A Prayer for Memorial Day
by Rabbi Matt Friedman
Editor’s note: This weekend we observe Memorial Day in the U.S., a time we remember the sacrifice of our Armed Forces in defense of our country. Below is a prayer that may be read during your Shabbat Services.
Rabbis and congregational leaders might consider incorporating this prayer for those families who have lost a loved one in the service of our country as well as for the soldiers now serving in our armed forces. Let us ask God to protect, heal and comfort them. And let us, by praying, raise our own awareness, sense of responsibility and appreciation for those who defend our country.
Eloheinu v’Elohei avoteinu v’imoteinu – Our God and God of our ancestors,
Watch over those who defend our nation.
Shield them from harm and guide them in all their pursuits.
Grant their commanders wisdom and discernment
in their time of preparation and on the battlefield.
Should battle erupt may their victory be swift and complete.
May the loss of life for any of your creations be avoided.
Grant healing to those who are wounded
and safe redemption to those who fall into enemy hands.
For those who have lost their lives, grant consolation
and Your presence to those who were close to them.
We also ask that you stand with our President and all our military leaders.
Guide them in their decision making
so that Your will is implanted within their minds.
May it be Your will that world hostilities come to a rapid end
And that those in service are returned safely to their families.
We pray that freedom will dawn for the oppressed and
Fervently we hope that the vision of Your prophet will come to be,
“Let nation not lift up sword against nation nor learn war anymore.”
May this vision come to pass speedily and in our day, Amen.