Daily Israel Report

Hareidi Call to Prayer as Battle Heats Up

Rabbis call for psalms, repentance; new initiative to ‘adopt a soldier’ in prayer.
By Chaim Lev, Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 7/20/2014, 3:45 PM

Lelov Hassidic synagogue in Beit Shemesh
Lelov Hassidic synagogue in Beit Shemesh
Flash 90

In light of the expansion of Israel’s ground operation in Gaza, many rabbis have issued a call for additional prayer.

The Admor (spiritual leader) of the Belz Chassidic dynasty called on his followers to recite verses of Tehillim (Psalms) on the Sabbath.

The leader of the Vizhnitz Chassidic dynasty, too, urged followers to pray using the Psalms, and to add the Acheinu Kol Beit Yisrael prayer, which pleads for divine mercy for the Jewish people, to their daily prayers.

Pieces of rocket shrapnel fell on the city of Bnei Brak during the Sabbath (Saturday). The incident prompted hareidi spiritual leader Rabbi Aharon Leib Shteinman to call on religious Jews in the city to strive to improve themselves spiritually.

“They want to show us that Bnei Brak, too, needs to repent and return to G-d,” hareidi media outlets quoted the rabbi as saying.

‘Adopt a Soldier’ in Prayer
In addition, thousands of people are taking part in a hareidi initiative in which people are matched to Israeli soldiers in the line of fire. Participants pray for “their” soldier and attempt to improve their behavior in the soldier’s merit.

Devora, a volunteer with the project, told Arutz Sheva that the public has shown great enthusiasm for the project. “The telephone doesn’t stop ringing. People simply feel the need to make a contribution, even a small one, to Israel’s security.”

“We get phone calls from all kinds of people,” she added. “Alongside worried mothers who call and ask us to pray for their sons, there are so many calls to get names of people to pray for. The unity among various sectors of society is heartwarming.”