Family Radio CHRI


Dear Adonai...

altDear Adonai,
I am addressing you by your Hebrew name for two reasons. First, you were the God of the Israelites long before you sent your son Jesus to pay for our sins. Second and most important for this prayer request, I want to talk to you about the 64 soldiers of the Israeli Defense Forces who died defending the land you promised to Abraham some 4 millennia ago.

 When you dropped the Covenant on Abraham and his Semitic tribe from above, it was like a stone that dropped into a pool. The first concentric circle made the Hebrews your people, the Chosen People. The second circle was giving Moses the 10 Commandments, which blessed not only your people, but all of humanity with its moral laws. The third circle was giving the Hebrews the Promised Land. Under Joshua, the first real Israelite army cleansed the land of the idolatrous Canaanites, making it pure for you, Adonai, to fulfill your promise. Your Chosen People have been fighting ever since to hold on to it.

Those concentric circles have been reverberating throughout history, blessing most, but making the land and its people a target for the envious, the resentful, the jealous and those whose heart is full of hate. For those concentric circles of Jewish history could easily be interpreted as a target, with Israel, tiny Israel, at the centre of the bull's-eye, the smallest but most important part of the target, the one to laud, the one to hate, the one to hit.

Which brings me to those 64 dead IDF soldiers. I do not know any of them, having only seen their photos, name and age. They are very young, Adonai, most in their teens and twenties. I wish I could change places with them, to give them my life, but not because I don't have many years ahead of me. It's because unlike me they will never know the joys and sorrows, the achievements and failures, the fruits of raising a family, experiencing all that the continuity of life offers, the link from whence they came to a future we, like the ancients Israelites, pray will be a better place for our children. But that's not how life and death works.

 These young men had girlfriends, fiancées, wives, children, families. My heart is full of sorrow for those left behind. They had so much to live for and, with a bullet dripping with hate are now gone, with only memories for their loved ones to hold on to. One doesn't stop loving someone because they are dead, but one can no longer enjoy that most basic, ordinary, banal expression of love, - touch.

My heart truly weeps and is rent asunder feeling the unimaginable and unbearable pain their parents must endure in losing a child. No parent wants their children to die before them. Though the Nation of Israel lives another day, today it is paid for by the individual, real flesh and blood life of those 64 soldiers. None of them chose death, all of them chose life and an understanding that they might be called upon to pay the ultimate price. And pay they did, Adonai, not willingly, but righteously.

There will never be peace for we humans because evil will always be with us. These 64 soldiers will not be remembered in history, their memory will fade with time, becoming yet another footnote in the eternal battle for the heart, soul and place that is Israel. Individually forgotten yes, but collectively no.

They will join the thousands upon thousands of other unknown soldiers who fought and gave their lives so that Israel may live. Joshua's soldiers were never listed, neither those who fought against the Philistines, the Assyrians, the Seleucids, the Romans and many others. Israel is not always right, but Israel is the one and true light. It burns bright because of these men, born from woman and killed by other nameless invaders, for the profit of a few who only lived, like us, for a short time.

The Evil One never sleeps, always using human weakness to achieve his goals. Yesterday it was the Nazis, today it is Islam's extremists, tomorrow it will be something else. The cycle will repeat itself with more unknown soldiers giving their lives for Israel. But Israel will survive again, the home of our spiritual and moral roots, to unfortunately fight again. Your Chosen People pay a heavy price for being chosen, Adonai.

As their souls are commended to you, I pray in my own soul's imagination for these 64 soldiers to walk towards your Grace on a road lined with these unknown soldiers, clapping and welcoming them to heaven, joining their very elite group whose sacrifice, whether they realized it or not in our world, kept all that is good in humanity alive.
Evil may never sleep, but Love, your other name Adonai, doesn't either.
Shalom Aleichem, Peace be with you!

- Pierre Nantais

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