We hoped for peace
but no good has come,
for a time of healing
but there is only terror. — Jeremiah 8:15
This month, Israel honored its fallen soldiers who paid the ultimate sacrifice in securing and protecting God’s Holy Land, and celebrated its 71st anniversary as the modern Jewish State. Join us as we explore through the timeless teachings of Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein how God has watched over His land and His people since biblical times. To find out how you can support God’s “watchmen on the wall,” visit holylandmoments.org/help.
Although these words from the book of Jeremiah were written thousands of years ago as the people of Israel feared the pending invasion of enemies from the north, fear of enemy attacks is as much a reality for many living in Israel today as it was then.
Like their ancestors, the people of Israel today have hoped for peace, but instead have encountered terror. We read about it on an almost daily basis. Most recently, innocent Jewish people living in southern Israel were targeted by Hamas terrorist attacks. In addition, while those living near the Gaza Strip have been forced to live with rocket fire attacks since the area came under Hamas rule in 2007, now towns located deep within Israel’s borders have been bombarded with deadly rockets as well.
As the prophet Jeremiah wrote, “The snorting of the enemy’s horses is heard from Dan [the northernmost tribe]; at the neighing of their stallions the whole land trembles” (8:16). Just as then, no one in Israel feels safe anymore. Although terror attacks and war have been plaguing Israel since the day of her establishment in 1948, it is not a reality that any of us can get used to.
For most of you reading this, it’s hard to imagine living under such conditions where your home and neighborhood are the targets of terrorist attacks. Or to imagine racing to a bomb shelter in your home, or a shared one in your neighborhood. Or of worrying whenever a family member left home if they will return safely.
Living under such conditions requires a daily act of faith. It forces us to trust God for life and safety from one moment to the next. We realize that life goes on, and so must we despite the many obstacles and enemies we face.
As Eilat Mayor Meir Yizhak-Halevi told The Jerusalem Post, “The right way to answer hostile fundamentalist forces is to carry on as normal.”
Thankfully, for Israel, even in times of attack, “normal” means a desire for justice and peace, participation in a strong community, and faith in God. So many people in America, Canada, and around the world are praying for war-torn Israel and I am confident that those prayers are being heard by the Most High.
Next time you pray, remember the citizens of southern Israel — and indeed all of Israel’s people. Lift up your voice to God to grant protection to the elderly, children, and families who are enduring the torture of terror and the fear of having nowhere safe to run. May God grant peace to His children always.