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Bill Narvey

We Need A New Ritual Prayer to Inspire Us to Fight for Our Survival and Right to Live as Jews in Freedom, Peace and Security

Bill Narvey, posted March 6, 2012

We Need A New Ritual Prayer to Inspire Us to Fight for Our Survival and Right to Live as Jews in Freedom, Peace and Security

There are a number of Jewish holidays that specifically celebrate our great religion and memorialize those events in ancient times when K’lal Yisrael – our Jewish community at large, managed through faith in and help from God and by our own efforts, to free ourselves from slavery, to save ourselves from extinction and to, for a time at least until the next crisis befell us, to live free as Jews in peace, unity and harmony.

Holidays such as Pesach, Chanukah and Purim  celebrate such pivotal events that assured our right to live free as Jews and to pull us back from the brink of extinction where we otherwise would thereafter have existed only in the world’s memory, as a footnote in history.

We Jews come together as families during Pesach and Chanukah at synagogue, but more particularly in our homes to celebrate, honor and recall with our families, these existentially important events in our history as we feast on traditional foods and engage in appropriate traditional observances and ritual prayers.

 Unlike the aforesaid Jewish holidays, Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, considered the two most sacred Jewish holidays, are strictly religious.  These High Holidays fill our synagogues to capacity and feature our Rabbis’ perhaps most inspirational sermons and our Cantors leading us in traditional ritual prayers, chanted to the most inspirational, memorable, rhythmic  and appealing melodies, either upbeat or soulful.

 All these holidays, however serve in some way,  to remind us of our interdependent connection with each other - K’lal Yisrael and with Israel.

These holidays are also a time when families come together in their homes to celebrate with traditional ritual observances and prayers, traditional foods, drink and a heightened sense of  Jewish identity and the joy of being together as a  Jewish family.

With these holidays passing however, most Jews return to their everyday ordinary lives where for some, Judaism, Jewish values, Jewish identity, K’Lal Yisrael, Israel or any one or more of them, continue to hold at least some significance, but for far too many, that significance is lost until the next holiday is upon us.

For us Jews and Israel we again are in a number of ways, living more in the worst of times, then the best of times.

These worst of times are bound up in rampant Jew and Israel hatred throughout most of the Muslim world supported by a great many 3rd world nations, resurgent antisemitism throughout most of the EU that also finds expression in antipathy towards Israel, countless global organizations, Muslim and otherwise that have as their sole purpose, to advocate and act against Israel, the United Nations that has largely become a tyranny of the undemocratic nations against  Judeo-Christian and democratic values in general and against Jews and Israel in particular and fellow democratic nations being conflicted between sympathy and support of Israel’s right to exist and their national perceptions of self interest being served by accommodating and appeasing anti-Israel sentiment as far as their stomachs will allow.

We Jews and Israel are existentially threatened by these external forces, reminiscent of historical threats we faced in ancient times such as our enslavement in Egypt or by plots of our evil ancient enemies to destroy us as a people, such as by Haman of ancient Iran (Persia),  which events we survived as a people and which survival we have ever since celebrated in our Pesach and Purim holidays.

 We are however, today also existentially threatened by multi-faceted external assimilative forces that so many Jews are increasingly, not only failing to resist, but are willingly embracing which concurrently weakens or destroys their Jewish identity, their sense of being part of K’Lal Yisrael and  their interdependent connection with Israel.

 There was a time we faced and overcame these assimilative existential forces.  That event is the story of Chanukah that we have celebrated each year for over the past two millennia.

There are today so many existential forces buffeting and battering K’lal Yisrael and Israel, as if they have come together like a perfect storm.

It is trite, but true that unity breeds strength, while divisiveness breeds weakness

Instead of us Jews coming together to rise up, resist and defeat these many diverse enemies and forces threatening to once again consign us and Israel to the dustbin of history, so many of our number, both religious and secular are focusing on fractiously arguing with each other over their often antithetical  views, over what Jews and Israel are, what they should be and what forces arrayed against us, are threatening or not.

 Divisiveness is thus  increasingly fracturing and weakening our K’Lal Yisrael as too many, devote far greater energy to advocate and act in furtherance of their opposing views than to unite us to fight against the forces that have already breached our gates and which threaten our very existence.

If those antisemitic/anti-Israel forces win this time, it won’t matter a tinker’s damn which of these divided Jewish camps were right in their views, be they religious or secular.

It is against this background reality check, that it is herein proposed that our Rabbis and leaders come together to craft a desperately needed new ritual prayer to be recited in Hebrew and the lingua franca of every  Jew, as an important part of our ritual prayers recited in both our synagogues and our homes in celebration of our Jewish holidays.

 That new ritual prayer should be a passionate powerful statement that compellingly inspires us all, at all times, to keep in the forefront of our minds:

1.      The singular importance to us of our Judaism and heritage, K’lal Yisrael, Israel and our Jewish  exceptionalism;

2.      to lead Jewish lives in freedom and security, regardless of how far each of us may have strayed in that regard;

3.      To make a personal commitment to restore and strengthen our Jewish identities, connections between K’Lal Yisrael and Israel and

4.      That we must make survival our top priority and thus put our differences aside in order to enable and empower us to stand united against those forces, external and internal, that threaten to tear us apart and bury us forever.  

This plea to our Rabbis, leaders and community at large to create a new ritual prayer as herein described, thus concludes with the following prayer:

In these troubled times when grave existential forces assail us and Israel from all sides and from within, God please give our Rabbis and leaders the wisdom, courage, strength and motivation to create a new powerful inspirational ritual prayer, now and for time immemorial, that imbues us all with courage and resolve to fight to assure our right to live as Jews in peace, freedom and security hereafter and to that end to fight against  all the forces that work to harm or destroy us. 

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