hard work and short spirits. Do not turn us away empty-handed from You. Cause Your countenance to shine upon us. May the meditation of my mouth and my words be acceptable before You, God, my Rock and my Redeemer.
May it be Your will, God my Lord and Lord of my ancestors, that You bless all the work of my hands unlimitedly. Satisfy my needs from Your full hand, and from Your treasurestore of goodness fill my home. Bring success to my paths and ways. Guard my feet and my paths, for all living things have been tendered into Your hand.
May my sustenance be conveyed to me by Your hand and may it be sweet. May it not be conveyed to me by the hands of mortals, for then it would be as bitter and tough as wormwood and shamefully degrading. Therefore may You, in Your abundant mercies, prepare my sustenance from Your good and full hand, and may it be complete.
May my work lead to blessing and not to poverty, to life and not to death. Grant me merit so that the name of heaven will not be desecrated by my deeds, and that I be of those who are always useful and who provide goodness to all men. Lead me on a straight path before You. Grant me favor, kindness, mercy and acceptance in Your eyes and in the eyes of all who see me, for You are a merciful and compassionate God, and abounding in kindness to all who call upon You in truth.
Do not turn me away empty-handed from You. In the merit of the righteous men, our masters and teachers, buried here and throughout the entire world, and in the merit of their study of the holy Torah, and their development of new insights, and the good deeds which they performed in this world, may they all be worthy intercessors before You and before Your throne of glory to carry out my petition and fulfill my request concerning which I, Your servant, am praying before You, so that I not be turned away empty-handed. May no accusing spiritual forces obstruct me, neither at this time, nor forever. Amen; selah.
After completing one’s divine service by reciting the above prayers with tears, supplication, and a contrite heart, one should read one’s note of petition (Pidyon Nefesh) at the holy resting place of the Rebbes whose souls are in the sublime treasure stores, may their merit protect us. The following Psalms are then recited: