click here to jump to start of article
Join Our Newsletter

Get latest articles and videos with Jewish inspiration and insights​

The Empty Chair Prayer

The Empty Chair Prayer

The Jewish people have suffered immeasurable tragedy in the last century alone. The crisis of today demands our utmost attention.


Do you remember Seder night 50 years ago?

We had empty seats in our family after the Nazi Holocaust.

Do you remember Seder night 20 years ago?

We had an empty seat in our home for a Jew in Soviet Russia.

This year, 50 percent of young Jews are being lost to apathy and assimilation.

Shouldn't we leave an empty seat tonight?

Please take a moment at your family Seder to join in this prayer:


Dear God,

Thank You for allowing us to enjoy another Seder night together with our family and friends.

Just as our family joins together on Seder night, bridging all distances and differences, please help the Jewish people to heal the rifts of internal dissent. Please infuse us with the knowledge and inspire us with the awareness that Jewish people all over the world are part of our family.

Together we have survived the turmoil of 3,300 years, making a difference to civilization wherever we go.

Today we are losing every second Jewish child to the ravages of apathy and assimilation.

Dear God,

Help us to bring these young Jews back to us, back to You.

They are our children.

They are our grandchildren.

They are our future.

Fortify us with the resolve and the commitment to reach out to them, to relate the beauty and relevance of our precious heritage -- so that together, all Jews can forge our common destiny.

Next year, please God, let there be no empty seats at our family Seder.

April 2, 2003

Give Tzedakah! Help create inspiring
articles, videos and blogs featuring timeless Jewish wisdom.
The opinions expressed in the comment section are the personal views of the commenters. Comments are moderated, so please keep it civil.

Visitor Comments: 2

(2) Anonymous, April 12, 2007 11:32 PM

I loved it, especially because I am old and there are many empty chairs at my table. In fact, more chairs are vacant than filled. It signifies the natural result of the passing years. It also reminds me of all those who could have lived and what they might have done. I hope that more people will realize how sacred life is, and how important it is to devote it to what is really important.

(1) Anonymous, April 12, 2007 11:15 PM

Thank you so much for the inspiring piece titled "The Empty Chair Prayer." It is very meaningful to our family right now. I wish I knew what to do beyond praying, though.

Submit Your Comment:

  • Display my name?

  • Your email address is kept private. Our editor needs it in case we have a question about your comment.

  • * required field 2000
Submit Comment