An Amended Prayer for IDF Soldiers

An Amended Prayer for IDF Soldiers

This post presents the English and Hebrew texts for a new version of the prayer for the soldiers of the Israel Defense Forces, amended by Dr. Alex Sinclair to reflect the ethical challenges faced by soldiers in today’s complex political climate. Dr. Sinclair added a few lines (in bold) to the traditional prayer, in which he asks God to grant the soldiers the discernment needed to avoid killing innocent people along with the evil. He quotes the Biblical verse from the story of Sodom and Gemorrah, where Abraham berates God for his plan to destroy the entire city because of the evil actions of just a few people. Sinclair, the director of programs in Israel Education for the Jewish Theological Seminary, is referring specifically to innocent Palestinians, and left-wing Israeli and international activists. As a liberal Zionist educator, he believes that amending the prayer is an important way to raise awareness about these issues in Israeli society. To read an article about this subject by the author, click here

An Amended Prayer for IDF Soldiers

מִי שֶׁבֵּרַךְ אֲבותֵינוּ אַבְרָהָם יִצְחָק וְיַעֲקב הוּא יְבָרֵךְ אֶת חַיָּלֵי צְבָא הֲגַנָּה לְיִשְׂרָאֵל, הָעומְדִים עַל מִשְׁמַר אַרְצֵנוּ וְעָרֵי אֱלהֵינוּ מִגְּבוּל הַלְּבָנון וְעַד מִדְבַּר מִצְרַיִם וּמִן הַיָּם הַגָּדול עַד לְבוא הָעֲרָבָה בַּיַּבָּשָׁה בָּאֲוִיר וּבַיָּם. יִתֵּן ה’ אֶת אויְבֵינוּ הַקָּמִים עָלֵינוּ נִגָּפִים לִפְנֵיהֶם. הַקָּדושׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא יִשְׁמר וְיַצִּיל אֶת חַיָלֵינוּ מִכָּל צָרָה וְצוּקָה וּמִכָּל נֶגַע וּמַחְלָה וְיִשְׁלַח בְּרָכָה וְהַצְלָחָה בְּכָל מַעֲשֵׂה יְדֵיהֶם.

יִתֵּן ה’ לְחַיָלֵינוּ חָכְמָה, בִּינָה וְדַעַת, שְׁלֹא יִסְפּוּ צָדִיק עִם רָשָׁע, כְּמוֹ שְׁכָתוּב בְּתוֹרָתֶךָ, חָלִלָה לְּךָ מֵעֲשֹׂת כַּדָּבָר הַזֶּה, לְהָמִית צַדִּיק עִם-רָשָׁע, וְהָיָה כַצַּדִּיק כָּרָשָׁע; חָלִלָה לָּךְ–הֲשֹׁפֵט כָּל-הָאָרֶץ לֹא יַעֲשֶׂה מִשְׁפָּט.

 יַדְבֵּר שׂונְאֵינוּ תַּחְתֵּיהֶם וִיעַטְרֵם בְּכֶתֶר יְשׁוּעָה וּבְעֲטֶרֶת נִצָּחון. וִיקֻיַּם בָּהֶם הַכָּתוּב: כִּי ה’ אֱלהֵיכֶם הַהלֵךְ עִמָּכֶם לְהִלָּחֵם לָכֶם עִם איבֵיכֶם לְהושִׁיעַ אֶתְכֶם: וְנאמַר אָמֵן:

May God, who blessed our forefathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, bless the soldiers of the Israel Defense Forces, who stand guard over our land and the cities of our God, from the border of Lebanon to the desert of Egypt, and from the Great Sea to the Aravah, on land, in the air, and on the sea. May the Lord cause the enemies who rise up against us to be struck down before them. May the Holy Blessed One preserve and rescue our soldiers from every trouble and distress and from every plague and illness, and may God send blessing and success in their every endeavor.

May the Lord give our soldiers wisdom, understanding, and insight, so that they do not destroy the righteous with the wicked, as it is written in Your Torah: Far be it from you to do such a thing, to kill the righteous with the wicked, treating them the same. Far be it from you – should the Judge of all the Earth not do justice?

May God cause our enemies to submit before our soldiers, and may God grant them salvation and crown them with victory. And may there be fulfilled for them the verse: For it is the Lord your God, Who goes with you to battle your enemies for you to save you, and let us say, Amen.