Holland’s Jews Welcome Their New King With Special Tefillah and Bracha


holland-king-willem-alexanderTogether with millions of Dutch people celebrating the coronation of Willem-Alexander as Holland’s new king, the nation’s Jews celebrated this historic day in their own way: with a special tefillah and an ancient traditional bracha. The tefillah, which has been distributed among the Jewish communities of Holland in recent days, states, “May He Who grants salvation to kings and dominion to rulers; Whose Kingdom is an everlasting kingdom; Who releases his servant David from the evil sword; Who places a path in the sea and a passageway in the mighty waters – may He bless, guard, protect, exalt, raise up and elevate the king Willem-Alexander, may his glory be magnified.”

This prayer, which was distributed in both Hebrew and Dutch, will be said by Holland’s Jews in their shuls every Shabbos during the Shacharis. This prayer has been recited by the Jewish community for hundreds of years as they prayed for the welfare of each generation of the Royal House of Holland. Holland’s rabbis have always adapted it to the prevailing circumstances, as they have in our times as well, under the leadership of Chief Rabbi Binyamin Jacobs.

In addition to mentioning the name of the king, the prayer for the welfare of King Willem-Alexander also refers to his wife, his daughters and his mother, the departing Queen Beatrix. In the words of the prayer: “May He bless… his wife the queen, and their daughter, next in line to the throne, along with the rest of their daughters, and Princess Beatrix the mother of the king, and the entire royal family, may their glory be exalted.” The prayer also includes a special petition for the Jewish community and its relationship with the royal family: “May the King of all kings, in His mercy, instill in the heart of the king and in the hearts of all his ministers and advisors a spirit ofintegrity and righteousness, that they may do that which is good for us and for all ofIsrael.”

On the eve of the coronation, a special traditional ceremony was held in the Portuguese Synagogue in Amsterdam. This ancient synagogue, which is lit only by candles, was lit on this day with orange candles, coordinating with the name and color of the Royal House of Orange. During the ceremony the head of the congregation took out 14 Torah scrolls, and a special prayer was said in honor of the coronation.
Three representative of the Jewish community participated in the national ceremony held on Tuesday, among them the Chief Rabbi Binyamin Jacobs of interprovincial chief rabbinate and Rabbi Aryeh Ralbag, rabbi of Amsterdam. Rabbi Jacobs, who is also a member of the Rabbinical Centre of Europe (RCE), related that the new king’s words filled him with optimism. “I am certain,” he said, “that the warm relationship that prevailed between the outgoing Queen Beatrix and the Jewish community will continue under the reign of King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima, particularly in light of the fact that the king mentioned in his coronation speech that he intends to follow in the path established by his mother, whom he admires.” Overall, Rabbi Jacobs was quite pleased with the ceremony. “after the coronation,” he related, “among the heads of state in attendance and among the Dutch dignitaries, I recited the special blessing for an occasion such as this: ‘Blessed is He Who has apportioned His honor to human beings.'”

{Noam Amdurski-Matzav.com Newscenter}


  1. Maybe it is good to congratulate the new king, but G-d deserves more acclaim than a dedication service and prayer for a new kingdom.

  2. Just curious!
    Does this king have power or is like tbe monarch in England – just ceremonial and very costly.

  3. Long Live King Wilhem Alexander! Dutch Royalty is a constitutional monarchy However under national emergencies the monarch may take powers for the sake of national unity. Those powers are not used under normal circumstances. The King is not crowned but rather is invested since a dutch monarch wears no crown. This type of European royalty likes simplicity and casual contact with the public. I had the honor to meet her majesty Queen Beatrix in my childhood..it was a treat!

    I think Royalty is important because of history and stability, we as Jews are commanded to respect royalty.