Several weeks ago, there was a flurry of articles in various newspapers about the possible release of captured Israeli soldier Gilad Schalit via a prisoner exchange. Some seemed quite optimistic that his tragic situation would finally be resolved. Sadly, to date, nothing has changed and he remains a prisoner, concealed and cut off from those who cherish him.
In addition, the frum world has been rocked by several scandals involving pillars of the community whose moral integrity and Yiddishkeit seemingly have been overwhelmed and enslaved by the yetzer harah. Below is a petition to our Heavenly Father for rescue from the evil – both external and internal – that threatens our physical, mental and spiritual well-being.
A Prayer For Relief
Our Father who is Everywhere, our life’s details are known to You,
You exhorted us to be b’simcha, but it is so very difficult to do.
For in our thoughts are the imprisoned, those hidden away,
We cannot be at peace as they languish day to day.
We remember the missing soldiers, their fate unknown for years,
We see their families’ anguish; we hear their tormented tears.
Please end their unbearable sorrow, stop their relentless grief,
For their sake, and the nation’s, give them full relief.
Let the cell doors be thrown open, let the captives be given new life,
Let them know once again, the embrace of parent, child and wife.
May they return to their loved ones, sound in body and mind,
May the drink the nectar of freedom, so sweet and loving and kind.
For their suffering is intolerable, and has been going on for so long,
They remain incarcerated and hidden, though they did no wrong,
Remember your tzaddik Yosef, who was swallowed up in a cell,
You freed him and raised him – have mercy on our captives as well.
Please end the bitter hopelessness that is the agunah’s lot,
Emancipate the future for which they have desperately fought.
Melt the stony hearts of their “husbands” – give wisdom to all involved,
So the dead-end existence of these women will finally be resolved.
So many of Your children helplessly indulge in self-affliction,
Enslaved to toxic vices, ensnared by numbing addiction.
Give strength to their spirits; help them regain their souls,
So they may return to the sunlight, freed from their dark holes.
Give relief for those beset by relentless, paralyzing sorrow,
Give them hope for a pain-free tomorrow,
After years of torment, may it be Your will they soon find,
Life-giving resolution – and finally, sweet peace of mind.
Whatever the cause of bondage, we look to You for release,
Emancipate all from their “shackles”, please let our heartache cease.
Bless all the captives with freedom, so they can start their lives anew,
And the nations will see Your mercy – and pour loving praise on You.