In a Fox News opinion piece by Mike Huckabee, a Christian minister and former Republican Governor of Arkansas, he announced that he will be answering a call to prayer by Acheinu, an Orthodox Jewish outreach organization, for its global Day of Jewish Unity.
In the article, Huckabee described his long and deepening relationship with Israel. He noted that he has been visiting the Holy Land for 45 years.
“On each trip to Israel, my relationship with the Lord grows deeper and I am privileged to share that journey with others, drawing on my roots from years ago as an evangelical pastor to ensure they too feel that joy and wonder,” Huckabee wrote. “But my continuing religious growth is only part of the reason I return so often to the Holy Land of the Bible. I also feel a deep sense of belonging in the country, both politically and socially. Going to Israel is a bit like going home. That’s why it is so important to continue to pray and act for Israel’s survival and serenity.”
Huckabee gave this as his reason for joining in the call to prayer that will take place on Friday, September 7. The prayers for peace will be accompanied by a promise to be kinder and more caring.
“Supporting Israel not only helps its citizens, but helps us in America as well,” Huckabee wrote. “As a Christian, I know that Israel is sacred and is a fulfillment of prophecy in the Bible. God wants Israel to stay strong and grow. We need an Israel free from violence, with Jerusalem as its united capital. There are too many forces in our world trying to destroy the Jewish people and the Holy Land, but Jews need to stay strong and united – and we must join them.”
The annual event was established in memory of Rabbi Israel Meir Kagan, who passed away in 1933. Rabbi Kagan, known as the Chofetz Chaim, was a halachic (Torah law) authority also known for his teachings about the evils of gossip and slanderous speech.
Huckabee cited Rabbi Kagan’s emphasis on shmirat ha’lashon (guarding the tongue) as a vital element missing in the current socio-political environment. He wrote about how his daughter, White House Spokesperson Sarah Huckabee-Sanders, has been the target of slander and disparaging remarks.
“My daughter is a kind, caring and good-hearted wife and mother, so it pains me to see the near-constant personal attacks made against her,” he wrote. “This is not to say you cannot disagree with her or with the White House she represents, but the key to civil discourse is civility.”
Huckabee called for prayer as a unifying act.
“On Sept. 7, please join me in praying to God for peace and the continued prosperity of Israel and all mankind,” he concluded. “And backup your prayers with your interactions with others by reminding yourself to be kind, courteous and always civil.