Prayer in Memory of Eyal Yifrach, Naftali Frankel, and Gil-ad Shaar

Posted on: Wednesday December 31, 1969

The Rabbinical Assembly released the following prayer, written by Rabbi Tamar Elad Appelbaum, in memory of Eyal Yifrach, Naftali Frankel, and Gil-ad Shaar. English translation by Rabbis David Ackerman and Peretz Rodman.

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“Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death

I fear no evil for You are with me.” [Psalm 23:4]

For with You I yearn for three youths

With You I seek their lives, their dreams

With You I gaze in awe at parents whose lips and hands are steadfast

With You I plead that the strength of love and kindness will grow in the land.

And with You I am soul-torn when I hear that they are no more

With You I lament over brothers who will not return

With You I weep at the ruins of a human being who took another’s life

With You I tremble at the dark evil within him.

And with You I therefore lift up my soul to distance myself from vengeance and blood

With You I restrain myself so that the holiness within me will not be erased.

With You I hear the cry of children rising up from the earth

From amid the shards of humanity and nations and darkest evil.

And with You I pray

That I will again regain my spirit

That I will again believe in humanity

That I will again hear every voice and sob,

The voice of a human in every place.

For You,

Who in every generation hears the cries of the pure

Grant me the strength not to despair so that I can proclaim:

Behold, I take upon myself the yoke of the kingdom of life

A language of compassion and peace and love of humanity.

Grant me the strength that my soul not die but live,

And perceive the eternal light as it gradually bursts forth.

My God, I will again build

A home, a life, a world,

And Your light will guide my path.

The full grandeur of humanity will again be revealed

I will not be afraid. I will not fear.

I will not retreat, for You are with me.

And life and holiness and gentleness which You have planted

In every person, every nation and tongue

In every creation of the universe,

They will comfort me.  

גַּם כִּי אֵלֵךְ בְּגֵיא צַלְמָוֶת

לֹא אִירָא רָע כִּי אַתָּה עִמָּדִי

 

כִּי אִתְּךָ אֲיַחֵל לִשְׁלֹשָׁה נְעָרִים

אִתְּךָ אֲבַקֵּשׁ חַיֵּיהֶם, חֲלוֹמָם

אִתְּךָ אֶשְׁתָּאֶה מֵהוֹרִים שֶׁשְּׂפָתָם וִידֵיהֶם אֱמוּנָה

.אִתְּךָ אֶתְחַנֵּן שֶׁיִּגְדַּל נָא כֹּחַ הַחֶסֶד בָּאָרֶץ

 

וְאִתְּךָ אֶקְרַע בְּנַפְשִׁי כְּשֶׁאֶשְׁמַע שֶׁאֵינָם עוֹד

אִתְּךָ אֲקוֹנֵן עַל אַחִים שֶׁלֹּא יְשׁוּבוּן

אִתְּךָ אֶבְכֶּה אֶת חֻרְבָּן הָאָדָם שֶׁנָּטַל אֶת הַנֶּפֶשׁ

.אִתְּךָ אֶחֱרַד מֵרִשְׁעָה אֲפֵלָה בּוֹ


וְאִתְּךָ אָז אַצִּיל אֶת נַפְשִׁי שֶׁאֶרְחַק מִנָּקָם וּמִדָּם

.אִתְּךָ אֶתְאַפַּק לְבַל יִמָּחֶה קֹדֶשׁ בִּי

אִתְּךָ אֶשְׁמַע צַעֲקַת יְלָדִים הָעוֹלָה מִן הָאָרֶץ

.בֵּין שִׁבְרֵי אֱנוֹשׁוּת וְעַמִּים וְרָעוֹת-חֲשֵׁכוֹת


וְאִתְּךָ אֶתְפַּלֵּל

שֶׁאָשׁוּב לֶאֱסֹף אֶת רוּחִי

שֶׁאָשׁוּב לְהַאֲמִין בָּאָדָם

שֶׁאָשׁוּב לִשְׁמֹעַ כָּל קוֹל וּבְכִיָּה

.קוֹל אָדָם בַּאֲשֶׁר הוּא שָׁם


,כִּי אַתָּה

שֶׁשָּׁמַעְתָּ בְּכָל דּוֹר וָדוֹר זַעֲקַת תְּמִימִים

:תֵּן בִּי כֹּחַ שֶׁלֹּא אֶתְיָאֵשׁ וְאָקוּם לְפָנֶיךָ לִשְׁאֹג

הֲרֵינִי מְקַבֵּל/ת עָלַי עֹל מַלְכוּת חַיִּים

.שְׂפַת חֶסֶד וְשָׁלוֹם וְאַהֲבַת אָדָם

,תֵּן בִּי כֹּחַ שֶׁלֹּא תָּמוּת נַפְשִׁי כִּי תִּחְיֶה

.וְתִרְאֶה אוֹר-עוֹלָם הַמַּפְצִיעַ קִמְעָה

 

,עוֹד אֶבְנֶה, אֱלֹהַי

בַּיִת, חַיִּים וְעוֹלָם

וְאוֹרְךָ לִי יַהֵל אֶת הַדֶּרֶךְ

עוֹד קוֹמַת הָאָדָם הַשְּׁלֵמָה תִּגָּלֵה

.לֹא אֲפַחֵד. לֹא אִירָא

.לֹא אֶסּוֹג, שֶׁאַתָּה עִמָּדִי


וְחַיִּים וּקְדֻשָּׁה וַעֲדִינוּת שֶׁנָּטַעְתָּ

בְּכָל הָאָדָם, בְּכָל עַם וְלָשׁוֹן

,וּבְכָל יְצוּרֵי עוֹלָמִים

.הֵמָּה יְנַחֲמֻנִי