Prayer for Members of the Israel Defense Force
Prayer for Members of the Israel Defense Force

My oldest daughter came home from school this week, excited to have learned to recite "The Prayer for the Welfare of the State of Israel," and "the Prayer for the Welfare of the Soldiers of the Israel Defense Forces."  

From where do these "modern" prayers emanate? Apparently, they began in 1948 by the Sephardic and Ashkenazic Chief Rabbis, and the first time they appeared in print was in the now-defunct Religious Zionist newspaper HaTzofe on September 20, 1948. In Israel and many American synagogues, these prayers are said on the Sabbath at the end of the Torah reading.

As a lifelong follower of Ze’ev Jabotinsky, the Revisionist Zionist leader, the founder of the first modern day Jewish self-defense force, every day Jews all over the world should be thankful to the Israel Defense Forces, for they protect the Jewish State. 

Today, as Israel strikes Gaza to protect Israel, thankfully the Israel Defense Forces knows Jewish self-defense.

It is always worth reciting the Prayer for the Welfare of the Soldiers of the Israel Defense Forces

"He Who blessed our forefathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob - may He bless the fighters of the Israel Defense Force, who stand guard over our land and the cities of our God from the border of the Lebanon to the desert of Egypt, and from the Great Sea unto the approach of the Aravah, on the land, in the air, and on the sea.

"May Hashem 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 fighting men from every trouble and distress and from every plague and illness, and may He send blessing and success in their every endeavor.

"May He lead our enemies under their sway and may He grant them salvation and crown them with victory. And may there be fulfilled for them the verse: For it is Hashem, Your God, Who goes with you to battle your enemies for you to save you.”

Ronn Torossian is a Public Relations executive and proud Jew.