Posts Tagged ‘Yom Hazikaron prayer’

 

Remember My Heart

Posted on: April 29th, 2017 by Alden No Comments

This Yom HaZikaron offering imagines a prayer that might be said by the soldiers and terror victims who’ve lost their lives for the State of Israel. It’s meant to honor that raw spot of grief that exists in all of us, but that some live with daily as a result of simply living in Israel and serving this nation. The core metaphor is a ubiquitous image throughout Israel, the flower that survives by growing up through the cracks in stone, sometimes hewn stones placed by our ancestors, sometimes the very stone of the earth.

Remember My Heart
When you see a flower bloom
Between the cracks in stone,
Remember me.
Remember my heart and my hands.
The hands of sons and daughters,
Of dreamers and doers,
Soldiers by necessity,
Civilians targeted for terror,
Old hands, young hands, children’s hands,
Hands that yearned for life.

When you see a flower bloom
Between the cracks in stone,
Remember that we have shed both tears and blood
In our yearning for this land and this people.
Remember what cannot be stolen,
Our love, our hope,
Our history, our home.

Oh, to still be with you in this sacred land,
In this beauty and wonder,
In this place of my soul.

When you see a flower bloom
Between the cracks in stone,
Remember me.
Remember that beauty survives,
That our love is strong,
That our sacrifices are holy,
That our cause is just,
That our people will endure.

Blessed are you, my people,
Who remember those of us who’ve given our lives
To build, defend and live in this land.
May the Holy One
Shelter your heart in the wings of comfort
And bring peace, at last,
Peace at last.

© 2017 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: The last lines are intentionally vague implying both peace of mind for mourners and relatives of the deceased, as well as peace for the land of Israel. Here are three other prayer that are important for Yom HaZikaron: “Yizkor for a Lone Soldier,” “The Soldiers on this Mountain,” “To the Terrorist,” “For those Who Die Young” and “Memorial for a Child.”

Please check out my ELItalk video, “Falling in Love with Prayer,” and This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day. For reprint permissions and usage guidelines and reprint permissions, see “Share the Prayer!” To receive my latest prayers via email, please subscribe (on the home page). You can also connect on Facebook and Twitter.

Photo by Alden Solovy

The Soldiers on this Mountain

Posted on: July 29th, 2014 by Alden No Comments

IMG_7301This is a memorial meditation for soldiers buried at the Israeli national cemetery on Har Herzl. Although it’s written to be used at a funeral, alternative openings [shown in brackets] allow it to be used by those visiting the cemetery generally and by those visiting a particular grave. There are also gender and age-related options shown with a slash “/”. This meditation was inspired by the funeral of Sgt. Max Steinberg, z”l.

The Soldiers on this Mountain
To rest we lay another youth/man/woman,
[Here rests another youth/man/woman,]
[Here rests ____________ (full name),]
A soldier on a mountain,
In a sacred city,
In a sacred land,
Held holy in our blood for millennia.

The soldiers on this mountain
Know you.
They know your heart.
They know your love.
They know your spirit.
Courage and valor are your companions.
Strength and honor are your legacy.
You are home among the defenders of
Our Promised Land.

The soldiers on this mountain
Grieve with you,
Not for themselves,
And not for you.
They grieve for the next
And the next
And the next
Who will rise up
And be struck down
To defend the children of Israel.

The soldiers on this mountain
Know you,
They know your passion,
They know your blood.

Son/Daughter of Israel,
The soldiers on this mountain
Welcome you –
One more among the fallen,
Another brave soul –
Back to the land you love.

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

Postscript: Here are links to more prayers for Israel, a prayer “For the IDF during Operation Protective Edge” and a “Yizkor for a Lone Soldier,” which I wrote before attending Max’s funeral. Thanks to my friends Ros Roucher and Rolene Marks for comments on an earlier draft.

Please consider making a contribution to support this site and my writing. For usage guidelines and reprint permissions, see “Share the Prayer!” For notices of new prayers, please subscribe. You can also connect on Facebook and Twitter.

Photo Source: Alden Solovy

For the IDF, Operation Protective Edge

Posted on: July 20th, 2014 by Alden No Comments

Soldiers at the Kotel2Here’s a new prayer for safety of IDF soldiers during Operation Protective Edge. It’s based on a prayer called “For the IDF: Operation Pillar of Defense” that I wrote nearly two years ago for that conflict. Unlike the earlier version, this prayer specifically identifies Hamas and includes more specific prayers for the families of the dead and wounded. It also includes a prayer for peace. I’ve also moved three lines up to be the opening of the prayer.

For the IDF, Operation Protective Edge
We stand with the defenders of Israel.
We honor the guardians of Zion.
We hold dear the sentries of Am Kadosh.

