Rather than the traditional מי שברך formula, my kahal (at Harvard Hillel) is accustomed to say a different formulation for the "Prayer for American Armed Forces" (it could probably be suitably edited for most countries).

מִי שֶׁבָּרָא אֶת אֲבותֵינוּ אָדָם וְחַוָּה בְּצַלְמוֹ וּבֵרְכָם, הוּא יְבָרֵךְ אֶת חַיָּלֵי צְבָא אַרְצוֹת הַבְּרִית שֶׁבְּאמעריקא (נ”א אמריקה) הַמִּתְנַדְּבִים גּוּפָם וְנִשְׁמָתָם בַּעֲבוּרֵינוּ וּתְמוּרָתֵינוּ, בְּכָל מְקוֹם שֶׁהֵם. יִתֵּן ה׳ לָהֶם תְּשׁוּעָה מִיָּד שׂוֹנְאָם, וְיָדְבֵּר אוֹיְבֵי צֶדֶק תָּחְתָּם, וְיַצִּילֵם מִיַּד מְבַקְּשֵׁי רָעָתָם, וְיַחְזֹורֵם בְּשָׁלוֹם לְבֵיתָם. יְזַכֵּם הַקַּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא לְהַגְדִּיל וּלְהַרְבּוֹת אֶת הַדְּמוּת, וּלְהָפִיץ וְּלהַעֲמִיק חֵרוּת, וּלְקָרֵב אֶת הַגְאוּלָה, וְשֶׁעַל יְדֵיהֶם יְקֻיַּם הַכָּתוּב: לֹא יִשָׂא גּוֹי אֶל גּוֹי חֶרֶב וְלֹא יִלְמְדוּ עוֹד מִלְחָמָה. וְנֹאמַר: אָמֵּן.

What is the source for this tefillah?

  • @DanF, this is recited every Shabbos and yontif by the gabbai of the minyan I daven with at Harvard Hillel (that's been me on occasion). Dec 27, 2016 at 22:06

1 Answer 1


This was composed by Rabbi Aryeh Klapper, then the Rabbi of the Harvard Hillel Orthodox Minyan, around 2002.1

I remember him speaking, around that time, about the debt we owe to service members in our volunteer military, as thanks to their choosing to put their lives on the line, there's no draft that forces the rest of us to do so. So, the phrase

... הַמִּתְנַדְּבִים גּוּפָם וְנִשְׁמָתָם בַּעֲבוּרֵינוּ וּתְמוּרָתֵינוּ ...

... who volunteer their bodies and lives on our behalves and in exchange for us ...

(my translation)

stuck with me as particularly moving, especially the word "וּתְמוּרָתֵינוּ," which evokes redeeming an animal designated for sacrifice by exchanging in another one.

1. R' Klapper confirmed in personal correspondence that he did indeed compose this prayer, "although it has been very slightly edited by someone for Hebrew style," and that he also composed, then, a prayer for the US government.

  • I didn't realise that this was composed specifically for our minyan, although I believe that the Hebrew version of our tefillah for the US government is referred to in our minhagim book as being composed by him (the English is IIRC by de Sola Pool) Dec 28, 2016 at 14:40
  • Thanks, Isaac! I was actually going to do so later, but you beat me to the punch. Dec 28, 2016 at 16:08

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