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Prayer for Home
Far from home and those I love,
I find my thoughts turning to them
with affectionate longing.
O Thou who art with my distant loved ones
even while Thou art here with me,
who hearkenest to their prayers
even as Thou hearkenest to mine,
bless us and keep us united in spirit
until we meet again.
Let my memory hold them
in such loving embrace
that I be cheered
by their imagined presence.
Keep me under the influence
of the ties that bind me to them,
so that even in strange surroundings
I may conduct myself in ways that do them honor.
Keep me gratefully mindful
of the blessing of their love
and let me not give way
to loneliness or despondency.
Help me to bring cheer to my comrades,
who like me are separated from their dear ones.
For Thou, God, art the Father of all;
Thou art the source of all love.
None who puts his faith in Thee
need ever feel friendless or forsaken.
This “Prayer for Home” can be found in the Abridged Prayer Book for the Jews in the Armed Forces of the United States (Jewish Welfare Board 1941), p. 119.
As far as we know, this prayer is unique to this prayerbook. The author of the prayer is also not known; three well-known rabbis contributed to the siddur: David de Sola Pool, Eugene Kohn, and Solomon B. Freehof. It would be good to know if similar prayers appeared in the religious resources for chaplains of other religious traditions. If you know more details concerning its authorship or whether it was published elsewhere, please leave a comment or contact us. –Aharon Varady
“Prayer [of Military Personnel] for Home (National Jewish Welfare Board 1941)” is shared through the Open Siddur Project with a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International copyleft license.
Works of related interest:
תְּפִלָּה לִפְנֵי יְצִיאָה לַקְרָב | Prayer Before Setting Off to Battle, by Rabbi Shlomo Goren (IDF, 1963)
Prayer for Military Personnel on Active Service (Office of the Chief Rabbi of the British Empire 1940)