Friday, July 18, 2014

"...may He bless the fighters"

Tel Aviv, Israel
April 2014

Yesterday I wrote a post about Israel. It was, for me, one of the most important posts I have ever written. It was one that I took great care with, and one that had been writing itself in my brain, the words arranging and rearranging themselves, for almost two weeks. 

And when I was done with it I read it over and over again and then I finally pressed publish. And after I did I clicked on some news sites to catch up and I saw that, as I was writing my words, the Israeli government had made the decision to launch a ground assault against Hamas, and as I put my words out into the ether, thousands of Israeli soldiers were mobilizing at the border, getting ready to march into Gaza.

And so last night and today and as long as the IDF soldiers continue to fight on the ground, Jews around the world will do what we do when there is nothing left to do. We will gather together in our synagogues and in our homes, in our communities and on our streets. And we will close our eyes, and we will pray. We will pray for the security of our country and the safety of our soldiers, the comfort of our religion and the strength of our people.

And this is what we will say:

He Who blessed our forefathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob -- may He bless the fighters of the Israel Defense Forces, who stand guard over our land and the cities of our God, from the border of the Lebanon to the desert of Egypt, and from the Great Sea unto the approach of the Aravah, on the land, in the air, and on the sea.
May the Almighty cause the enemies who rise up against us to be struck down before them. May the Holy One, Blessed is He, preserve and rescue our fighters from every trouble and distress and from every plague and illness, and may He send blessing and success in their every endeavor.
May He lead our enemies under our soldiers’ sway and may He grant them salvation and crown them with victory. And may there be fulfilled for them the verse: For it is the Lord your God, Who goes with you to battle your enemies for you to save you.

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