This year on Yom Kippur, the military released a gripping video of an IDF Chief Cantor Shai Abramson’s recital of the U’Netaneh Tokef prayer with background of soldiers in battle.
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu www.IsraelNationalNews.com
The prayer’s central theme is “Who will live and who will die” and “Repentance, Prayer, and Charity removed the evil of the decree” [translation by the Orthodox Union].
The video of Lt. Col. Shai Abramson reciting the prayer was selected by IDF Facebook users as the last song on the cantor’s new album and was produced with the video for the High Holidays.
The video of the prayer, along with a recital in the Great Synagogue on Allenby Street in Tel Aviv, revolves around the Yom Kippur War and a battalion commander and his armored brigade whose soldiers fought in the fierce and deadly “Valley of Tears” battle on the Golan Heights. At one point, 40 Israeli tanks faced approximately 500 Syrian tanks.
The “U’Netaneh Tokef” prayer is attributed to Rabbi Amnon of Mainz, as related to Rabbi Klonimus ben Meshullam, according to the Orthodox Union.
The prayer, recited also on Rosh Hashannah and before the open Ark of the Torah, states, “The great shofar will be sounded and a still, thin sound will be heard. Angels will hasten, a trembling and terror will seize them – and they will say, ‘Behold, it is the Day of Judgment, to muster the heavenly host for judgment!’- for they cannot be vindicated in Your eyes in judgment.
“All mankind will pass before You like members of the flock. Like a shepherd pasturing his flock, making sheep pass under his staff, so shall You cause to pass, count, calculate, and consider the soul of all the living; and You shall apportion the fixed needs of all Your creatures and inscribe their verdict.
“On Rosh Hashannah will be inscribed and on Yom Kippur will be sealed how many will pass from the earth and how many will be created; who will live and who will die; who will die at his predestined time and who before his time; who by water and who by fire, who by sword, who by beast, who by famine, who by thirst, who by storm, who by plague, who by strangulation, and who by stoning. Who will rest and who will wander, who will live in harmony and who will be harried, who will enjoy tranquility and who will suffer, who will be impoverished and who will be enriched, who will be degraded and who will be exalted.
“But Repentance, Prayer and Charity remove the evil of the decree!”