A Prayer for the Redemption of the Captive Israeli Youth:
Our God, the One who raised Joseph up from the pit,
be “a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble.” (Psalm 9:10)
Send complete rescue and full redemption to those held captive by the enemy:
Strengthen their spirit and bring them our prayers that they be protected from all harm.
Implant understanding in the heart of the enemy that they may return the captives in wholeness of body and spirit.
Grant wisdom to the Israel Defense Forces that they may secure freedom for
the captives without loss of life.
Grant strength of spirit and courage of heart to all the sons and daughters of Abraham, Sarah, and Hagar to release bonds of captivity and allow us all to live in freedom.
“They shall call upon Me, and I will answer them; I will be with them in distress; I will rescue them, and honor them.”
(after Psalm 91:15)
-Rabbi Ofer Sabath Beit-Halachmi
-Translation: Rabbi Rachel Sabath Beit-Halachmi
Some thoughts from a great Rav in Israel, Adin Even-Israel Steinsaltz. He is head of the yeshivah where they are studying.
Their names are,
Yaakov Naphtali ben Rachel Devorah
יעקב נפתלי בן רחל
Gil-Ad Michael ben Bat Galim
גיל-עד בן בת גלים
Ayal ben Irit Teshurah.
אייל בן איריס
Message from Rav Steinsaltz:
The kidnapping of our students is a shocking, painful and frightening event. In a time and place that had seemed to us quiet and serene, we have been thrown into an event that we can do nothing to resolve.
Perhaps we are better off than in past times, when we were totally unable even to attempt rescue and deliverance. We are grateful to the Israel Defense Forces for all their efforts.
Still we, the families, the friends and the teachers of the kidnapped boys are standing with “idle hands” (Ecclesiastes 10:18.) All we have left now is to turn to our Father in Heaven and plead. We do not despair because we doubt our Heavenly Father. Rather we feel helpless because, “God is in Heaven and you are upon earth” (Ecclesiastes 5:1).
Thus, we can never know the extent our pleas and cries reach Heaven — and also have some effect here, on earth. What we can do – and this has been the Jewish way from time immemorial – is to add more holiness and learn more Torah. If we can, each of us should take upon ourselves something additional, no matter how small, especially and explicitly devoted for the sake and well-being of the missing boys.
Furthermore, we Jews have always been accustomed to reciting the Psalms, and we certainly ought to do more of this, especially two psalms that seem to me most relevant: Psalms 142 and 143, chapters that literally deal with our plight. We pray also for the safety of those who are working toward their rescue.
May it be God’s will that in their merit, and for the merit of their suffering, together with our prayers and good deeds, we shall soon see our boys returned to us, God willing, safe and sound.
Adin Even-Israel Steinsaltz