A Prayer for Israel and Jerusalem:
When America opened her embassy to Israel in Jerusalem on the date in the secular calendar when Israel was declared a State, there was celebration and there was condemnation. Joy that uncontested Jewish sovereignty over West Jerusalem remains uncontested. And condemnation that there was no conversation over how this move could be a move towards a time of peace in the Land of Israel.
As facts on the ground become more secure, the hopeless rise up, desperate.
When we heard of the lives lost as protesters mixed with enemy combatants walked, or crept towards the thin wire keeping our cousins and uncles safe, we mourned: We mourned firstly for the lives lost, the youthful potential which was ended; We mourned for our Palestinian cousins, who are no closer to stability today than yesterday; And we mourned for the innocence of our soldiers, having to make life and death decisions – who had to aim to hurt and pray their shots were true.
עֹֽ֭מְדוֹת הָי֣וּ רַגְלֵ֑ינוּ בִּ֝שְׁעָרַ֗יִךְ יְרֽוּשָׁלִָֽם
The Psalmist writes, “Our feet stood inside your gates, O Jerusalem.” (Psalm 122:2)
Wherever we stand, our prayers stand in Jerusalem – a place of reality and of dream. A magnet which has pulled the hearts and prayers of its exiles closer through the centuries.
יְרֽוּשָׁלִַ֥ם הַבְּנוּיָ֑ה כְּ֝עִ֗יר שֶׁחֻבְּרָה־לָּ֥הּ יַחְדָּֽו
“Jerusalem rebuilt- as a city knit together.” (Psalm 123:3) A city, representing so many nations of the world, built, according to the Psalmist, in the act of bringing together.
The Psalm, and our prayer at this moment, ends with these words:
שַֽׁ֭אֲלוּ שְׁל֣וֹם יְרֽוּשָׁלִָ֑ם יִ֝שְׁלָ֗יוּ אֹֽהֲבָֽיִךְ
יְהִֽי־שָׁל֥וֹם בְּחֵילֵ֑ךְ שַׁ֝לְוָ֗ה בְּאַרְמְנוֹתָֽיִךְ
לְ֭מַעַן אַחַ֣י וְרֵעָ֑י אֲדַבְּרָה־נָּ֖א שָׁל֣וֹם בָּֽךְ
לְ֭מַעַן בֵּית־יְהוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֵ֑ינוּ אֲבַקְשָׁ֖ה ט֣וֹב לָֽךְ
“Pray for the Shalom of Jerusalem, May those who love you be at peace.
May there be well-being in your precincts and peace in your homes.
For the sake of my siblings and my friends, I pray for your Shalom
For the sake of the house of the Eternal our God, I pray for your good.” (Psalm 122:6-9)
To learn and discuss Israel’s ever-changing reality, please join us at three conversations: