OU Calls on Jewish Community to Recite Psalms for Kidnapped Israeli Soldier

June 29, 2006

In response to a request from the Israeli Chief Rabbinate, the Orthodox Union has called on the Jewish community to recite Psalms (Tehillim) for Gilad Shalit, the 19-year-old soldier who was abducted by Palestinian terrorists Sunday.

Gilad’s Hebrew name is Gilad ben Aviva.

The request is found on the home page of the OU website, www.ou.org.

The message includes a letter in Hebrew from Rabbi Shlomo Moshe Amar, Chief Rabbi of Israel, requesting that Psalms be said.

According to Rabbi Robert Shur, Program Coordinator in the OU’s Pepa and Rabbi Joseph Karasick Department of Synagogue Services, the recitation should include Psalms 121 and 130, which are traditionally said in times of distress. He also suggested Psalm 142.

Psalm 121 reads in part, “I will lift up my eyes unto the mountains; from where shall my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made the heavens and the earth…The Lord shall guard your going out and your coming in, from this time forth and forever.”

Psalm 130, which is recited in the synagogue during the morning service of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur and the days in between, reads in part, “From the depths I called you, Oh Lord. My Lord, hear my voice, may your ears be attentive to the sound of my supplications.”

Psalm 142 reads in part, “Attend to my cry, for I am brought very low; Deliver me from my persecutors, for they are too strong for me.”