Wednesday, October 8, 2008

One American Jew's Prayer for America on the Eve of Yom Kippur

We are once again besieged.
Our financial markets are in turmoil.
Every one of us, rich and poor alike, fears for the future.
As Americans and Jews we have been virtually sleepwalking through a world that, increasingly, is murderously hostile toward us.
Our people are taking rancorous positions in a political fight for the soul of this great land.

Please, oh Lord, hear my prayer.

Give us the grace and clarity to remember who we are. Help us to bear in mind that a handful of the most courageous and practical men of their generation designed this republic not just to survive but to get stronger in times like these.

Our enemies within are more of a danger than our enemies from without. Give us the vision to recognize and resist the dead hand of the corporatization of our economy while, at the same time, you give us the strength to see through the bluster and emotional blackmail of those who seek to expand the government’s reach into our lives in the name of “the disadvantaged poor”. What’s good for giant corporations is only sometimes good for the country and serving the needs of the poor are a benefit of a free society, best done by maintaining a climate of growth and opportunity not through the oppression of bureaucratic charity.

Give us the wisdom to elect a leader who recognizes that there are times for sacrifice- as long as the sacrifice is honorable- who will defend us with confidence and vigor. Put the sword of the greatest military power on earth in the hand of one who knows its power and it limits and will use it judiciously. We depend on our leader to know when talking and negotiation can lead to peace and when it is futile and leads only to the slaughter of innocents. Please, be compassionate to those under his protection and help us select the leader who knows that peace is not a natural condition and needs to be won through strength, preparedness and intelligence.

Help us have the courage to turn back the tide of belief in human rationalism as the ultimate wisdom and government as the divider of the wealth of the nation. If history has taught us anything it is that human reason is too easily influenced by emotion and when governments take responsibility for health and welfare of individuals, it is only a short step to taking control of what they think and believe.

Whether or not (or how) our fellow citizens believe in you is irrelevant, our great country was founded on separation of church and state for the very reason that the founders in their wisdom knew it is wrong for a nation to take upon itself God-like powers. So preserve us from those who want to redistribute the wealth of people who have worked for it and help us to break the strangle hold of corporate monstrosities who use people as spare parts and deny them fair recompense.

Lord, in this time of trepidation, help us to stay true to the wisdom of Jefferson, Adams and all the others who gave us this gift of republic on this blessed soil. Only by keeping her strong, free and aware will we continue to offer a sanctuary in which the needy may, by their efforts rise to prosperity and an arsenal and protector for other democracies around the world.

Give us the wisdom and strength of purpose to remember the dictum of the great sage Lao Tzu: "Govern a great nation as you would cook a small fish. Do not overdo it."


Unknown said...

And may you all have an easy fast.

Anonymous said...

I appreciate your insight and wisdom.

Anonymous said...

Amen! An amazing prayer, and just what I needed. I was feeling so depressed about our nation today. Now that I've read this, as a prayer, I feel better. May it rise like incense . . .


shoprat said...

This Zion-loving Christian offers an amen to your honest, wise and faithful prayer.