By Cantor Lorna Wallach
This Shabbat (Oct 16-17) has been designated as Sabbath of Solidarity with Israel.
One of my favorite moments every Shabbat morning at CBI comes towards the end of the Torah Service when we all join in reciting a prayer for the State of Israel. We usually sing the first line of the prayer together (using a melody composed by David Burger) and we read the rest of the prayer in Hebrew. The text of this beautiful prayer was written in 1948, shortly after the establishment of the state, by Chief Rabbis Herzog and Uziel, together with author and Nobel laureate S.Y. Agnon.
At this time when tensions and anxiety are high in Israel due to the many recent vicious and random acts of terrorism perpetrated against civilians, we feel at a loss for what we can do to help the situation. In addition to the suggestions made by Rabbi Bayar earlier this week to learn as much as we can about the situation, contacting our elected representatives to voice our concerns as American Jews and to find a specific cause in Israel to support, we can also come together in prayer, particularly this Shabbat which the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish organizations has declared as a Shabbat of Solidarity.
So this Shabbat, as our CBI community joins together with many other communities all over the country to demonstrate solidarity with our brethren in Israel, let us make our Kavannah (intentions of our prayer) even deeper as we ask “Our Father who is in Heaven – Avinu Shebashamayim – to bless the State of Israel with the shelter of God’s protection and peace.
Here are links to two musical settings of the Prayer for the State of Israel. I hope you will find them as moving and compelling as I do.