Gilad Shalit, First Year Home

This is a prayer of rejoicing and healing written for the 2011 homecoming of Gilad Shalit and is re-posted here for the first anniversary of his return. It includes two stanzas to honor all the defenders of Israel and uses a line from Birkot Hashachar as the chatimah, the seal ending the prayer. The URJ has also posted this prayer to its blog.

Gilad, Home at Last
With your feet on the soil of our ancestors,
The land sings.
With your return to the home of our people,
The nation exalts.
As you enter the house of your parents,
Your kin weep.
When you build a new life
And take your place with your generation,
Am Yisroel will delight.

We will never forget the defenders of Israel.
We will never forget the guardians of Zion.
We will never forget the sentries of Am Kadosh.

G-d who frees the slave and liberates the captive,
We rejoice at this homecoming.
Grant Gilad Shalit a complete restoration from his isolation,
So that he knows joy and celebration.
Ease his burdens.
Release him from suffering.
Return him in wholeness to life.

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,
You have returned this son of Israel to our people.
Now, bless him with all of Your gifts:
Vitality, energy, happiness and peace.

.ברוך אתה ה אלוקינו מלך העולם מתיר אסורים
Blessed are you, Adonai our God,
Sovereign of universe,
who releases the captive.

© 2011 Alden Solovy and All rights reserved

Postscript: This prayer is an adaptation of the prayer I wrote when news was annouced that he would be headed home, called “Prayer for Gilad’s Homecoming.” In many ways, it seems to me, a prayer for Gilad is a prayer for us all. Here are two prayers for Israel: “Israel: A Meditation” and “A Song that Holds My Heart,” a prayer/song about Hatikvah. This prayer was first posted October 18, 2011.

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