Several bereaved parents were angered by Gantz's decision to support the opening sentence of "God remembers his sons and daughters" instead of the current "Israel remembers its sons and daughters". A father of a soldier killed in Lebanon told Ynet that "the public must not be forced to accept the religious philosophy". While others believed that the wording was "appropriate".
Remembering the fallen with unified prayer (Photo: Gil Yohanan)
The decision to unify the prayer was made after years of inconsistency in ceremonies, now there is an official version to the Yizkor prayer under a direct order from the General Staff - though the order is actually from 1976 and has never been enforced - until now. "Meanwhile, supporters claim "The body of the prayer includes 'Israel remembers'".
Former IDF Chief Rabbi Yisrael Weiss said that "while orders state that the version that should be used is 'God remembers', every person did what they wanted to over the years". He stressed that the move to unify the prayer was an important one as "unity, especially on the issue of IDF soldiers, is of the first importance."
Rabbi Weiss also rejected claims that the chosen version was religious rather nationalistic and Israeli, calling the claims exaggerated. "The attack on the chief of staff's decision has no legitimacy; in a minute they will say he is becoming religious."
He believes the use of "God" in the opening and "Israel" in the body of the prayer are a "winning combination and there is no need for fuss."
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