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Praying for wisdom

By Sigurd Neubauer


This week, U.S. President Joe Biden paid the grieving nation of Israel a solidarity visit after it endured the worst massacre in modern Jewish history. On October 7, over 1400 civilians were brutally murdered and an estimated 200 were subsequently abducted by terrorists back into Gaza. The terrorist war on Israel demands moral clarity, which the President continues to provide. The U.S. Congress is also providing Israel with the support it needs, although no Speaker has yet been elected. 

In a speech in Tel Aviv on October 18, the President declared

“The brutality we saw would have cut deep anywhere in the world. But it cuts deeper here in Israel. October 7, which was a sacred Jewish holiday, became the deadliest day for the Jewish people since the Holocaust.

It has brought to the surface painful memories and scars left by millennia of antisemitism and the genocide of the Jewish people. The world watched then. It knew. And the world did nothing. We will not stand by and do nothing again. Not today, not tomorrow, not ever.”

The impending war in the Middle East will inevitably complicate an already fragile international environment triggered by Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine while the United States and China face off against each other in a global power competition. The outcome of the Israel-Hamas war will impact the global balance of power.  Given the high stakes, demonstrating humanity towards others – while maintaining the strength of our convictions  – are values we should all attempt to exhibit during this very fraught moment in history.

On these pages, we pray that God will grant our political leaders – Republicans and Democrats – wisdom to meet the challenges America faces. We’re thankful for Biden’s moral clarity on what’s happening in Israel – and around the world – but recognize that America’s social fabric is teetering. We pray for unity, and for Americans to be able to find common ground. 

Here’s a short Jewish prayer for the United States Government and its well-being:

“Our God and God of our ancestors: We ask your blessings for our country — for its government, for its leaders and advisors, and for all who exercise just and rightful authority. Teach them insights from Your Torah that they administer all affairs of state fairly, that peace and security, happiness and prosperity, justice and freedom may forever abide in our midst.”

I pray for the swift and full recovery of the injured, I pray for the bereaved families, and I pray for the wellbeing of those taken hostage: President Isaac Herzog of the State of Israel  
President Biden has demonstrated moral leadership during a time of crisis. Photo credit: Adam Schultz, the White House
We pray that God will grant America's political leadership wisdom and compassion to protect the nation from harm, domestic and external
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