Posts Tagged ‘Yom Ha’Zikaron prayers’

 

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

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.

New here? Subscribe here to get my newest prayers by email.
Share the prayer! Email this to a friend.

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

“Alden has become one of Reform Judaism’s master poet-liturgists…" - Religion News Service, Dec. 23, 2020

“Mesmerizing, spiritual, provocative, and thoughtful, Alden was everything you would want in a guest scholar and teacher.” – Rabbi Denise L. Eger, Congregation Kol Ami, Los Angeles, and Past President, CCAR

"Alden Solovy has become one of the most revered liturgists of the last decade…" - Jewish Post & Opinion, March 29, 2023

“Alden left everyone feeling inspired.” – Cantor Jeri Robins, Shabbat Chair, NewCAJE6