A Prayer for Israel

Anat Hoffman

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.

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.

A Prayer for the State of Israel, Her People and Soldiers, and for the Innocent Among the Palestinian People

Rabbi John Rosove

Eternal God, receive our prayers for the peace and security of the State of Israel and its people.

Spread blessing upon the Land and upon all who labor in its interest.

Protect Israeli soldiers as they defend our people against missiles and hate.

Protect the innocent among the Palestinian people, that they may be safe and free from death and injury.

Inspire Israel’s leaders to both defend our people and follow the ways of righteousness and compassion.

Remove from the hearts of our people fear, hatred, malice, strife, and vengeance.

May the Jewish people scattered throughout the earth stand strong in solidarity with the state of Israel in times of war and peace, and may they be infused with the ancient hope of Zion.

May our people be encouraged by the symbol of Jerusalem as the eternal city of peace.

May the State of Israel be a blessing to all its inhabitants and to the Jewish people everywhere,

May she be a light to the nations of the world.


We Have a Dream

Anat Hoffman and Rabbi Rick Jacobs

Standing here at this sacred hour
We plead to dream together:

Behold, the days are coming,
When every wise hearted woman
Shall come to be seen before You, our God,
In prayer and supplication,
In safety and pride.

Behold, the days are coming,
When a young girl shall walk with her father
And a boy shall pray with his mother.
And they shall come together
to Jerusalem Your city
to the Western Wall
that reminds of the great and holy House
that bore Your Name.

"In any prayer or supplication
offered by all people ...
they shall spread their hands
toward this House" (I Kings 8:38)

"Our hope is not yet lost,
The hope of two thousand years,
to be a free people in our land,
The land of Zion and Jerusalem" (Hatikvah).

Hear Our Prayer: For the Women of the Wall

Rabbi Karyn D. Kedar

It is not the sound of triumph
Or the sound of the melody of defeat
It is the sound of song that I hear.

What did this people do? (Exodus 32:17-18, 21)

The stones of the ancient wall stand strong
from touch, from tears, from the hope of our people.
We offer prayers of longing,
prayers of peace, of gladness, of healing, of gratitude.
The ageless sounds of supplication.

Hear O Israel,

In the distance
the voices of our women,
powerful and steadfast
as it is written;
Sing a new song unto God . (Psalm 96:1)

The voices of our men,
mighty and resolved
as it is written;
Worship God in the beauty of holiness . (Psalm 96:9)

Hear O Israel,

To the sound of the shofar,
Tekiah Gedolah. A mighty blast,
sustained with anticipation, yearning
and expectation.

Holy One of blessing,
guide us in our struggle.
Grant us wisdom and discernment
as we search for the path of freedom and righteousness.

Honor and majesty are before God
Strength and beauty in God's sanctuary. (Psalm 96:6)
Hear our prayer.

May the One Who Blessed Our Fighters

May the One who blessed our fighters Joshua, David and Judah, Deborah, Yael and Judith, those who has been called to active service. May it be Your will, Adonai our God, that they be guided safely and protected against every enemy and harm. May their path be successful and guard their going out and coming in to life and peace now and forever. And let us say: Amen.

(Adapted from the Israel Movement for Progressive Judaism's siddur)


A Prayer for Times of War

Rabbi Yehoram Mazor

Av Beit Ha'Din of Maram - Israel

May the Everlasting who blessed our ancestors Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel and Leah bless all the soldiers of the Israeli Defense Forces and all those who are protecting our people. May the Source of Blessing protect them and free them from all trouble and anxiety, and may all they do be blessed. May God send safety and redemption to all our soldiers in captivity.

May the Eternal have mercy on them and bring them from darkness to light and from enslavement to salvation, give them strength and save them. May the Eternal listen to all the prayers of our people.

Merciful God, may Your compassion be with us, and remember Your covenant with Abraham. May you spread the covering of Your peace over the descendants of Ishmael, son of Hagar, and over the descendants of Isaac, son of Sarah, and may it be fulfilled that they shall hammer their swords into spades and their spear into ploughshare. Nation shall not lift up sword against nation and they shall learn war no more. And each shall sit under their vines and their fig trees and none shall disturb them.

And let us say: Amen

Tachanun for Day of War

Rabbi Yehoram Mazor

God who blessed our fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, And our mothers Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel, and Leah, Bless the soldiers of the Israeli Defense Forces and all who stand guard to protect our people.

Guard them and deliver them from every affliction and trouble.Bless all their endeavors.

May the Master of our Universe have compassion on them and bring them from darkness to light from prison to freedom!

Strengthen their spirit and answer their and our prayers!

Master of the universe, send Your blessing to Your people, to worrisome mothers and weary fathers. To civilians who are exiled from their homes and to children who were taken away from their playground. Send Your help and support to the young and the old who take refuge in bomb shelters, remember us and redeem us, because You are the one whom we have put our trust in.

