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Tfilat HaDerech


May it be Your will, Adonai our God and God of our ancestors, that You lead us toward peace, and place our footsteps towards peace, and guide us toward peace, and bring us to our desired destination for life, joy and peace. (If the traveler intends to return home the same day, he adds: “and bring us home in peace.”) May You rescue us from every enemy, ambush, bandits and wild animals along the road. and from every calamity that threatens to descend upon the world. May send blessing upon the work of our hands. Let us obtain grace, kindness and mercy in Your eyes and in the eyes of all who beholds us.
May You hear the sound of our supplications, for You are God Who hears prayers and supplications.
Blessed are You, Adonai, Who hears prayer.


אחרון חביב אחרון acharon acharon chaviv: the equivalent English proverb is “last but not least.” However the literal meaning of this Hebrew expression is “the very last is (the most) beloved.”

It is fitting that the concluding entry in this series be תפילת הדרך tefilat ha-derech, the traveler’s prayer. As we embark upon our further Hebrew studies, we indeed voice a fervent prayer that we reach “our desired destination in life, joy and peace."

The Talmud insists that this prayer be recited in the plural—as is virtually every prayer in the liturgy. Even when I am embarking upon a “solo” venture, I need to include myself in the community of humankind if I am truly intent upon reaching my destination in life, joy and peace. (And if my goals are not the kind that will be accompanied by life, joy and peace—then it is probably time for me to reevaluate those goals!)
נסיעה טובה nesia tova—may you have a good journey!

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