Dear Readers,

These are unsettling times. We are four weeks into the war in Israel. Our courageous soldiers are on the front lines, fighting for the security of our people. Over 200 of our kidnapped hostages still need to return home safely. Meanwhile, across the globe, there have been callis for the genocide of our people.

Many of you responded to last week’s editor’s note on How Has Your Life Changed Since October 7 by sharing your feelings. As a nation, we have taken on extra mitzvot, fighting against the evil and hatred around us through the power, light, and spiritual ammunition of every additional mitzvah.

As I say my daily prayers, the words jump off the page and have become more meaningful and significant. Words that were written thousands of years ago feel like they are playing out in real time.

Every morning upon awakening, we say a series of blessings thanking G‑d. One blesses G‑d “who frees those who are imprisoned.” Never has this blessing become more relevant than now, as we literally wait for every hostage to be freed.

As I praise “G‑d, King of the Universe, Who gives strength to the tired,” I pray that G‑d invigorates our soldiers and gives them the power they need to protect us. I pray too that G‑d gives strength to the wives who are at home alone, many with their young children, bravely coping without their husbands, who are in the IDF.

Later in our prayers, the story of the Egyptian slave masters chasing us to kill us feels relevant even though it occurred over 3,000 years ago. “Who is like You, G‑d? You stretched out Your right hand and the earth swallowed them. With Your kindness, You led this nation that You redeemed. You guided us with Your strength to Your holy home. The nations heard and trembled with fear…May terror and fear fall upon our enemies.”

And finally, at the end of our prayers, Psalm 20, written by King David, resonates so deeply for me right now: “May the L-rd answer you on the day of distress, may the Name of the G‑d of Jacob fortify you. May He send your help from the Sanctuary, and support you from Zion…We will rejoice in your deliverance, and raise our banners in the name of G‑d…Some rely upon chariots and some upon horses, but we rely upon and invoke the Name of the L-rd, Our G‑d.”

Given the current world situation, do you find yourself praying more lately? Have your prayers become more deliberate or determined? Are there any specific prayers that have become more meaningful to you? Please share with us below.

Chana Weisberg
Editor, TJW