https://opensiddur.org/?p=23708Memorial Prayer for Those Lost Through Human Strife, by Rabbi Chaplain (Lieutenant) Alexander David Goode (ca. 1943)2019-02-13 16:53:28A memorial prayer for service members lost in times of war, given by a chaplain who sacrificed his life for others during WWII.Textthe Open Siddur ProjectAharon N. Varady (transcription)Aharon N. Varady (transcription)Alexander David Goodehttps://opensiddur.org/copyright-policy/Aharon N. Varady (transcription)https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/Four Chaplains Day (February 3rd)Memorial/Decoration Day (last Monday of May)War20th century C.E.58th century A.M.English vernacular prayerWorld War ⅡSS Dorchester
O God, the Creator of life,
to Whom the bereaved human heart turns for compassion and solace,
to you we open our hearts,
sorely stricken by the wanton destruction of life through man’s own hand.
With tender love we recall dear ones lost in the service of their country
while striving selflessly and bravely
to remove from us the evil which men have contrived.
With crushed spirit we remember the countless innocent victims
whose lives have been ruthlessly cut short
by men who brazenly defy your laws of truth, justice and love.
Hearken, O merciful One, unto our fervent prayer
and turn speedily the men of wickedness from their misguided course,
so that peace may once more rule the courses of men.
Remove the blindness wherewith lust for power
has veiled their eyes
and turned their hearts to stone,
laying waste your precious gift of life.
And as for us who still walk in this path of life,
make us firm in our resolve to pursue righteousness and peace
so that the sacrifice of these lost ones
whom we reverently recall this day
shall not have been in vain.
May their souls be bound up in the bond of life eternal, O Heavenly Father,
and may we be found worthy of being inscribed in your book of life and peace.
“Memorial Prayer (for those lost through human strife)” by Rabbi Alexander Goode, was shared by his wife Theresa Goode and published alongside other prayers of military leaders in the anthology, The Prayer Book of the Armed Forces (ed. Daniel A. Poling, 1951), p. 35. Rabbi Morrison David Bial added it to his collection of supplemental prayers and texts for personal prayer and synagogue services: An Offering of Prayer (Temple Sinai of Summit, New Jersey, 1962). As Rabbi Bial notes, Rabbi Goode was one of the four chaplains who died in the sinking of the SS Dorchester. The sinking of the Dorchester and the deaths of Rabbi Goode and his fellow chaplains are remembered on February 3rd, Four Chaplain’s Day. I have lightly modified the original text of this prayer, replacing Thee and Thy with ‘you’ and ‘your’ respectively. –Aharon Varady
Aharon Varady (M.A.J.Ed./JTSA Davidson) is a volunteer transcriber for the Open Siddur Project. If you find any mistakes in his transcriptions, please let him know. Shgiyot mi yavin; Ministarot naqeniשְׁגִיאוֹת מִי־יָבִין; מִנִּסְתָּרוֹת נַקֵּנִי "Who can know all one's flaws? From hidden errors, correct me" (Psalms 19:13). If you'd like to directly support his work, please consider donating via his Patreon account. (Varady also translates prayers and contributes his own original work besides serving as the primary shammes of the Open Siddur Project and its website, opensiddur.org.)
Alexander David Goode (May 10, 1911 – February 3, 1943) was a rabbi and a lieutenant in the United States Army. He was one of the Four Chaplains who gave their lives to save other soldiers during the sinking of the troop transport Dorchester during World War II. Born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1911, Goode was one of four children of Brooklyn rabbi Hyman Goodekowitz. Raised in Washington, D.C., Goode excelled at sports at Eastern High School. He became a rabbi after graduating from the University of Cincinnati and in 1937 Hebrew Union College (HUC). While studying at HUC, he spent summers working as a rabbinic student at the Washington Hebrew Congregation. In 1940, he received his Ph.D from Johns Hopkins University. Goode served as a rabbi in Marion, Indiana, and York, Pennsylvania. In 1941, Goode founded Boy Scout Troop 37 in York as a multi-cultural mixed race troop, the first troop in the U.S. to have scouts earn Catholic, Jewish, and Protestant awards. In that same year, he applied to become a Navy chaplain but was turned down. The following year he was accepted into the Army, with orders to Harvard where he studied at the chaplain's school in preparation for deployment to Europe followed by brief service at an airbase in Goldsboro, North Carolina. In October 1942, he joined the other members of the Four Chaplains and was detailed to embark on the Dorchester a few months later. In late 1942, Goode was transferred to Camp Myles Standish in Taunton, Massachusetts, and attended Chaplains School at Harvard University. There he met fellow chaplains George L. Fox, Clark V. Poling and John P. Washington. In January 1943, the chaplains embarked on board the Dorchester, which was transporting over 900 soldiers to the United Kingdom via Greenland. On February 2, 1943, the German submarine U-223 spotted the convoy on the move and closed with the ships, firing a torpedo which struck the Dorchester shortly after midnight. Hundreds of men packed the decks of the rapidly sinking ship and scrambled for the lifeboats. Several of the lifeboats had been damaged and the four chaplains began to organize frightened soldiers. They distributed life jackets from a locker; when the supply of life jackets ran out, each of the chaplains gave his to other soldiers. When the last lifeboats were away, the chaplains prayed with those unable to escape the sinking ship. 27 minutes after the torpedo struck, the Dorchester disappeared below the waves with 672 men still aboard. The last anyone saw of the four chaplains, they were standing on the deck, arms linked and praying together. The four chaplains were all awarded the Distinguished Service Cross and the Purple Heart and received national acclaim for their courage and self-sacrifice. A chapel in their honor was dedicated on February 3, 1951, by President Harry S. Truman at Grace Baptist Church of Philadelphia. The Four Chaplains' Medal was established by act of Congress on July 14, 1960, and was presented posthumously to their next of kin by Secretary of the Army Wilber M. Brucker at Ft. Myer, Virginia, on January 18, 1961. Goode is honored with a feast day along with the other Four Chaplains on the liturgical calendar of the Episcopal Church in the United States of America on February 3. (via his entry in wikipedia)
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ויהי נעם אדני אלהינו עלינו ומעשה ידינו כוננה עלינו ומעשה ידינו כוננהו "May the pleasantness of אדֹני our elo’ah be upon us; may our handiwork be established for us — our handiwork, may it be established."–Psalms 90:17
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