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A Prayer for Israel, by Rabbi Nahum Waldman z”l (2004)

We pray for Israel,
Both the mystic ideal of our [ancestors’] dreams,
And the living miracle, here and now,
Built of heart, muscle, and steel.

May she endure and guard her soul,
Surviving the relentless, age-old hatreds,
The cynical concealment of diplomatic deceit,
And the rumblings that warn of war.

May Israel continue to be the temple that magnetizes
The loving eyes of Jews in all corners:
The Jew in a land of affluence and relative peace,
Who forgets the glory and pain of his being,
And the Jew in a land of oppression whose bloodied fist
Beats in anguish and pride
Against the cage of his enslavement.

May Israel yet embrace her homeless, her own,
And bind the ingathered into one people.
May those who yearn for a society built on human concern
Find the vision of the prophets realized in her.

May her readiness to defend
Never diminish her search for peace.

May we always dare to hope
That in our day the antagonisms will end,
That all the displaced, Arab and Jew, will be rooted again,
That within Israel and across her borders
All God’s children will touch hands in peace.

This prayer for Israel was written by Rabbi Naḥum Waldman (1931-2004) for T’ruah: the Rabbinic Call for Human Rights. T’ruah works to ensure that Israel remains a safe and secure home for Jews and a place that lives up to the ideal stated in the State of Israel’s 1948 Declaration of Independence that Israel “will foster the development of the country for all of its inhabitants; it will be based on freedom, justice, and peace as envisaged by the prophets of Israel; it will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex.”

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