Ready to say Tehillim and Mishebeirach? What can you do to help?
The whole Jewish world is praying for the safe return of three Israeli youth, being held yet another day by Hamas terrorists. Share their faces, and as world citizens demand better of the Palestinian Authority and their already perilous “unity government.”
And do a good deed in the honor of these boys. Pray and say Tehillim (Psalms) their merit, and their names:
Yaakov Naftali Ben Rachel Devorah (Fraenkel, 16 years old)
Gilad Michael ben Bat Galim (Shaer, 16 years old)
Eyal ben Iris Teshura (Yifrach, 19 years old)
Two of the three teenagers abducted are students in Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz’s Mekor Haim Yeshiva High School in Jerusalem. (see “Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz calls for prayers for teens’ return”)
As noted by the rabbi, many of us feel deeply pained and even utterly helpless in the face of such a horrible crime against civilian youth. But is there any way we can help?
Yes! We can prevail over hatred of Jews and the terrorism it promotes by proliferating the world with spiritual acts. Acts of chesed (kindness) to properly shame the values of the cowardly. We are not helpless! What we can do is pray with intentions of peace. And fill this dark world with acts of kindness.
Join people worldwide in prayer and good deeds. Including the Jews and Muslims who are praying at the very site the of the abduction, at the Gush EtZion settlement block in the West Bank. (see “At kidnapping site, Jews and Muslims join in prayer.” Times of Israel)
Need help selecting and pledging a mitzvah? You can find help with both online at, “Mitzvot for the Israeli Students.” (Chabad.org) There are so many things the average person can do. You don’t have to be super-spiritual, just pledge to do a Jewish act that you might know how to do but are a bit out of touch with. Do it with the thought in mind that you are doing this soulful act in the merit of those young boys who are not yet free to do these sacred mitzvot.
Need help communicating your prayers? One of the both centering and unifying things about Jewish prayer is the collective experience. Not that we always pray together as a community and discourage private prayer. But what I mean is that even when we pray on our own, most often we tend to use prayers which unite us through a collective experience of liturgy and language.
Our friends over at the Open Siddur Project have provided the Misheiberach prayer (“May the One who blesses…”) which is being circulated for the speedy and safe return of the three captives. This document also includes Psalm 142 in Hebrew, Arabic and English.
“Misheberakh for those held in Captivity” (Open Siddur)
As the army and police tirelessly search for the captives in the most perilous of terrains and civil conditions. We also stand with the service personnel and their families. Here is a Mishebeirach Prayers, one for the State of Israel and another for the Israel Defense Forces.
“Mishebeirach Prayers for Israel and the IDF” (Hardcore Mesorah)
Please share these prayers with your congregation or chavura group, these are appropriately added during the Torah reading service or at any other times the Misheibeirach is said in your community. Or even during your own personal prayer and meditation.
Do you want to say Tehillim? One of the most common ways for Jews to pour out our hearts is through reciting Tehillim. This is quite possibly one of the oldest and most intimate forms of supplication. But do you know why we engage in the recitation and reflection upon the Psalms? Learn the how and why of saying Tehillim. I have also included several Psalms which are appropriate for those who are saying Tehillim at this time in the following piece:
“Saying Tehillim for Israel and the IDF” (Hardcore Mesorah)
It is most common for people to say the following two psalms in time of danger and distress:
At this time our rabbis and scholars are also suggesting the following appropriate psalms for these young boys:
Lastly, do something completely practical, appeal to people‘s humanity! Join in vigils for these youth. Start a community dialogue regarding the peace process. Help the world see this through the eyes of humanity.
And as concerned citizens we need to voice our appall with all who would rejoice and encourage their children celebrate the capture of youth not much older than themselves. It’s not just our boys that are being harmed, it’s also Arab children who are being distorting with this type of hateful brainwashing through social media! (see “More Palestinian Reactions To Kidnapping: The Most Disturbing Of All”)
Remember our boys until they come home! Share their faces and names, remind people these youth are not abstract components of the Israel-Palestinian conflict. They are real youth; with families, friends, and a people who care deeply for them. These are real youth; with dreams, passions and talents.
- “Three empty chairs: remember Naftali, Gilad and Eyal this Shabbat” – Rabbi Eliyahu Fink,”I invite others around the world to join us in a gesture of solidarity and make a place for Israel’s three missing young men.”
- “The Role of Prayer in Times of Tragedy” (Finkorswim) Is prayer rational? Should we be critical of religious Jews who pray? I think the rabbi addresses this current discussion very sensibly and fairly.
- Tikkun Chatzot: Do we say the Midnight Rite During Spring and Summer?
Do you need a siddur? This blog proudly cooperates with The Open Siddur Project. The project is a volunteer based organization dedicated to documenting and making the wealth of Jewish prayer and prayer resources available with free, redistributable licensing in electronic format and print formats. You can find my contributions of liturgy HERE. Find out how you can also be a part of this worthy cause!