Holland’s Jews joined millions in the Dutch country on Wednesday and celebrated the coronation of Willem-Alexander as Holland’s new king with a special prayer and an ancient traditional blessing.
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 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.
The special prayer, 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.”
The prayer was distributed in both Hebrew and Dutch and will be said by Holland’s Jews in synagogues every Shabbat during the Shacharit morning services.
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 of integrity and righteousness, that they may do that which is good for us and for all of Israel.”