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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

40,000 Israelis want to remove God from IDF memorial services

And you wonder why Israel often seems alone in the world.... A petition has been signed by some 40,000 Israelis calling for the removal of God from IDF memorial services.
“We... object to changing the version of “Let the people of Israel remember” with “Let God remember,” the petition reads.

“The original version was written by Berl Katznelson in memory of the fatalities of the Battle of Tel Hai in 1920. Since then to now, this is the “Yizkor” version for Israel's war fatalities. We call on the chief of staff to retain the original “Let the people of Israel remember” version,” writes Bialer.

But that memorial prayer was actually altered in 1967 from Katznelson’s original wording of “Let the people of Israel remember” to “Let God remember” by then-IDF Chief Rabbi Shlomo Goren, who was shocked to discover that the official text used in the army’s ceremonies did not refer to God. Since then, both versions have been in use.

The debate has touched an open nerve in Israeli society. Eli Ben-Shem, head of the Yad Labanim soldiers’ memorial organization, said it received hundreds of phone calls from angry bereaved parents over the past week, hurt by the chief of staff’s decision.

“There are two versions that are used inconsistently,” Ben- Shem explained. “The army should have held an in-depth discussion with us and the Defense Ministry. It seems as though the chief of staff made the decision on an impulse,” he said.

“Yad Labanim will be holding a discussion on the matter next week, but personally I’d try to find common ground for the sides, something unifying that religious and secular families could identify with.

“What really bothers me here is that the chief of staff issued the announcement without holding a discussion, despite the good cooperation between us and the military over the years,” added Ben-Shem. “This is a very sensitive topic that deals with values and issues of principle.”

Besides the Katznelson text, military memorial ceremonies also contain the “God full of mercy” (El Male Rahamim) prayer.
The Yizkor prayer - which calls on God to remember our loved ones - is recited in the synagogue four times per year (the final days of Pesach and Succoth, on Shavuoth and on Yom Kippur). As I understand it, the IDF version is slightly different from what is said in the synagogue, but for the last 44 years has included God.

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At 4:30 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

Stupid Jews forget the Jewish people have only survived by turning to HaShem.

Israel would not have come into existence if it wasn't for G-d's blessing. And what exactly is wrong with acknowledging Him?

Everything in this world belongs to Him and we human beings need to show humility. It is our pride that is our downfall.

At 4:44 AM, Blogger Captain.H said...

May this Christian American friend of Israel make a suggestion? Why not combine them to "Let God and the people of Israel remember."

Just like in America, the West in general, the aggressively vociferous atheists ARE a distinct minority. Their like-minded allies in the MSM make them seem greater than they actually are. Their view of compromise is their getting their way and the rest of us being gracious and polite in our moral cowardice in surrendering to them.

If they wish to think that the Universe, of mind-boggling size, profoundly intricate complexity and beauty, is a Creation without a Creator, that's their choice. For the rest of us, a distinct majority, we see it differently.


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