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Anat's Prayer for Israel

Anat's Prayer for Israel

Last week, Orlando, FL, was not only the home of Disneyland, but also home to one of the largest Jewish gatherings in North America - the Union for Reform Judaism’s Biennial convention.

The formidable Rabbi Rick Jacobs, president of the URJ, invited me to read a prayer for Israel before the main plenary during Shabbat services. I consulted the prayer for Israel in my prayer book. But it didn’t convey the urgency I feel for hope - lots of it - for Israel. My prayer for Israel also has to include a cry to save Israel from its religious zealots.

I am a practical, seat-of-my-pants kind of gal, so I wrote an urgent, to-the-point request to the Big Boss upstairs. I salute the Reform Movement for letting me try it out on its largest audience.

Here is my prayer:

‫אלי 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 women and men - grant us the strength to conquer doubt and despair in Israel.

Replacing doubt with action.
Replacing despair with hope.

And let us say: Amen.

Anat Hoffman is the executive director of the Israel Religious Action Center, the public and legal advocacy arm of the Reform Jewish Movement in Israel. She is also the chairwoman of Women of the Wall, a group of Jewish women and men from around the world who strive to achieve the right of women to wear prayer shawls, pray, and read from the Torah collectively and out loud at the Western Wall in Jerusalem.

Anat Hoffman
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