The rise of far right wing, nationalist, extremist leaders in Israel’s politics and new government is frightening. This prayer, written yesterday for the leadership and Rabbinic cabinet of J Street, is being distributed for clergy use this Shabbat. I’m grateful to be asked to write this ‘rapid response’ prayer expressing fears and hopes for the State of Israel, my home. Along with this piece for J Street, I’ve previously been commissioned to write prayers for Israel by Areznu and the Central Conference of American Rabbis.
After Israeli Elections, 2022
God of history,
Shine the light of wisdom
Upon the State of Israel
And its newly elected leaders
As we stand
At the threshold of darkness.
O fear and warning,
That racists and xenophobes
Have been given voice and power
In a nation that should be, and could be,
A light unto the world.
O danger and despair,
That threatens to dismantle democracy,
To deepen the occupation,
To strip away human rights,
And aspires to theocracy.
God of generations,
We pray that you open the hearts of these leaders
So that the weight of office,
And the voice of chesed,
Changes them for good.
Then, Source and Shelter,
When You bless them to act with inspiration and insight,
Building our nation in Your image,
You will bless us all.
May we never tire in the work of peace.
May we never tire in the work of justice.
May we never give up on this land and this people.
May it be Your will,
God of our ancestors,
To grant safety and security
To all nations and communities,
So that truth and harmony will resound
From the four corners of the earth.
“After Israeli Elections, 2022” by Alden Solovy is © 2022 J-Street
Postscript: Here are some prayers for peace in Israel: “Children of Gaza, Children of Israel,” “For Peace in the Middle East,” “Peace Will Come,” and “When Peace Comes: A Meditation.” Here’s a prayer for the survival of Israel: “Israel: A Meditation.”
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