Leading Rabbis and more than 20 Knesset Members called for a national day of prayer this Monday, the thirtieth day of mourning since the Hamas massacre. Rabbi Yehudah Glick, a former Member of the Knesset and Temple Mount activist wrote a letter that was signed by members of the Knesset calling on Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef, the Sephardi Chief Rabbi of Israel, and Rabbi David Lau, the Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Israel, to call for a day of prayer to commemorate the thirtieth day since the massacre of more than 1,400 Israelis by Palestinian Hamas.
In Jewish tradition, the first seven days of intensive mourning after the burial is called shiva, after which close relatives are considered mourners for twelve months. Traditionally, families gather on the eve of the Shloshim to share support, recite prayers and Psalms, and to give charity in the merit of the deceased.
“To the honorable Chief Rabbis of Israel, on this coming Monday, the 22nd day of the month of Mar Cheshvan, 5784, it will be thirty days since the terrible and cruel massacre that took place in our country on the day of Simchat Torah. Since that bitter day, we have been in the midst of a hard war with the cruelest of our enemies, a war that exacts an unbearably heavy price on us every day.
“As we learn from Rashi, Jacob our father prepared himself for the meeting with Esau, for three things: a gift, prayer, and war.
“These days the people of Israel are mobilizing en masse for the reserves – for war
“We are mobilized to give gifts for soldiers – for gifts.
“But what about prayer? Is the nation of Israel mobilized as one?
“The Rambam writes in the Laws of Fasting, “It is a mitzvah from the Torah to cry out and sound trumpets for every trouble that befalls the public.”
“We are in a time of trouble of which there is none greater.
“We, the members of the Knesset from the various factions, hereby turn to you and request that a call be issued from the Chief Rabbinate of Israel to all the people of Israel for a day of prayer and supplication. We suggest that the Chief Rabbinate issue a call to the entire public to gather in the synagogues in every city and town and in every locality to cry out before the Lord of the world.
“In our humble opinion, such a call that comes from you, the Honorable Chief Rabbis of Israel, will be powerful and will encourage the entire public to gather together in all the synagogues all over the country on the coming Monday for a day of prayer and supplication to the Lord of the world.”
The letter quoted Psalms:
Deliver and bless Your very own people; tend them and sustain them forever. Psalms 28:9
And, God willing, we will be blessed to have the verses fulfilled:
For Hashem will not forsake His people; He will not abandon His very own. Psalms 94:14
Hashem, grant victory! May the King answer us when we call. Psalms 20:10
The letter was signed by the following MKs:
Dan Illouz, Moshe Arbel, Eliyahu Dallal, Sharren Haskel, Michal Woldiger, Yitzhak Wasserlauf, Ohad Tal, Matan Kahana, Naama Lazimi, Tatiana Mazarsky, Limor Son Har Melech, Orit Struck, Moshe Yehuda Tur-Paz, Moshe Kinley Tor Mz, Eliyahu Revivo, Keti Shitrit, Pnina Tamano-Shata,
It is expected that more Knesset members will sign.
Rabbi Yosef Zvi Rimon, the rabbi of the Gush Etzion Regional Council and the Rosh Kollel at Yeshivat Har Etzion, came out with a strong letter of support for the initiative.
For several weeks now I have been thinking about the need for a day of prayer and cry,, Rabbi Rimon wrote. “This is a day that should be a common prayer day for everyone: religious, ultra-Orthodox and secular.”
“I spend a lot of time with soldiers in the north and south and try to strengthen them. I see unity. I see the mission, and I also feel from them the important need for a day of prayer. The thirtieth day of the war is a very appropriate day.”
“It is fitting that this should come from the Chief Rabbinate of Israel,” Rabbi Rimon concluded.
Rabbi Tuly Weisz has called for the faith community to unite together, “Israel365 invites Christian leaders to participate in Israel’s National Day of Prayer by encouraging your community to pray Psalm 122 on Monday, appealing to the God of Israel in heartfelt prayer for the peace of Jerusalem.”
“If 100 Christian leaders sign up by Sunday 12 PM EST, Israel365 will place a full-page ad in the “Jerusalem Post” newspaper on Monday with the names of the signatories. Our goal is to boldly demonstrate to the Israeli public following the horrific attack and subsequent wave of global antisemitism, that for the first time in history, Jews and Christians are united in faith, prayer, and solidarity with Israel” said Weisz.
To participate in Israel’s National Day of Prayer, please click here.