Praying for Peace, Prepared for War

(Photo: flickr/IDF)

In light of the collapsed truce in Gaza, and Hamas’ kidnapping of an IDF soldier, Rabbi Eckstein recalls Psalm 120 when he looks at the reality of an enemy committed to war, even while Israel longs and prays for peace:

While the collapse of yet another ceasefire agreement is a bitter blow to war-weary Israel, it comes as no surprise. During Operation Protective Edge, Hamas has consistently refused to honor ceasefire terms, even as Israel has consistently accepted and tried to maintain them. History has shown us that terrorists will use any tactic to sow death and destruction and prolong conflict. The sad, but realistic attitude all Israelis must take is to be prepared for continued war – even while praying fervently for peace.

The psalmist wrote, “Too long have I lived among those who hate peace. I am for peace; but when I speak, they are for war” (Psalm 120: 6-7). This is the situation Israel finds itself in today – longing for peace, and willing to make painful concessions to achieve it, but facing an enemy committed to hatred, war, and bloodshed. I ask you to pray for the bereaved loved ones of the soldiers who have lost their lives fighting this ruthless enemy, for protection for all the men and women of the IDF, and for the safe return of Lt. Goldin. And pray, too, for the day when Israel’s dreams of peace will be realized.

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