Incalculable Losses

We are devastated by the loss of so many of Israel’s soldiers, our best and brightest, idealistic young people who have chosen to give their lives to defend their people. The pictures of the fallen that have greeted us daily shock us. How can those images of beaming, shining, beautiful faces be telling such a tragic story?

The pain experienced by their families, the widows, orphans, and bereaved parents and siblings, is unfathomable. The loss to their friends, to their communities, and to Am Yisrael is incalculable. We have lost precious souls taken from us in the prime of their lives.

We are overwhelmed with grief at today’s news of the deaths of 21 soldiers in a single event, 24 soldiers in a single day.

Their comrades in Tzahal will continue their heroic work in defense of the Jewish people and the Jewish state, while the rest of us, ’אחיכם כל בית ישראל יבכו את השריפה אשר שרף ד, their brothers and sisters throughout the Jewish world join their families in mourning their tragic loss.

Our debt to the fallen can never be repaid. Their memories will live on as they have inspired all of us by their literal mesirut nefesh, self-sacrifice for their people. We will redouble our efforts of support and prayer on behalf of the soldiers of Tzahal.

May the Almighty cause the enemies who rise up against us to be struck down before them. May the Holy One, Blessed is He, preserve and rescue our soldiers from every trouble and distress and from every plague and illness, and may He send blessing and success in their every endeavor. May He bring our enemies under our soldiers’ sway and may He grant our soldiers 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.

יִתֵּן ה’ אֶת אוֹיְבֵינוּ הַקָּמִים עָלֵינוּ נִגָּפִים לִפְנֵיהֶם. הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא יִשְׁמֹר וְיַצִּיל אֶת חַיָלֵינוּ מִכָּל צָרָה וְצוּקָה וּמִכָּל נֶגַע וּמַחֲלָה וְיִשְׁלַח בְּרָכָה וְהַצְלָחָה בְּכָל מַעֲשֵׂה יְדֵיהֶם. יַדְבֵּר שׂוֹנְאֵינוּ תַּחְתֵּיהֶם וִיעַטְרֵם בְּכֶתֶר יְשׁוּעָה וּבַעֲטֶרֶת נִצָּחון. וִיקֻיַּם בָּהֶם הַכָּתוּב: כִּי ה’ אֱלֹקֵיכֶם הַהֹלֵךְ עִמָּכֶם לְהִלָּחֵם לָכֶם עִם אֹיְבֵיכֶם לְהוֹשִׁיעַ אֶתְכֶם: וְנֹאמַר אָמֵן