Israel Report

December 2001         

Prayer of the Jewish Soldier

Lord of the Universe
We, the soldiers of the people of Israel
Come to You in humility
And pray for your help

Once more, we are asked to defend our
People and
The Holy Land against our enemies

We ask You to have mercy on us and
Help us watch over our people
With clean hands
And with a heart filled with mercy

Let our people have the strength to
Stay in good spirits
And live in unity and
Walk in Your ways
The ways of Justice and Truth

Let us not make mistakes
And hurt those who are not guilty
Who do not understand
And have no part in this conflict

Let our bullets not hurt those children of our enemies
Whose parents place them deliberately in dangerous spots,
Fire on us
And then shield themselves
Behind their own offspring against
Our forces so as to fault us when their children
Get hurt or even killed

Remove the evil spirit of these parents
And make them realize the wickedness of their actions
Stop their teachers from manipulating their students
With hate for us in their schoolbooks
On the radio, television and

O God,
You know what one of our Prime Ministers once said:
"We may forgive our enemies one day
For hurting and killing our children
We cannot forgive them for having made our children
Into those who needed to kill"
We beg You, do not let our Jewish souls have to undergo
This ordeal which we cannot bear

We are the children of Avraham, your servant, who
Prayed for the evil people of Sedom with the hope that
They should repent and live a decent life

So, we beg you
Make our enemies repent
Force them to understand that
We are good people
Who wish to live in peace with
All our neighbors

O Lord,
Remove from their thoughts atrocities such as those
In which they dip their hands
In our blood
As Jews, we
Cannot fathom
Doing this even against our worst enemies

You commanded us to live in a country which
Is little more
Than a tiny island
Our population is smaller than that of
Many single cities

You asked us to live there so as to send
Your holy Word to all the corners of the world
We are surrounded by many nations who
Embody more than a hundred million people
They inhabit one of the largest regions of the world
But deny us the right to live in even the smallest corner of the world
They do not want to listen
And only wish our death

Give the Arab nations
Who are men of justice and who really
Care for their people
And do not wish to bring their own brothers to despair
And unbearable pain
With the intention
To accuse us
Of grave injustice

After thousands of years of our dwelling
On this globe and after many exiles, tortures, pogroms,
Expulsions and Holocausts
We finally found our way back to our
Small homeland
Which You promised to our forefathers

But once more our dreams of peace
Have gone up in smoke
While we were trying, at the risk of our own lives,
To find a way to
Allow our Palestinian neighbors to
Live their own lives
While we were prepared to make sacrifices
For the welfare of these people
As no other people ever did
While we offered them land, peace, finances
And even firearms so as to defend themselves
We once more pay the price for being a people
Who believe in the honesty of another nation and its leaders
And once more we feel misled

Oh Lord, remove the evil intentions of the
Security Council which distorts the truth
Remove the deliberate lies
From the hearts of those who head the

Why do they want to portray us
As an evil people?
They do so
To deny Your existence and Your moral
They hide behind their own wickedness
And cover up theirs and their fathers'
Immoral acts which they brought on us
And our forefathers for thousands
Of years

O, God You know
No army in world history has used so much restraint
As ours.
No army is so careful not to hurt or kill
As ours
But what shall we do when they are not even prepared
To give us the option
To prove this to the world?

Please God,
Bring peace into the hearts and minds
Of our enemies
Let them be uplifted with a spirit of righteousness
Stop them from hating us because we are Your people
Let us sanctify Your name as this is our
Mission and our dream
Give us the possibility once more to teach
Your ways to the peoples
Of the world
And make them hear and

We hate war as nobody else does,
We abhor the need to wear weapons
We cannot stand the sound of our own artillery
And our tanks

We are the people of the Book
The Book which demands holiness,
And integrity
Our heroes are not the generals or the marshals
But our prophets and our sages
Men of righteousness

So, deliver us from this anguish
Bring peace to the nations
Let us not be forced to use our strength against them
For they will have no escape
Let the blessing which you gave to Avraham come true,
"And through you all the families of the earth will be blessed"
For this is our hope

Nathan Lopes Cardozo

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