Rock of Israel,
Our sons and daughters,
Brothers and sisters,
Family and friends,
Have been called to serve
In the name of peace and justice
In Operation Protective Edge
To defend and to protect our land
From violence and assault,
From kidnappers and terrorists,
From the rain of missiles from Gaza.

Rock of Jacob,
Watch over the soldiers of the IDF.
Be their power and their strength,
Be their shield and their rampart.
Be their armor.
Protect our troops
From the weapons and the deadly intentions of Hamas.
Grant our soldiers courage and skill.
Guide their commanders
To think clearly and act decisively.
Grant the injured a complete r’fuah sheliamah.
For those who perish,
Grant them their share in the world to come.
Bless their families with solace.
Ease their minds and console their hearts.

G-d of Old,
We know the price of safety,
We know the cost of security,
We know the dangers ahead.
This is not easy. It is not desired.
And yet, we cannot be held captive
To hatred and violence.
How much longer should we wait?

Source of Shelter,
Grant a swift and successful end to this operation.
May this struggle bring lasting peace.
Keep our soldiers safe,
And let our soldiers keep us safe.
Return them swiftly in life and in health
To the loving arms of our people.

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

Postscript: Here are links two related prayers “To the Terrorist” and “For Peace in the Middle East,” as well as a link to more prayers for Israel.

Please consider making a contribution to support this site and my writing. For usage guidelines and reprint permissions, see “Share the Prayer!” For notices of new prayers, please subscribe. You can also connect on Facebook and Twitter.

Photo Source: Alden Solovy

Lone Soldier in the IDF

Posted on: May 5th, 2014 by Alden No Comments

IDF InsigniaFor Yom Ha’atzmut, a prayer for the young men and women in the IDF who have come alone to Israel, without their families, to live the dream of building lives here and serving our people in the military. The term is chiyal boded – Lone Soldier – and Israel embraces them with love and care. This is an adaptation of a piece I wrote for Lone Soldiers during Operation Pillar of Defense. While these young men and women are the inspiration for this prayer, the idea came from a soldier’s mother.

Lone Soldier in the IDF
Guardian of Israel,
Young men and women
Have left their homes and families
Throughout the world
To find their place in the Land,
To build lives of hope,
And to serve Your People in the IDF.

Bless them,
And bless all soldiers
Of the Israel Defense Forces,
With strength and skill,
Compassion and determination,
The hallmarks of our military.
Let comradeship bolster their courage.
Let them keep faith with their vision
Of a strong and vital Jewish state.
Look with compassion on their families
And the families of all our military.
Ease their minds.
Console their hearts.
Grant their deepest prayers
For the well-being of their children.

Source of Peace,
Shield our soldiers from the traumas of war.
Keep them safe,
So that they may keep us safe.
Return them swiftly in life and in health
To the loving arms of our people.

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

Postscript: A few lines of this prayer were taken from “For the IDF: Operation Pillar of Defense.” Here are links to two more related prayers, “To the Terrorist” and “For Peace in the Middle East,” as well as a link to more prayers for Israel.

For usage guidelines and reprint permissions, see “Share the Prayer!” For notices of new prayers, please subscribe. You can also connect on Facebook and Twitter. If you like this prayer, please post a link to Facebook, your blog or mention it in a tweet.

When My Child Enlists in the IDF

Posted on: March 27th, 2014 by Alden No Comments

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.”

For usage guidelines and reprint permissions, see “Share the Prayer!” For notices of new prayers, please subscribe. You can also connect on Facebook and Twitter. If you like this prayer, please post a link to Facebook, your blog or mention it in a tweet.

Photo Credit: Alden Solovy

War on Yom Kippur, 40 Years Later

Posted on: September 12th, 2013 by tobendlight No Comments

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.”

For usage guidelines and reprint permissions, see “Share the Prayer!” For notices of new prayers, please subscribe. Connect with To Bend Light on Facebook and on Twitter.

Photo Credit: IDF Photo released to Wikimedia Commons

For the Soldiers of the IDF

Posted on: April 13th, 2013 by tobendlight No Comments

IDF Soldiers at KotelWritten for Yom Hazikaron, here’s a prayer for the safety of soldiers serving in the IDF, including a memorial to Israeli soldiers living and dead who served in the past, as well as a recognition that we’ll need heroes for the future. It’s an adaptation of a prayer I wrote during Operation Pillar of Defense. May our soldiers stay safe and keep us safe.

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.

© 2012 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

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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.”

Please check out my ELItalk video, “Falling in Love with Prayer,” and This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day. For reprint permissions and usage guidelines and reprint permissions, see “Share the Prayer!” To receive my latest prayers via email, please subscribe (on the home page). You can also connect on Facebook and Twitter.

