Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Gilad Shalit and the Power of Prayer

Gilad has been so close to my heart, but even more so since I returned from Israel this summer.  In fact, I really wanted our congregation to daven for him over the high holidays.  I had heard of other communities reserving a seat for him on the bima, so I asked my rabbi if we could do something like that.  I offered to fame a picture of him and to order an embroidered seat cover that said, "Reserved for Gilad Shalit."  My rabbi instantly replied with complete support for the project, and the shul asked me to read a prayer for Gilad's safe return Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur.

You can imagine my surprise when I read today that a deal had been struck for Gilad Shalit's return to his family!  I was overcome with emotion.  And when I read the deal that was struck - 1,000 prisoners in exchange for 1 Israeli soldier - I cried tears of RELIEF that this one soldier, Gilad, is loved and valued by his country...and also HORROR that 1,000 prisoners will be released to possibly harm others...and also CURIOUS to see how this is reported in the news, hoping that the world sees this gesture.

For the briefest of moments...I had this amazing thought that perhaps our daveing at B'nai Amoona, and the davening this Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur all over the world on behalf of Gilad, contributed to the negotiations for his freedom.  That maybe that energy we put out there affected the outcome of this.  We helped secure his freedom - through our love, concern, prayer, good thoughts, hope, energy, remembrance.

I am trying not to think too hard about the ramifications of such a swap because I want to bask in the joy that this young man who has been held in captivity is going to be reunited with his family, with his people.  Jews all over the world have been davening  for Gilad.  We have been holding him in our thoughts, our prayers.  We have been waiting for this moment for over 5 years.

May G-d bring Gilad Shalit home speedily and safely, 
and may he be blessed with long life, good health and a wealth of happiness!


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