Reaching a major milestone, sales of the Orthodox Union's Mi Sheberach Le Tzahal Tefilla (prayer) card program for the welfare of the soldiers of the Israel Defense Forces have now exceeded $100,000, with all of the funds raised already having been distributed, most recently prior to the Sukkot festival. The funds go to Israeli soldiers and their families in financial straits. Prior to Sukkot, they also provided for holiday gift packages distributed to soldiers on their bases by American volunteers.
The announcement of the achievement was made by Howard Rhine, Chair of the Israel Task Force Initiative; Mr. Rhine originated the idea some years ago, along with Vel Werblowsky.
The worldwide Tefilla L'Chavlei Tzahal campaign includes cards and posters with a photo of IDF soldiers at the Kotel in Jerusalem on one side, and the Prayer for the Israel Defense Forces on the other. The daily prayer begins, "Mi sheberach...May he who blessed our ancestors...bless the soldiers of the Israel Defense Forces and the security personnel who stand guard over our country and the cities of our God...or wherever they might be - on land, in the air or at sea."
Mr. Rhine noted: "We have collected and distributed in excess of $100,000 to members of the IDF. This, of course, does not begin to scratch the surface of the hundreds of thousands of people worldwide, who now say the 'Mi Sheberach.’" He added that both Jews and non-Jews recite the prayer in its English version and that many "not yet religious IDF members are now clearly aware of the interest of at least one segment of the religious community in their welfare."
Mr. Rhine continued: “The objective is simple and straightforward: That each day a moment be set aside by men, women and children to remember the sacrifice being made every day by members of the IDF. It is our hope that the Mi Sheberach will become part of the daily service in schools and shuls throughout the world. The impact of children saying the tefillah daily is incalculable. We can be proud that today hundreds of thousands of Jews all over the world are praying as one for our soldiers. Finally, and perhaps most important, who knows whose prayer will be accepted before the Heavenly Throne and make the difference and save even one soldier? Perhaps the businessman who takes a moment out of his busy day, or the child in school, or the woman lighting candles.”
Mr. Rhine revealed that the campaign's next goal is $260,000.
The prayer is available in both Hebrew and English versions. The credit-card size version sells for $1; the 8 ½ by 11 inch posters, suitable for hanging in homes, synagogues and schools, are available for $5.
For more information contact Cohena@ou.org or call 212-613-8126.