Jewish Prayers From the Heart and Pen of Alden Solovy

War on Yom Kippur, 40 Years Later

Evacuated_Casualties_of_the_Yom_Kippur_War_-_Flickr_-_Israel_Defense_ForcesTomorrow is the 40th anniversary of the Yom Kippur War, a surprise attack on two major fronts on the holiest day of the Jewish year. Here’s a two-prayer liturgy of hope and honor. The first is for the safety of soldiers currently serving in the IDF, including a memorial to Israeli soldiers of the past and a recognition that Israel will need heroes for the future. It’s an adaptation of a prayer I wrote during Operation Pillar of Defense for safety of Israeli soldiers. The second is a prayer for all soldiers and veterans, envisioning a time when, with G-d’s blessings, we will no longer need soldiers to defend our freedom. Click here for more prayers and meditations about Israel.

For the  Soldiers of the IDF
Rock of Israel,
Our sons and daughters,
Our brothers and sisters,
Our family and friends,
Have been called to serve,
In the name of peace and justice,
In the name of sovereignty and survival,
To defend and to protect our land
From violence and assault,
From kidnappers and terrorists,
From missile and mortar,
From those who would destroy our nation and our people.

We stand with the defenders of Israel.
We honor the guardians of Zion.
We hold dear the sentries of Am Kadosh.

G-d of Old,
We know the price of safety,
We know the cost of security.
Bless the injured and wounded
In every generation
With Your healing hand.
Bless the dead and the bereaved
With Your love and consolation.
Bless the heroes of our past
And the heroes of the future
With a share in the world to come.

Source of Peace,
Keep our soldiers safe,
And let our soldiers keep us safe,
So that they return in life and in health
To the loving arms of our people.

The Last Soldier
When the last soldier passes on,
When armies are disbanded and militias discharged,
When weapons are abandoned and armor discarded,
Your mission will, at last, be over.

For you know the soldier’s secret.
Yours was not a mission of war
Nor a mission of ruin.
Yours was not a mission of destruction
Nor a mission of death.
Your mission was safety, security, protection.
Your mission was honor, loyalty, service.
Your mission was to end violence, tyranny, despair.

When the last soldier passes on,
When the uniforms are retired and the final grave filled,
We will remember all who served and sacrificed for our nation.

Until then G-d of Old,
Watch over our soldiers and our veterans.
Renew their courage.
Rebuild their strength.
Heal their wounds.
Bind their hearts with Your steadfast love.
Remember them,
Bless them,
Sustain them,
And give them peace.

© 2011-2012 Alden Solovy and www.tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: Here’s a link to a prayer “For Peace in the Middle East,” as well as a link to more prayers for Israel. One of my favorites is “Israel: A Meditation.”

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Photo Credit: IDF Photo released to Wikimedia Commons

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