IDF panel keeps God out of Yizkor prayer

August 4, 2011 18:02


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The IDF’s Yizkor memorial prayer will retain its original wording of “Yizkor Am Yisrael” (May the People of Israel Remember) and not “Yizkor Elohim” (May God Remember), a military committee tasked with ruling on the controversial issue announced on Thursday.

IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz approved the recommendation. Gantz appointed retired Maj.-Gen. Yishai Be’er to head the committee in July after controversy erupted regarding the wording that should be used by the military during its memorial ceremonies. Chief Military Rabbi Brig.-Gen. Rafi Peretz and Chief Education Officer Brig.-Gen. Eli Shermeister also served on the panel.

The panel found that various units in the IDF held by the wording from Berl Katznelson’s version of Yizkor with “Am Yisrael” while other units used the wording of “Elohim” which was designated as the military’s official wording by former IDF Chief Rabbi Shlomo Goren in 1962.

On Thursday, Be’er sent Gantz a letter with the panel’s decision and said that the members were “embarrassed” to discover that IDF units acted independently in deciding which wording to use at their individual ceremonies.

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