Nikola Radić Lucati


Merciful Father (Av ha Rahamim)

Me Nesharim kalu, me Arayot gaveru
(They were swifter than eagles and braver than lions... carry out the will of their Maker,
and the desire of their steadfast God. ...)

These words are chiseled onto the faceless and nameless plinth for monument in the park next to Hassan Beg mosque in downtown Tel Aviv. Park sits beside the open bus terminal, on the onetime site of the Manshiya neighborhood of Jaffo.

Av Harachamim (אב הרחמים "Father [of] mercy" or "Merciful Father") is a Jewish memorial prayer which was written in the late 11th or early 12th Century, after the destruction of the Ashkenazi communities around the Rhine River by Christian crusaders during the First Crusade. It is printed in every Orthodox siddur and recited as part of the weekly Shabbat services.
The Yizkor service on Jewish holidays, concludes with the Av Harachamim, which prays for the souls of all Jewish martyrs.

Av Rachamim

"The Father of mercy who dwells on high
in His great mercy
will remember with compassion
the pious, upright and blameless
the holy communities, who laid down their lives
for the sanctification of His name.
They were loved and pleasant in their lives
and in death they were not parted.
They were swifter than eagles and stronger than lions
to carry out the will of their Maker,
and the desire of their steadfast God.
May our Lord remember them for good
together with the other righteous of the world
and may He redress the spilled blood of His servants
as it is written in the Torah of Moses the man of God:
"O nations, make His people rejoice
for He will redress the blood of His servants
He will retaliate against His enemies
and appease His land and His people".
And through Your servants, the prophets it is written:
"Though I forgive, their bloodshed I shall not forgive
When God dwells in Zion"
And in the Holy Writings it says:
"Why should the nations say, 'Where is their God?'"
Let it be known among the nations in our sight
that You avenge the spilled blood of Your servants.
And it says: "For He who exacts retribution for spilled blood remembers them
He does not forget the cry of the humble".
And it says:
"He will execute judgement among the corpse-filled nations
crushing the rulers of the mighty land;
from the brook by the wayside he will drink
then he will hold his head high".