Israel | Our thoughts and prayers are with Yaakov, Gilad, Eyal, and their families

This week, we study in hopes that the three Israeli yeshiva students kidnapped several days ago on their way home for Shabbat – Eyal Yifrach (19), Gilad Shaar (16) and Naftali Frenkel (16) – will be returned home soon.

Many people are saying Psalms, especially 121, 130, 142 and 143, or doing mitzvot for the benefit of these boys. If you want to do something personally for the boys, you could recite Psalm 121 for them, each night just before you go to bed; your family may want to join you.

If you would like to perform a mitzvah for the boys, talk to your parents, religious school teacher, Scout leader or rabbi about what would be best.

When praying or performing a mitzvah on behalf of someone else, the custom is to “keep them in mind” by reciting their names. The boys’ names in Hebrew are:

  • Eyal ben Iris Teshura,
  • Gilad Michael ben Bat Galim
  • Yaakov Naftali ben Rachel Devorah.

Notice that the Hebrew names are all “son of” and the name of their mother. The boys are all Orthodox; the Orthodox custom is to use the name this way when someone is ill or in need of help.

The source for mentioning the name of the individual’s mother is King David’s entreaty (Psalms 116:16): « Please, O Lord, for I am Your servant; I am Your servant the son of Your maidservant, » wherein he specifies his mother (although his father was also a very righteous person).