Please, oh Merciful God, have compassion on us! Remember Your covenant with Abraham, Your faithful servant, and spread Your shelter of peace over the children of Ishmael, son of Abraham and Hagar, and over the children of Isaac, son of Sarah and Abraham!

And Your blessings will spread over them and us, as it has been said:

"For as the seed of peace, the vine shall give her fruit, and the ground shall produce its yield, and the heavens shall give their dew; and I will cause you to inherit all these things; ...and you shall be a blessing; fear not," (after Zechariah 8:12-13)

We pray for the day when the bloodshed will end and there will be Shalom!

And let us say 'Amen'.

Prayer for the Peace of the State of Israel

Our God and the God of our fathers and mothers,

The God of the Fear of Isaac, the God of Yael,

God of the good spirit of Saul,

God of Israel.

Please, with the great force of Your right hand,

For them, if not for you,

Fence us with the boundaries of the sea, the east, north and south,

Cover our skies under the wing of your Divine Presence.

Give wisdom and understanding to our elders and our ministers

Distance from them any dishonorable deed

Lead them in path of the just and the good, for we have put our lives in their hands.

Sit our judges on thrones of justice and enlighten their hearts with Your Torah,

So that they may walk blamelessly before You.

Please, with the great force of Your right hand,

Spread over the protectors of our land the canopy of Your peace,

Lift Your hand over them, save them from all enemy and ambush, from all bullets that threaten their souls.

Given them strength and heart, to distinguish between enemy and lover between the people of wickedness and the people of Abraham.

Please, with the great force of Your right hand,

Guard the state of Israel, Your daughter whom you have chosen

For the sake of exalting Your name among all the inhabitants of the world,

Please with force,

Please without use of force.

- Rabbi Ofer Sabath Beit-Halachmi, Congregation Tzur-Hadassah (Translation: Rabbi Rachel Sabath Beit-Halachmi)

If God Would Go On a Sick Leave: A Poem of Peace

Rabbi Zoë Klein

Nowhere is there more prayer.
​The Nuns at the Holy Sepulchre.
The faithful at Al Aqsa Mosque.
The worshippers at the Wall.
The call to prayer at dawn and dusk
Warbling from the citadels.
The church bells,
The Persian trills,
The passion spilled over texts
From every major/minor religious sect.

Nowhere is there more prayer than Jerusalem,
Thanks be to God, Hamdilala, Baruch Hashem.
And yet,
I'm starting to think that it's You and not them,
God, what's the point of prayer?

If there's nowhere where
There's more prayer,
And terror reigns
Then, Who's to blame?

If suddenly, without a whisper goodbye,
Jesus, Allah, Adonai,
The three men they admire most
All took the last train for the coast,

And the Moslems got up from their knees
And the Christians put down their rosaries
And the Jews stayed their hands from kissing
Their mezuzahs,
And everyone looked up,
And realized something's missing...

God is missing.
Stop the praying! No One's there,
They'd arrange a party to search everywhere.
They'd look for God
But there'd be no Presence
In Holy Books or stars and crescents
Or steeples and crosses.
People'd be at a loss,
Is He ever coming back?

They'd be so distraught,
Their searching for naught,
There'd be nothing on high
So they'd turn to on low,
There'd be nothing above
So they'd turn to below,
And they'd finally see there,
In the face of the other,
A semblance of sister,
The eyes of a brother,
They'd turn and they'd lean
Upon one another.

You see, every group can't believe that they're the ones chosen,
Every group can't believe that the Holy Land's owed them,
Sometimes faith in You, God,
Builds insurmountable walls,
And everyone falls.
Everyone falls.

How wise are the secularists for whom the dead aren't martyred
But, quite plainly, murdered...

This might sound like an absurd,
ungodly thing to say,
A truly heretical supplication to pray,
(I say this only out of the deepest respect)
But if for a few days, God, You'd just give it a rest,
If You'd take a sick leave and just go away
And let Israel work this out without You in the way,

God, for that kind of peace,
You're a small price to pay.

Source of Peace, Sovereign of Peace

Source of peace, Sovereign of peace,
Establish peace among Your people, Israel.
And let there be an ever-increasing peace among all peoples.
May there be no more hatred, rancor, strife or conquest
Between one human being and another.
Let there be only love and a great peace among us,
So that each on of us may know the love of the other.
Until we are able to come and gather together-every person with another.
So that we may speak - one to the other.
So that we may explain - one to the other - Your truth.
God - You are peace, and from You comes peace.
Source of peace, bless us with peace.

Based on the prayer of Rabbi Nachman of Bratslav, from Siddur Ha'avodah She'ba'lev [Service of the Heart ]. Published: A Companion to Ha'avodah She'ba'lev: The Prayer Book of the Israel Movement For Progressive Judaism. Congregation Har-El, Jerusalem. 1992. Page-back cover addendum.


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