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      Hollywood to the Holy Land
      by Tzvi Fishman
      Tzvi Fishman was awarded the Israel Ministry of Education Prize for Jewish Creativity and Culture

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      Before making Aliyah to Israel, Tzvi Fishman was a Hollywood screenwriter. He has co-authored 4 books with Rabbi David Samson, based on the teachings of Rabbi Kook, Eretz Yisrael, Art of T'shuva, War and Peace, and Torat Eretz Yisrael.


      Tevet 8, 5769, 1/4/2009

      Prayers for a Swift and Total Victory

      Tonight at the Kotel, while we were reciting Psalms with the Kabbalist Elder Rabbi Eliyahu Leon Levi, word came that our troops had entered Aza. Immediately, the Rav asked everyone to stand and to recite Psalm 20 out loud 12 times. Soon a large crowd had gathered and the roar inside the Kotel chamber was deafening:

        "For the conductor, a song of David.
        May the Lord answer you on a day of distress; may the name of the God of Jacob fortify you.
        May He send your aid from His sanctuary, and may He support you from Zion.
        May He remember all your meal offerings and may He accept your fat burnt offerings forever.
        May He give you as your heart [desires], and may He fulfill all your counsel.
        Let us sing praises for your salvation, and let us assemble in the name of our God; may the Lord fulfill all your    requests.
        Now I know that the Lord saved His anointed; He answered him from His holy heavens; with the mighty acts of    salvation from His right hand.
        These trust in chariots and these in horses, but we-we mention the name of the Lord our God.
        They kneel and fall, but we rise and gain strength.
        O Lord, save [us]; may the King answer us on the day we call."
      HaRav Leon

      Between each Psalm, Rav Leon cried out petitions to Heaven, filled with Kaballistic codes based on the Hidden Name of G-d, asking Hashem to guard our soldiers and annihilate Israel's enemies. His voice choked with tears. In his youth, he was a paratrooper who fought in the Six Day War. "Our soldiers are just young boys," he reminded everyone. "Suddenly, they are in the midst of a terrible battle. How frightening it is. How much they depend on our prayers." 

      Rav Leon said that just as our soldiers are sacrificing their lives for the nation, we must be ready to make sacrifices too, by keeping sleep from our eyes during this long, difficult night, and praying, reciting prayers and the Tikun Hatzot, studying Torah, and judging all Jews in a scale of merit.

      Our prayers continued for two hours. I felt as if they roaring echo of our shouts could be heard all the way to Aza, accompanying our troops off to battle, giving them spiritual fuel and drawing down a Divine shield to protect them.

      Pray for Israel with all of your hearts, and may Hashem in His mercy answer our prayers for a swift and total victory.