Jul 15, 2014

Praying for IDF soldiers

Once again, I'm seeing requests that we join the program that pairs up Israeli soldiers with Jews around the world who do acts of chesed, tefilla and study Torah in the merit of "their" soldier.  They say:

Any mitzvah that you do, be it once or on a daily basis, on behalf of a soldier truly makes a difference - to the soldier and to Jewish unity. Pick a mitzvah that can easily be a part of your life and dedicate it to 'your' soldier. Be realistic. Write your soldier's name out and post it where you'll see it: near the Shabbos candles; on the refrigerator; in your car; in your phone. Then, when you are going to do something positive in the world - stop and think of  'your' soldier and include him or her in your mitzvah.
I think the idea has merit since it personalizes the war for us.  It's like those who go on the March of the Living and are given the identity card of someone their age who perished in the Holocaust.  It enables the person to see the Holocaust in a personal way.  We don't relate to the number six million, but we can relate to the life of a person just like us who lived at that time. 
However, I was surprised to see a very strong reaction to this idea.  A person wrote a comment in which he wondered why these gimmicks are needed and why we can't just pray like our Bubbies and Zeides did "and shed an honest earnest tear for the better health and safety of our fellow bretheren in Eretz Yisroel. No fanfare or organizations needed."

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