As we marked Yom HaZikaron – Israel Memorial Day – this week, we will address the question of soldiers serving in the Israel Defense Forces.
Do soldiers who have participated in military action recite Birkat Gomel?
Rav Shlomo Goren, zatza”l ,a past Chief Rabbi of the IDF and Chief Rabbi of the State of Israel, says that soldiers should recite the Birkat HaGomel upon returning safely from battle. A soldier who suffered injuries in battle should recite Birkat HaGomel when fully recovered.
Soldiers, regular army and reservists, who serve in Judea and Samaria on guard duty and as escorts to civilians, should recite Birkat HaGomel upon completing their period of service in a particular location. Birkat HaGomel is recited when the danger is fully passed. Therefore, if a reserve soldier serves for a period of one month, the Birkat HaGomel is recited at the end of the month.