We have waited years, too many years, for this day to arrive. The decision to free so many with blood on their hands was not an easy one. There can be no absolute right or wrong in such matters. But as religious Zionists we offer our prayers on this occasion which has mesmerized the nation. At the same time we share the pain of those famlies who are bereaved and in pain.
The following prayer is offered by the Masorti Movement in Israel and the Rabbinical Assembly. I hope all Jews who wish to pray will find the words helpful. A Hebrew version may be found here.
Our God and God of our ancestors, on this great and holy day, the season of our rejoicing, we raise our hearts to God in heaven in joy, happiness, trembling and thanksgiving for the great kindness that You have shown Gilad the son of Aviva and Noam Schalit that You have restored him safely from his place of capture to his family, his country and his people. May it be Your pleasure, God and God of our ancestors, that this day and in the future the redeemed prisoner may know joy in his heart, peace of mind and success in all his endeavors together with all his family and all Israel his brethren. Sovereign of the Universe, God of our exultation, may it be Your pleasure that this redemption not bring in its wake any harm or mishap to Your people, neither this year not in years to come; but in Your great compassion spread over us the sukkah of compassion, life and peace. May this be Your pleasure and let us respond Amen.