Photo Credit: Alden Solovy

For the IDF (In Hebrew and English)

Posted on: November 20th, 2012 by tobendlight No Comments

On Thursday I posted a new prayer for the safety of soldiers serving in the IDF. Since then, I’ve received several requests for a Hebrew version of this prayer. Here it is. As I wrote in the original post, most of it is new, although I’ve taken three lines from “Gilad, Home at Last” and a paragraph from “In Times of War.” This prayer can also used as part of a three-prayer liturgy. The second is for terrorists to find a new path called “To the Terrorist.” The third is for peace, called “For Peace in the Middle East.” RJ Blog posted the entire three-part liturgy.

Earlier today I posted another new prayer called “Lone Soldier, Operation Pillar of Defense.” It’s a prayer for Lone Soldiers and all soldiers of the IDF.

Postscript: Here are links to “To the Terrorist” and “For Peace in the Middle East,” as well as a link to more prayers for Israel. I took the photo of the soldiers at the Kotel on Monday.

For usage guidelines and reprint permissions, see “Share the Prayer!” For notices of new prayers, please subscribe. You can also connect on Facebook and Twitter. If you like this prayer, please post a link to Facebook, your blog or mention it in a tweet.

Photo credit: Alden Solovy

Lone Soldier, Operation Pillar of Defense

Posted on: November 20th, 2012 by tobendlight No Comments

Right now, there are young men and women in the IDF who have come alone to Israel, without their families, to live the dream of building lives in Israel and serving our people in the military. The term is chiyal boded – Lone Soldier – and Israel embraces them with love and care. I was touched last week, after posting “For the IDF: Operation Pillar of Defense,” when the mother of a Lone Soldier emailed to say that it gave voice to her prayers. These young men and women are the inspiration for this prayer, but the idea came from a soldier’s mother. It’s a prayer for Lone Soldiers and all soldiers of the IDF.

Lone Soldier, Operation Pillar of Defense
Guardian of Israel,
Young men and women
Have left their homes and families
Throughout the world
To find their place in the Land,
To build lives of hope,
And to serve Your People in the IDF.

Bless them,
And bless all soldiers
Of the Israel Defense Forces,
With strength and skill,
Compassion and determination,
The hallmarks of our military.
Let comradeship bolster their courage.
Let them keep faith with their vision
Of a strong and vital Jewish state.
Look with compassion on their families
And the families of all our military.
Ease their minds.
Console their hearts.
Grant their deepest prayers
For the well-being of their children.

Source of Peace,
Grant a swift and successful end to Operation Pillar of Defense.
Shield our soldiers from the traumas of war.
Keep them safe,
So that they may keep us safe.
Return them swiftly in life and in health
To the loving arms of our people.

© 2012 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: A few lines of this prayer were taken from “For the IDF: Operation Pillar of Defense.” Here are links to two more related prayers, “To the Terrorist” and “For Peace in the Middle East,” as well as a link to more prayers for Israel.

If you use this prayer, please click “like” on this page and subscribe. Please take a moment to post a link to your Facebook page, your blog or mention it in a tweet. Thanks. For usage guidelines and reprint permissions, see “Share the Prayer!

For the IDF, Operation Pillar of Defense

Posted on: November 15th, 2012 by tobendlight No Comments

IDF CroppedHere’s a new prayer for safety of soldiers serving in the IDF. Most of it is new, although I’ve taken the three lines from “Gilad, Home at Last” and a paragraph from “In Times of War.” This prayer can also used as part of a three-prayer liturgy. The second is for terrorists to find a new path called “To the Terrorist.” The third is for peace, called “For Peace in the Middle East.” The liturgy moves from the immediate need for the safety of our soldiers and citizens to our hopes for the future.

ADDENDUM, November 21, 2012: I have since posted this prayer translated into Hebrew, as well as a new prayer called “Lone Soldier, Operation Pillar of Defense.”

For the IDF, Operation Pillar of Defense
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 Operation Pillar of Defense
To defend and to protect our land
From violence and assault,
From kidnappers and terrorists,
From the rain of missiles from Gaza.

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

Grant our leaders insight and strength
To guide our nation on a path of wisdom,
Using our power and might with courage, with caution and with care.
Bless the injured and wounded with Your healing hand
And their families with Your loving grace.

G-d of Old,
We know the price of safety,
We know the cost of security,
We know the dangers ahead.
This is not easy.
This is not desired.
And yet, we cannot be held captive
To hatred and violence.
How much longer should we wait?

Source of Peace,
Grant a swift and successful end to this operation.
Keep our soldiers safe,
And let our soldiers keep us safe.
Return them swiftly in life and in health
To the loving arms of our people.

© 2012 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: Here are links to “To the Terrorist” and “For Peace in the Middle East,” as well as a link to more prayers for Israel.

Please consider making a contribution to support this site and my writing. For usage guidelines and reprint permissions, see “Share the Prayer!” For notices of new prayers, please subscribe. You can also connect on Facebook and Twitter.

Photo Source: IDF Spokesperson via Times of Israel

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