A Prayer for Conversos

The following pray for Conversos was penned by Rabbi Shelomo Alkabetz in 1536. Alkabetz was a rabbi and kabbalist best remembered for his writing the hymn titled Lecha Dodi which forms part of the Friday evening service called Kabbalat Shabbat.

“If there be among them those who abandoned their honor [converted] on a better day and prayed to a strange god, You alone know the heart of man, You know his hurt and the pain of his heart…In distress they called upon You and some sanctified Your name in auto-da-fes…Nonetheless they kept Your Torah, neither leaving nor abandoning it…Now their spirit moves them to go up to Mt. Sion, the L-RD’s mountain, to delight in its stones and to rebuild the dust of its ruins. All assemble to come to You; they take their lives in their hands and set forth by sea…for the Land.”1

Grave of Rabbi Alkabetz

  1. David Shelomo Alfassa, The Sephardic ‘Anousim’: Anousim, Crypto-Jews, and Marranos, (New York, Alfassa: 2010), p. 147

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