As the Israel Defense Forces mounts a major campaign to still Hamas rocket fire from Gaza against civilians in southern Israel, and with reservists being called up in anticipation of a possible ground operation, the Orthodox Union announced today that it has renewed its vastly successful Tefillah L’Chayalei Tzahal campaign to sell tefillah or prayer cards which include a photo of soldiers at the Kotel in Jerusalem on one side and the Prayer for the Israel Defense Forces on the other. The intention is for individuals or groups to recite the prayer every day with the well-being of the soldiers in mind.
The cards, which require a donation of as little as $1 apiece, have already brought in well in excess of $100,000 from synagogues, schools and individuals, with the funds being distributed by the OU, through the offices of the Chief Military Chaplain of the IDF, to soldiers from poor families.
The prayer, which is available in both Hebrew and English cards, reads as follows:
“May he who blessed our ancestors, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, bless the soldiers of the Israel Defense forces and the security personnel who stand guard over our country and the cities of our God, from the Lebanese border to the Egyptian wilderness and from the Mediterranean Sea to the edges of the desert – or wherever they might be – on land, in the air or at sea.
“May God cause our enemies who attack us to suffer defeat at the hands of our troops. May the Holy One, may He be blessed, shield and protect them from any adversity or anguish, any ordeal or suffering, and send blessing and success to everything they do. May He bring those who hate us under their sway, and glorify our forces with the crown of salvation and the mantle of victory, so that the verse: ‘The Lord your God marches with you to do battle for you against your enemies and to save you,’ will be fulfilled through them; and let us say, Amen.”
In a statement, OU President Stephen J. Savitsky; OU Israel Commission and Board of Directors member Howard Rhine; and Executive Vice President Rabbi Tzvi Hersh Weinreb declared: “As Israel takes action to stop the bombardment of its citizens by Hamas terrorists, we all recognize the danger facing the young men and women who risk their lives on the front lines of battle. The Orthodox Union urges the community to commence with the daily recitation of this tefillah on their behalf. Imagine the Kiddush Hashem (Sanctification of God’s name) and the impact that these thousands of voices can have on behalf of our soldiers. Please order cards for your synagogue, school, home or youth group, and of course for yourself.”
Mr. Rhine added that yeshivot should call on their students to say the prayer during davening, and that OU member synagogues should also encourage their congregations to pray for Israeli soldiers in harm’s way.
Large cards, 8 ½ by 11 inches, are available for $5 each, and credit card-sized cards for $1 apiece.
The prayer cards and poster can be obtained by contacting Marissa Hanfling at firstname.lastname@example.org, 212-613-8385.