Torah for this Hour | December 8, 2023

Being an Israeli Jew in this moment in time means praying prayers that are thousands of years old, which sound as if they were composed just yesterday.

Modeh ani – I thank you God, that I am here, even as I recognize that many of us are no longer here, and can no longer thank you for the gift of life. You have returned my soul to me- my troubled, worried, frightened soul. My soul that has been exposed to too many pictures of suffering and destruction, of blood spilled in enormous cruelty.

Ad matei? Until when will I be afraid to turn on the television in fear of hearing the name of the next solider to die in this war? Just please- please not someone I know! Then I remember that no matter what, the next soldier to die will be someone who someone knows and loves.

Mechalchel chayim b’chesed – Sustain the living in kindness, and in mercy speedily redeem the hostages. Grant us the possibility to see from within our own terrible suffering, the suffering of another people as well. Help us and help them to end the violence and hatred which destroys our our souls and our lives.

To be a Jewish Israeli at this moment is to pray every moment: love … from generation to generation … please God … may it be your will.