When My Child Enlists in the IDF

IMG_7271Several friends have recently asked for a prayer for their kids enlisting in the IDF. This Times of Israel essay by Laura Ben-David captures both the pride and the concern of parents.

One issue writing this prayer: balancing the emotions of parents for their individual children with the national responsibility and love we feel for all of our soldiers, especially the newly-enlisted. These young men and women are neighbors and family friends.

This prayer is an adaption of one I wrote during Operation Pillar of Defense, with a few lines taken from a prayer titled “For First Responders.” I’ve also used that piece to write a general prayer “For the IDF,” posted here in Hebrew and in English. Choices for customizing this prayer are shown with a slash (“/”). 

When My Child Enlists in the IDF
Rock of Israel,
My/Our son/daughter,
Has been called to serve in the IDF,
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.
Let his/her service be in the name of peace and justice,
In the name of sovereignty and survival.

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.
Protect our soldiers from physical harm,
Shield them from emotional pain,
And guard them from taking the traumas of war into themselves.
Watch over my son/daughter _____________________ [insert name]
Throughout his/her service.
Bless the injured and wounded
In every generation
With Your healing hand.
Bless the heroes of our past
And the heroes of the future
With Your steadfast love.

Source of Peace,
Keep my/our son/daughter safe,
Keep all of our soldiers safe,
And let the IDF keep us safe,
So that all return in life and in health
To the cradle of my/our home,
The warmth of my/our embrace,
And to the loving arms of our people.

© 2014 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: Here’s a link to more prayers for Israel. One of my favorites is “Israel: A Meditation.”

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Photo Credit: Alden Solovy

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