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Yet Another Prayer for Peace in the Middle East

Yet Another Prayer for Peace in the Middle East

A dove holding an olive branch written in chalk against black pavement

Creator of all humankind, at this fearful moment we beseech You to bless Israeli and Palestinian leaders alike with wisdom, caution, compassion, and restraint.

As tensions run high and pressures increase, we implore You to help those throughout the region to choose reason over retaliation, reconciliation over revenge.

Neither rockets nor airstrikes can alleviate the resentment and mistrust that has one again brought on a new iteration of the same conflict.

Cain’s failure to resist the inclination to wrath, the temptation to lash out at Abel, resulted in their parents losing both of their sons.

May the leaders of the Middle East consider the prospect of more parents burying their children before succumbing to the siren song of provocation.

Confronted with the sight of more bloodshed what comfort will there be in telling ourselves “But we were provoked”?

Peace negotiations are long, hard, and arduous but continuing asymmetrical warfare has done nothing but perpetuate war.

God of Eve and Adam, of Abel and Cain, grant our leaders the resolve to fulfill Your commandment to “Seek peace and purse it.”

May we realize the vision that has eluded us for far too long. “Nation shall not lift up sword against nation. Nor shall they learn war anymore.” May this be our blessing and let us say:


Rabbi David Wirtschafter is the rabbi of Temple Adath Israel in Lexington, KY. Confronting violence in classic Jewish texts and contemporary society is the focus of his work in progress, The Torah They Never Taught You, Bad Stories from The Good Book.

Rabbi David Wirtschafter
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