Jews praying at the Western Wall kotel 311 (R).
(photo credit: Darren Whiteside / Reuters)
Take a moment to read the text of the evocative eleventh-hour Day of Atonement
prayer proffered by the High Priest in the Temple in Jerusalem (found in all
standard Yom Kippur prayer books). It is called Yehi Ratzon, “May it be Your
Will, O Lord...,” and here is my contemporary interpretation of this
“That this be a year in which You open before us Your storehouses
of beneficence and excellence.”
In our days, we cry out for quality
spiritual leadership. Let us pray for far-sighted leaders, with perhaps a little
divine guidance, who can inspire the confidence and repentance of the people of
“That this be a year of gathering in Your Temple.”
that Wakf malevolence and our government’s gross malfeasance do not bring down
the fragmenting walls of the Temple Mount. We pray that we find the national
backbone to reassert our sovereignty on the Holy Mount in the face of
increasingly flagrant and destructive Palestinian encroachment – despite the
international condemnation that is sure to ensue, whatever we do.
this be a year of atonement for our sins.”
Like the sin of providing arms
to the Palestinian Authority or the sin of continuing to fund the PA even as it
launches diplomatic war against Israel.
“That this be a year in which You
bless the fruit of our wombs.”
The time has come to encourage a return to
larger families, through truly subsidized education and cheap housing and other
tangible socio-economic incentives.
What can Trajtenberg add to this
effort? “That this be a year in which you bless our comings and
Let us pray that Israeli residents of Judea and Samaria manage
to make it to work and back home safely every day this year.
That the IDF
be given the freedom to operate extensively enough to guarantee that Yesha
residents do not become sitting ducks to be picked off one-by-one by Abbas’s
policemen or Hamas gangs.
“That this be a year of salvation for our
community... May Your mercy overflow upon us.”
May God grant US President
Barack Obama the determination to sweep away Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his
menacing regime, without the military operation incurring severe costs to us, or
undue losses to US forces. May He protect us from mega- and mini-terrorism
alike. May He calm the rising tide of anti-Semitism that threatens to engulf the
Jews of the Diaspora.
“That this be a year in which You will carry us up
to the Land of Israel, in joy, settling in forever.”
Keep those American,
Canadian and French immigrants coming! Expand and strengthen settlements,
especially in areas of national consensus like the Jordan Valley, around Greater
Jerusalem, along the mountain ridge overlooking the Gush Dan region – and in the
Galilee and Negev too.
“LET THIS be a year in which the people of Israel
will not be dependent on other nations.”
Protect us from the global
riff-raff and their corrupt international institutions, such as the UN, the UN
Human Rights Commission, the International Criminal Court and the International
Court of Justice that would try our leaders for “war crimes,” boycott our
academics and impose sanctions on our trade. Give us wise world leaders with
clarity of thought, individuals like Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who
understand the challenges of our times and appreciate Israel’s heroic
“That this be a year of good life before You.”
we can reenergize our national spirit with Zionist and Jewish values, and with
historical perspective that allows us to see the positive in this country and to
recognize our achievements. Pray that we learn to give each other the benefit of
the doubt; overlooking, instead of emphasizing, our differences.
you can, like the legendary Rabbi Nachman of Breslov.
“May it be your
will, O Lord”, he wrote, “that there be great affection and peace among all your
people of Israel; that we should all be guided by brotherly love and compassion;
that we should accept one another, and learn from one another; that we should
appreciate all your living beings; and that the misfortune of one person should
touch the hearts of all.”
Amen.The writer is director of public
affairs at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies.