Israel at War: One Small Prayer

Dear God,

We’ve spoken a lot over the years.  We’ve talked about the perils of sleepless nights with colicky newborns, navigating the terrible twos, and how to parent in the face of (unreasonable amounts of) teenage angst.  You’ve sent me little messages to “hang in there” when things got tough, to have faith even when loved ones passed away, and to hold on tight when I was in the throes of postpartum depression.  As relationships go, maybe ours is a little one sided – I talk, and you listen. You give, and I receive.

You show me the beauty of your ways on a daily basis.  When I look around the world, I can’t help but see your presence absolutely everywhere.  I see You when I climb to the top of a mountain, and my breath catches as a magnificent view appears. I see You in the incredible symmetry of pinecones and flowers, the awkward beauty of insects and other small things.  I witness your presence when I walk through the woods; I breathe deeply and smell the scent of pine needles, of fig trees, of delicious, sweet flowers in the springtime.  I sense your company as I settle into a pile of oak leaves, my bare feet brushing on the rich earth of your landscape.  I am aware of your existence when I sing with all my heart during prayer, thanking You for the beautiful gifts that you’ve given to our people: our Torah, our Land, and our special relationship with the divine.

And all those little “coincidences” that occur in the tapestry of everyday life? I see that You’re behind them, the divine conductor managing the most magnificent orchestra in existence, from the crashing cymbals and booming bass drums to the sweet sound of the violin.

Despite all of these daily affirmations of your presence, I still have questions – I am human, after all.  I wonder who exactly You are, what exactly You want of us, and whether we have been successful in ascertaining and following your divine will.  These uncertainties drift in and out of the daily soliloquy of my consciousness, washed away almost imperceptibly by deep knowledge within my soul.  Somewhere inside, I know what You want.  And despite all of my human imperfections, I strive to get there. Deep down, I know that the point of my life is to approach Truth and Goodness.

Why might that be? I cannot know or understand.  I can only do my best to follow in your footsteps, to track your path through the tangled and overgrown landscape of the world.  I will follow your brilliant light in the darkness.

I promised myself long ago that I would endure challenges and difficulty for the sake of fulfilling your plan.  So far, I’ve had to contend with the small difficulties of moving to a foreign country, including communicating in an unfamiliar language, fighting with unruly shopping carts, and resigning myself to summers without blueberries.  It was hard to send my son into the army, so necessary for protecting our land and our people. But during peacetime, even that seemed like a reasonable price to pay.  Now, the stakes just got a lot higher.  Am I so weak that I would give up on You now when my world is at its darkest?

I won’t do that.  It does seem dark right now, almost as if You’ve hidden your presence from our people.  With the steady stream of news bringing in reports of the atrocities your nation has endured these weeks, it’s hard to feel hopeful. Many of us are confused.  We’re scared. And we all feel kind of stuck.

But I’ve read and written about your hidden miracles, from the battle of Devorah and Barak at Mount Tavor to your miraculous intervention in recent times, during the War of Independence and the Six Day War.  You gave us our land when it seemed like such a remote possibility.  You protected us from armies of enemies that vastly outnumbered our own untrained forces.

You have protected your people, as a whole, for thousands of years.  We still exist as a nation, even if we had to endure horrible challenges, heartache, pain, and loss along the way.  Now, we have more than just existence: we have our own land, our own government, and our own army with which to defeat our enemies.  You have blessed us with wisdom and strength and a united nation.  You have given us the most brilliant minds on the planet, equipped with resilience and the ability to problem solve.

I do not question your existence right now.  Nor do I question your promise to stand with your people.  

But I do pray. I do ask more vehemently than ever for You to please, please answer our prayers tenfold – to bring your miraculous intervention in a way that will shock the entire world.

Please, God, have mercy on your people.  Descend from your lofty throne in the heavens and make your presence seen more clearly than ever.   Walk with us and with our sons into the battlefield, the one that we never wanted to have to enter.  Make Your divine intervention irrefutable. Let the world see that, “The Lord is a man of battle, the Lord is His name.”

Let them see that God loves Israel and we are His people.

Allow your children to see, more clearly than ever, your divine protection, the pillar of cloud as it escorts our children towards their battle for the safety and survival of the Jewish people.

Dear God, please perform miracles for our sake.  And let us all be astounded by them.

13 thoughts on “Israel at War: One Small Prayer

  1. Amen.

    May all Your people put their trust into You and please be with them, next beside them and all around them.

  2. AMEN
    Wow. You’ve perfectly put into words thoughts and feelings I didn’t think possible to portray.
    I deffer on one point only: It’s not the land, government or army, but only Him who keeps us safe.

    I join in your beautiful prayer and I too, ask for astounding miracles that the entire world will recognise.

    May all the prayers of our nation be heard and answered for the good soon.

  3. You always write beautifully. This is one of your best, and probably your MOST important. May we share good news.

  4. Beautiful, I can only think that for there to be a truly great revelation worthy of Hashem’s intervention and awe, it has to come about when the situation is that far on the other side, almost complete despair, lo alainu. There could be no clearer conflict of good vs evil as we are in now, worldwide. I prey Hashem feels the time has come to destroy sheckar and shine the ultimate light on emet.

  5. Wow, that was really inspirational & beautifully written. Kol Hakovod…
    (we met on the Alyn hike right before Covid)

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