Gush Katif is no more. A thriving Jewish community that flourished for three generations has been erased. The once beautiful sandy shores, villages and settlements no longer bear any trace of a Jewish presence; the synagogues have been burnt and pillaged to eradicate any memory of Jewish life.

But something from the many clips, pictures, commentaries and analyses still nags at me, seeking expression.

As we approach the new Jewish year, replete with opportunity, forgiveness and the momentum of forging forward, I find that a certain scene from the evacuation of Gush Katif keeps coming back to my mind. A song that plays quietly but repeatedly, almost hauntingly.

It is a song from the High Holiday prayers which we are about to recite in our synagogues. Slowly, the realization forms in my mind that in this song lies the key to rebuilding the shattered lives of these evacuees, and the key to the continuity of the Jewish people as a whole: our ability to pick up the pieces, to find consolation and, despite the deep and festering wound, move forward.

It is their sincere ability to plead and demand—with an absolute assurance that G‑d will listen—for a miraculous outcome for a hopeless situation. Intently, I search through my old emails, among all the commentaries, news clips and pictures I have saved, to find that song, that prayer. I relive the emotions that we have all been living through over these last several weeks as I peruse the pictures and clippings: words and images of faith and encouragement, of optimism at overcoming a looming impossibility. And harsh words, too, full of divisiveness. Pictures of sadness and tragedy. Pictures of tears, of the many victims, young and old.

But as gripping as these pictures and clippings are, they are not what pulls at me. I do not find the consolation I am searching for within them, and I search further for that haunting song.

And then I find it.

It is a video clip taken in the Neve Dekalim synagogue just moments before the shul's doors are to be barricaded forever. It is heart wrenching to watch the hundreds upon hundreds of individuals gathering for the last mass prayers, with the soldiers awaiting their imminent orders just outside.

The camera focuses on several young girls in the pulsating crowd, tender teens who, I cannot help but notice, are not much older than my own daughters. In profound concentration, they are expressing the depth of their agony as their lives in this place—the only life they ever knew—are about to be disrupted. United with the chorus of voices, tears pouring uninhibitedly down their cheeks, faces creased in desperation, eyes looking heavenward, the song rings out loudly.

It is the words from Psalms (102:2-3): "G‑d! Hearken my prayer! Let my pleading reach You! Do not turn Your face away from me, on this day of my suffering."

Over and over again, their voices, full of supplication, repeated this phrase, begging G‑d to listen to their prayers. Written across the faces of these youngsters, which in normal times would be too young to experience such a serious crossroads in their lives, was the earnestness and innocence with which they spoke these words.

The voices from the synagogue rose and fell in harmony, riding on the waves of hope and faith as they pleaded, demanded, and fully anticipated a last-minute salvation from On High.

And then erupted a new chant.

It was the beautiful song that we chant several times throughout Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur: "Our Father, our King, bring us back to You in wholehearted repentance. Our Father, Our King, be gracious to us and answer us, for we have no meritorious deeds; deal charitably and kindly with us and deliver us."

Their prayers concluded with the words we end our Yom Kippur services, with a thundering of--"G‑d is the L-rd!" And, finally, upon taking the Torah scroll out from its home in the Ark for the very last time, they ended with a somewhat more subdued, but still resonating blessing. It is the blessing that we say upon hearing of a death or tragedy, "Blessed are You, G‑d, the True Judge."

I watched, mesmerized.

Watching this clip now, days away from Rosh Hashanah, when we re-accept upon ourselves the sovereignty of G‑d, it was impossible not to realize that those in the shul in Neve Dekalim that day had already, weeks before its time, successfully experienced their Day of Judgment.

And, it seemed to me, reflected in their voices and faces was the secret of Jewish survival throughout the millennia.

What captivated me was their sincere ability to plead and demand—with an absolute assurance that G‑d will listen—for a miraculous outcome for a hopeless situation.

But it was more than that.

It was the conclusion of their prayers that overwhelmed me. These sincere words defied all odds, defied defeat, defied the depression and bitterness that would be a normal response.

Their last prayers demonstrated their absolute acceptance.

The message was clear: Despite all my intense and rightfully felt anger and hurt at being abandoned by my government, despite my broken heart, my sea of tears and pleas, I still acknowledge that 'G‑d is our L-rd!' You are my Master. You are the true Judge.

This was said without accusation, without bitterness, without defeat. It was the simplest yet most profound acceptance. Despite my inability to understand Your decree, I humbly submit—with utter sadness, and utter incomprehension, but just as complete acceptance. After I've done all that is humanly possible to prevent this, I accept that Your will prevails.

To me, the scene of those last prayers was awe-inspiring. I felt that it held the promise of the ability of the Gush Katif community to gather the pieces of their shredded lives and weave them back together again.

That youngsters can have such belief and such acceptance—not out of naiveté, not out of despair, but, to the contrary, from a deep-seated wellspring of faith—therein lies the source of the continuity of our people. This is a people who will survive all odds, weather all storms, overcome the horrors and the pain—and thrive.

Despite our inability to understand Your decree, we humbly submit—with utter sadness, and utter incomprehension, but just as complete acceptance... This has been the secret of the continuance of the Jewish people throughout the ages, throughout the unspeakable horror of pogroms, holocausts and persecutions. On the one hand, we did everything in our power to combat the cruel fate ordained for us, and pleaded and demanded of G‑d in our prayers that He save us. But, then, ultimately, and incredibly, we resonate just as strongly with the acceptance that despite it all, and despite all You do, G‑d is our L-rd!

As each of us stand in shul this Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur to, once again, accept G‑d as our ultimate Master and forge a new and deeper bond and personal relationship with Him, we, too, will chant these prayers for the new year that faces us: a year full of success and happiness, but, undoubtedly, commingled with personal and communal challenges, difficulties, hardships and crisis. We, too, can be assured that despite all odds, each of us will overcome.

And thrive.