A New Kind of Travelers Prayer

This past week I did my “motherly” duty and I took my turn as a chaperone for my son’s field trip for summer camp. Some of the activities involve rented busses, but others require parents to drive (this way we can lower the overall price of the camp – each bus is required to be bullet-proof, which means that they are very expensive).

As we left our yishuv I asked for quiet and I said tefillat haderech (the traveler’s prayer), which basically asks G-d for protection on the roads. The exact text has changed over the years, and now includes, in some instances, the specific request for protection against car accidents.

After I finished, the boys in my car spontaneously decided to recite their own prayers. One said that the road should be smooth for us. Another said that we should get to our destination quicker (I guess he really was excited about our trip, or he thought I was driving too slowly!). Then another boy added his wish, that “if a terrorist tries to hurt us he should get a flat tire”.

Oh boy. Since the last terrorist attack we now have a new thing to fear – terrorists on wheels.

On the whole I think this was a healthy response to this fear. After all, the best one to ask for protection is G-d himself.


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Raizy
    Jul 13, 2008 @ 16:51:44

    You obviously set a good example for the boys by reciting tefillat haderech for them. Kol Hakavod.

  2. ilanadavita
    Jul 13, 2008 @ 20:25:28

    Moving post.

  3. Steg (dos iz nit der šteg)
    Jul 14, 2008 @ 01:48:57

    there’s a poem by Eli‘az Cohen called Tefila laNehag biKevish haMinharot which i first heard about a few years ago; supposedly some people in Gush ‘Etzion were using it either instead of or in addition to the regular Tefilat haDerekh when traveling through the Tunnel Road to Jerusalem.

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