A Fallen Soldier’s Prayer for Peace

Modified: Transcription of text in Hebrew added. – 30-Sep-2006.(Hat tip to the One Family Fund. May they be put out of business soon!)

Benaya Rein Hy”d fell toward the end of the war on Saturday night (yahrtzeit: 19 Av). He and four others were part of a unit that went in battle to rescue wounded soldiers and soldiers in distress. 24 hours a day, often without sleep or pause, he went into battles, braving heavy fire.

Sunday, the very day after he was killed, his sister went into labor and had a son. Shiv’ah ended, the family went to the cemetery, and from there to the beris of the new grandson, a new Benaya. An emotional roller-coaster. Finally, it was time to go through Benaya’s belongings, and among the things he often took into war they found the following tefillah:

יְהִי רָצוֹן מִלְפָנֶיךָ ה’ אֱ-לוֹקֵנוּ וְאֱ-לוֹקֵי אֲבוֹתֵינוּ,
שֶׁתְּבָתֵּל מִלְחָמוֹת וּשְׁפִיכוּת דָמִים מִן הָעוֹלָם,
וְתַּמְשִׁיךְ שָׁלוֹם גָדוֹל וְנִפְלָא בָּעוֹלָם,
וְ”לֹֽא־יִשָּׂא גוֹי אֶל־גּוֹי חֶרֶב וְלֹֽא־יִלְמְדוּ עוֹד מִלְחָמָֽה,”
רַק יַכִּירוּ וְיֵדְעוּ כָּל יוֹשְׁבֵי תֵּבֵל הָאֶמֶת לַאֲמִתּוֹ
אֲשֶׁר לֹא בָּאנוּ לְזֶה הָעוֹלָם
בִּשְׁבִיל רִיב וּמַחְלֹקֶת חַס ושָׁלוֹם,
וְלֹא בִּשְׁבִיל שִׂנְאָה וְקִנְאָה
וְקַטֵגוֹר וּשְׁפִיכוּת דָמִים חַס ושָׁלוֹם,
רַק בָּאנוּ לָעוֹלָם כְּדֵי לְהַכִּיר
וְלָדַעַת אוֹתְךָ יִתְבָּרַךְ


May if be the Will before You, Hashem our G-d and the G-d of our fathers,
That You anull war and bloodshed from the world,
And spread out great and awe-inspiring peace in the world ,
And “No longer will one nation life against another a sword, and they will not again learn war”,
Just they will “recognize and know, all who live on the earth” “the truth for truthfulness”
That we didn’t come to this world
for fighting and dispute chas veshalom,
and not for hatred and jealousy
and accusations and bloodshed chas veshalom,
we only came to this world in order to recognize
and know You, may You be blessed.

I put in quotes those phrases that I recognized were quotes. I also refrained from translating the idiom “chas veshalom”, as I can only think of the longer “[may Hashem grant] pity and peace”, which would distract from the flow of ideas more than an idiom does.

I would love to see shuls say this Yehi Ratzon this Yom Kippur, perhaps immediately after the Yizkor said for those who fell defending Israel or as victims of terror. Or to be included with your shul’s prayers for the State of Israel and its soldiers, if they say any. Please send a copy to your rav with this suggestion.

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  1. http://www.pinenet.com/rooster/peace.html has some info about the origin of this prayer. We say a version of it at Kehilat Yedidya, which can be found at http://yedidya.org.il/peace.htm

  2. Anonymous says:

    the latest issue of agudath israel’s mag the jewish observer deals almost exclusively about the recent conflict. 1.how many chayalim did agudah have at the front? 2.how many chayalim did any article in that mag mourn or pay tribute to? rule:if you don’t play the game don’t make the rules!

  3. micha says:


    There is little in common between the two tefillos. Both quote “lo yisa…” and both use “yehi ratzon”. But even there, Benaya Rein made his tefillah a “Yehi Ratzon” in format, whereas the prayer attributed to R’ Nachman uses the phrase in a later line.

    Anonymous’s comments are off topic. Why sully a discussion about this one chayal’s tefillah with political talk about what some community we have no control over did or didn’t do?


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