There is no nation that prays for peace as often as we do!
I made a quick non scientific calculation.
And came up with at least 15 times in our daily prayers!
At the same time?
There is a concept of war in the Torah.
Of defending ourselves. Of fighting the forces of evil.
And that’s what Israel has been forced to do now.
… Here’s a Torah insight.
There’s a puzzling portion in the Torah dealing with war. (Deuteronomy, 20: 1-9)
Before we go to war an announcement is made. Certain people are sent home.
A man who has built a new home but has not lived in it.
Or has planted a vineyard and not eaten its first crop.
And a man who is about to get married!
It sounds strange!
We could think of much more pressing situations than these!
And how many soldiers are likely to be in these categories?
It doesn’t seem like a practical or fair way of dealing with extenuating circumstances!
… The Torah is making a point.
About the kind of People we should be.
And what our priorities as a nation should be.
There will be times that we will need to go to war. Will need to confront evil.
And war means people dying. It means destruction.
But we have to be extremely careful about one thing.
We should never become warriors!
Our goal as a People has to be totally different.
It has to be life. Has to be building.
So before going to war?
We make a statement.
“Our enemies are forcing us to fight. And we will do our best to crush the forces of evil.
But we would rather be builders!”
No army in the world declares this as much as the IDF!
Because the Jewish People has been molded by the Torah.
We should know that. And be proud of it.
And it should be a merit for our soldiers and for our bothers and sisters in Israel.
… Torah study gives our prayers added power.
Here is a prayer that is 1000 years old!
It could have been written today!
“Our brothers, the entire family of Israel who are in distress and captivity, whether on sea or dry land. May G-d have mercy on them and remove them from distress to relief, from darkness to light, from subjugation to redemption, now speedily, and soon. Let us say Amen.”
All the best,