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Prayers and Thoughts About Israel

05/14/2021 10:49:25 AM

May14

Shabbat shalom everyone.

This week that expression is more wish then normal.  As conflict rages in Israel, we wish for all people, no matter which side, a quick return to peace.  This week as I watched videos and read reports of the bombing I searched my heart to make sense of the violence going on right now in the Middle East.  I came across three resources I would like to share with you.

First, is a short video by Rabbi David Wolpe, on two truths about the conflict.  The video is about one minute long, but I found his words insightful and in some ways comforting.  The video can be found here.

The second resource I would like to share with you is a letter from Rabbi Dan Fink’s daughter who is in Israel right now.  In the letter she reminds us to remember the people who are caught in the crossfire:

“A Letter to My American Friends:

I’m sitting in the stairwell of my Tel Aviv apartment building at 3am with the sound of rockets exploding above my head. At this moment I am not thinking about who is right or which side is evil. I’m thinking that a rocket will shoot through the side of my apartment. I’m exhausted from the sirens ringing throughout night. And I really, really have to pee.

As I pull out my phone and start scrolling Instagram, I see everyone posting on the conflict here, a subject that is so sensitive and so real for me. There’s an outpouring of strong opinions on the situation, filled with passionately-argued politics, some of which, in normal times, I share. Yet more often than not, these social media posts feel conditioned and predictable—and in this moment, they entirely miss the point.

When I see friends posting stories but not reaching out to ask if I’m okay, I start crying. I fear we have far too often removed compassion from our activism, the individual from the cause. This is not commentary on who is right and who is wrong. This is about the people caught in the middle. Everyone who was born and raised here, immigrants, refugees, everyone who has nowhere else to go. Think about human beings going through something you have probably never experienced. Let’s take this time to reach out to individuals who are affected by violence or oppression anywhere. Activism is important and necessary but let’s also remember to take care of one another.”

As I pull out my phone and start scrolling Instagram, I see everyone posting on the conflict here, a subject that is so sensitive and so real for me. There’s an outpouring of strong opinions on the situation, filled with passionately-argued politics, some of which, in normal times, I share. Yet more often than not, these social media posts feel conditioned and predictable—and in this moment, they entirely miss the point.

When I see friends posting stories but not reaching out to ask if I’m okay, I start crying. I fear we have far too often removed compassion from our activism, the individual from the cause. This is not commentary on who is right and who is wrong. This is about the people caught in the middle. Everyone who was born and raised here, immigrants, refugees, everyone who has nowhere else to go. Think about human beings going through something you have probably never experienced. Let’s take this time to reach out to individuals who are affected by violence or oppression anywhere. Activism is important and necessary but let’s also remember to take care of one another.”

“A Letter to My American Friends:

I’m sitting in the stairwell of my Tel Aviv apartment building at 3am with the sound of rockets exploding above my head. At this moment I am not thinking about who is right or which side is evil. I’m thinking that a rocket will shoot through the side of my apartment. I’m exhausted from the sirens ringing throughout night. And I really, really have to pee.

As I pull out my phone and start scrolling Instagram, I see everyone posting on the conflict here, a subject that is so sensitive and so real for me. There’s an outpouring of strong opinions on the situation, filled with passionately-argued politics, some of which, in normal times, I share. Yet more often than not, these social media posts feel conditioned and predictable—and in this moment, they entirely miss the point.

When I see friends posting stories but not reaching out to ask if I’m okay, I start crying. I fear we have far too often removed compassion from our activism, the individual from the cause. This is not commentary on who is right and who is wrong. This is about the people caught in the middle. Everyone who was born and raised here, immigrants, refugees, everyone who has nowhere else to go. Think about human beings going through something you have probably never experienced. Let’s take this time to reach out to individuals who are affected by violence or oppression anywhere. Activism is important and necessary but let’s also remember to take care of one another.”

Lastly, I would like to offer a prayer for the State of Israel as found on the Reform Judaism website:

 

My God

In this sacred moment, give us hope for Israel and her future. 
Renew our wonder at the miracle of the Jewish State.

In the name of the pioneers who made the deserts bloom - give us the tools to cultivate a diversity of Jewish expression in Israel.

In the name of our fallen soldiers - give us courage to stand up to the words and ways of zealots. Those in our own midst and those among our neighbors.

In the name of Israeli inventors who have amazed the world with their innovations – help us apply the same ingenuity to finding a path to peace.

In the name of all these individuals - grant us the strength to conquer doubt and despair in Israel.

Replacing doubt with action.
Replacing despair with hope.

And let us say: Amen.

 

My God אלי

In this sacred moment, give us hope for Israel and her future. 
Renew our wonder at the miracle of the Jewish State.

In the name of the pioneers who made the deserts bloom - give us the tools to cultivate a diversity of Jewish expression in Israel.

In the name of our fallen soldiers - give us courage to stand up to the words and ways of zealots. Those in our own midst and those among our neighbors.

In the name of Israeli inventors who have amazed the world with their innovations – help us apply the same ingenuity to finding a path to peace.

In the name of all these individuals - grant us the strength to conquer doubt and despair in Israel.

Replacing doubt with action.
Replacing despair with hope.

And let us say: Amen.

My God אלי

In this sacred moment, give us hope for Israel and her future. 
Renew our wonder at the miracle of the Jewish State.

In the name of the pioneers who made the deserts bloom - give us the tools to cultivate a diversity of Jewish expression in Israel.

In the name of our fallen soldiers - give us courage to stand up to the words and ways of zealots. Those in our own midst and those among our neighbors.

In the name of Israeli inventors who have amazed the world with their innovations – help us apply the same ingenuity to finding a path to peace.

In the name of all these individuals - grant us the strength to conquer doubt and despair in Israel.

Replacing doubt with action.
Replacing despair with hope.

And let us say: Amen.

I hope these words provide insight and comfort and that we may all know a true Shabbat Shalom, Sabbath of peace, in the near future.

Tue, June 22 2021 12 Tammuz 5781