Kotel Flash Mob prayer meditation
Kotel Flash Mob prayer meditationBen Bresky

On a recent trip to NY, I davened maariv in a Chassidishe shul in Brooklyn. On my way out, I heard; “Shmuel, one second!” It was an old friend of mine and I was happy to see him. We schmoozed for a bit and then he told me something. Ever since October 7th, the Rebbe of this shul had started davening – by name – for each of the hostages. He says Tehillim and prays for their release.

My friend took my hand and said, “Let me introduce you to the Rebbe.” Naturally, I was happy to meet him and gave him a “Yasher Koach” for his tefillot… but then I added something he wasn’t expecting. I asked the following question; “With Hashem’s help, these hostages will be released. When that happens, will you continue to daven? Will you then pray for the IDF soldiers who risk their lives fighting the enemy on a daily basis?”

His answer said it all; “It was a pleasure meeting you. Have a nice evening” – and then he walked away.

Why are we like that? Why do we “jump into action” when tragedy hits but are “as quiet as mice” when things seem ok? Do we only need Hashem’s help when Hamas grabs people out of their beds but are fine the rest of the time? What about the soldiers guarding the borders all year round? How about the undercover guys deep in Jenin and Ramallah? Don’t they also need our tefillot?

It is imperative that we understand this. Hashem gave us the greatest gift imagineable in 1948 and we need to daven, every single day, that He not take it back! That gift – the modern State of Israel – needs to be protected, nurtured and cared for. We need to defend that gift – at all costs - even if it means losing our lives! For those not willing, or not able, to physically join the battle, they must use their “power of prayer” to beseech the Heavens for mercy. 7 million Jews live in Eretz Yisrael, surrounded by 150 million enemies who dream of slaughtering them, chas v’shalom. Why wait for an October 7th to say the blessing for the soldiers? Why wait for Hamas to act before you daven?

Everybody is asking when this war will end and what “the day after” will look like? I urge you to ask yourselves those very same questions. Will you continue your tefillot for the holy IDF soldiers after the war? Will your shul bless the State of Israel and beg Hashem to protect its inhabitants… or will you stop davening and wait until the next tragedy.

The decision is yours.

Am Yisrael Chai!