Just in time for the High Holidays, the Orthodox Union and NCSY, its international youth organization, are making available a bookmark for machzorim (prayer books for Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur) with a prayer for captured soldiers Gilad Shalit, an Israeli captured by Hamas, and Bowe Bergdahl, an American captured by the Taliban.
The bookmark is a project of NCSY Teens for Freedom, a group of NCSY teens who decided to undertake a project in honor of Gilad Shalit, who was captured in June 2006. Every Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur since then, the group has created a bookmark/prayer card with a prayer for the return of Israeli soldiers, allowing for an easy reminder during davening (praying) on the High Holidays.
Rabbi Steven Burg, International Director of NCSY, declared, “This year, NCSY decided to include a photo of an American soldier as well, to show that we acknowledge that the United States and Israel are facing some of the same challenges. Unfortunately, the Jewish community knows how horrible it is for family members not to know what happened to their loved ones, and it is important for us to keep that on our radar during the High Holidays when we engage in some of the most powerful prayers of the year. My thoughts and prayers are especially with the Shalit and Bergdahl families.”
The prayer is as follows:
“May the One Who blessed our ancestors, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Aaron, David, and Solomon, bless and kidnapped the captured soldiers. May the Holy One, Blessed be He, watch them and save them from all trouble and oppression and from all evil and injury. May He be filled with mercy for them, to cause them to recover and to heal them, to strengthen them and to invigorate them, and to bring them speedily to freedom, to return to the embrace of their families. May they merit long lives and years of much strength and peace. In the merit of our forefathers, may the descendents be saved and fulfill through them the verse, ‘Release my soul from imprisonment to praise Your Name’ ( Psalms 142:8), swiftly and soon, and let us all say Amen.”
To order the free cards, contact Rabbi Jack Abramowitz at email@example.com or 212-613-8366.