A View From Israel: A rain of blessings
Uncertainty in the Middle East abounds, which is why Israel is in need of constant blessing.
A haredi soldier prays during a drill. Photo: IDF Spokesman)
On Monday night, those who pray began to add the prayer for rain: “Bestow dew
and rain for a blessing.”
The land of milk and honey is mostly arid and
badly needs winter precipitation to get through the hot, dry season.
the prayer for rain is meant to do is to clue us in on the uncertainty of
whether or not the the season’s rainfall will be abundant – and for many, that
decision lies in God’s hands.
Uncertainty in the Middle East certainly
abounds, which is why Israel is in need of constant blessings.
to the Talmud, God retains the keys to three blessings: the key of rain, the key
of childbirth and the key of reviving the dead.
By praying for rain, man
admits that he is not all-powerful and demonstrates a level of humility by doing
Like God, man can also destroy life, but God holds the power to
create and sustain life.
The Talmud also uses the term “gevurat hageshem”
– “the strength of rain.” This can be interpreted as referring to the fact that
in Israel, in general, when it rains it pours.
In the stories of the
Bible, water was often difficult to obtain. Moses had to extract water from a
rock and King David referred to this in his praise to God as the One Who “turns
the rock into a body of water.”
Israel can be blessed by anyone and the
Bible makes this clear when it says, “And I will bless them that bless
Evangelical Christians firmly believe in this passage and are
dedicated “blessers” of the Jewish people.
AND THE Jewish people have
been blessed. Israel, a country that was rebuilt from scratch after having been
laid waste by marauding armies over the course of a few thousand years, is one
of the fabulous successes of the 20th century – and that success continues
A leader in numerous fields, Israel has become recognized
as an innovative country. Its hi-tech industry outputs much of the world’s
advanced technology. Israel’s academia produces more scientific papers per
capita than any other nation. Tel Aviv is considered one of the top cultural
cities in the world. Our army is one of the strongest and best-trained in the
Israel’s emergency services are top-notch.
International Police Association recently elected an Israeli woman as its vice
Israel is one of the top producers of clean
Israel is a leader in the field of medicine, frequently
achieving medical breakthroughs and discoveries.
According to a booklet
produced by StandWithUs, a non-profit pro-Israel education and advocacy
organization based in Los Angeles, through its medical devices, medicine and
inventions, Israel saves more lives per capita than any other country in the
Israel protects minority rights and actively works to advance
social and economic equality. Israeli Arabs have served in the Knesset since
Israel’s establishment in 1948.
Israel was the first country in the world
to adopt the Kimberley Process, an international standard that certifies
diamonds as “conflict free.”
In the entire Middle East, only Israel
received a No. 1 rating for political rights from Freedom House, which evaluates
democracy and freedom around the world.
There are 56 Islamic-majority
countries in the world, 122 Christian, 10 Buddhist and five Hindu. Israel is the
only Jewish-majority country in the world and has been the Jewish homeland for
over 3,000 years.
Upon its establishment, Israel became the manifestation
of a moral necessity longed for by Jews everywhere.
The type of
persecution so familiar to the average Jew in many lands came close to an end
with the birth of the Jewish state. Unfortunately, Jews are still faced with
high levels of anti-Semitism everywhere.
But Jews are no longer the
Musselmanner, the living dead, of the Holocaust. The Jewish people is a
thriving, pulsating, growing nation, striving to contribute to the development
of our planet.
Nearly eight million citizens live here and, with the
average monthly wage at around NIS 8,800 and the average household expenditure
at around NIS 14,000, it is easy to see why Israel needs a torrent of
The Jewish people, as well as the rest of the universe, is
divinely blessed. Yet we still must offer our prayers in order to receive such
blessings and ensure their continuation.