For me, the moments before sundown every Friday evening are like a “mini” Yom Kipper. As I light my Shabbat candles, I feel that the Heavenly Court is in “session” and all who light their candles are blessed with a golden opportunity to appeal for Hashem’s mercy for relief from their troubles – whetherthey are related to health, nachas, shalom bayis, a shidduch – or peace.
A PRAYER FOR ERETZ YISRAEL
Our Father who is the Almighty,
We, Your children, call out to You,
For our enemies are many and virulent,
And our friends unpredictable and few.
Like malignancies, our foes terrorize us,
Fueled by a hatred attached like skin,
So fanatic in their desire to destroy us,
They gladly annihilate themselves and their kin.
We are so weary of this non-stop attrition,
For millennia, we have had no respite,
From vilification, persecutions and genocide,
We see no end in sight.
Yet though we have returned to the homeland
That You gave us for all eternity,
We have had no peace, no escape
From the bloodlust of a crazed enemy.
Day after day, year after year,
We face death, destruction and woe,
We bury our loved ones, again and again,
Tormented by foe after foe.
We lie in our beds, sleepless,
Our hearts heavy with sorrow,
Our minds are beset with great worry,
As to what horror we will face tomorrow.
We are tired. We are drained. We are worn
By the timeless suffering we have borne.
We are becoming confused and self-doubting,
By relentless defamation, slander and scorn.
The world is silent when our children are bombed,
But howl with rage when we fight back,
In their twisted eyes we are never defenders,
Just predators who initiate the attack.
Each time we protect and defend ourselves,
We are condemned by hypocritical nations,
Blood-soaked countries that have no shame
Over their past plunders, pillages and invasions.
We turn to You, the God of Mercy,
You, who we fear and adore,
Please heed our pleas and bring relief,
For our battered souls cannot take too much more.
Please give wisdom, insight and determination
To the conflicted leaders of our Holy Land,
Let all their decisions and their actions
Be guided by Your Heavenly Hand.
Let all attempts by our enemies to harm us
End in failure, be futile, and come to naught,
That You are the Shield of David
Is a lesson they must be taught.
Perhaps we are lacking in merit,
And for our troubles we are to blame,
But bless us with Your forgiving chesed,
If not for our sake, then for the sake of Your Name.
Let us bask in Your loving-kindness,
Let us sing Your praises with glee,
Let us know just peace and contentment,
Today, and for eternity.