Ha Pores Sukkat Shalom aleynu ve al kol Yisrael. Spread a canopy of peace over Israel.
This week, the canopy of peace is the Iron Dome missile defense system protecting Israel from the hail of rockets that rain down upon her. 75,000 army reservists have just been called up. There will be no peace in Israel this Shabbat.
We go into Shabbat this week with heavy hearts and anxious minds. Our hallah is made, our tables are set, dinner is cooking but we are drawn back to the television, the computer, the radio, the newspapers as we see our beloved Israel under attack and embroiled in conflict. My friends send me photos from their cell phones of their children sleeping on mattresses under the stairs. They tell me how long they had to stand in line for new gas masks. They, and we, watch a Jerusalem of gold come under rocket fire.
Ten Shabbat ve ten Shalom, ba Ir Yerusahalyim. Bring Shabbat and bring Peace to the city of Jerusalem.
From the mountains of Jerusalem to the deserts of the south to the sands of Tel Aviv, the alarms wail not to warn of the arrival of Shabbat, but of the arrival of missiles fired by Hamas into dozens of Israeli cities and towns.
This operation has been named Amud Anan Pillar of Cloud, or more poetically the Pillar of Defense after the Cloud that walked in front of the Israelite people in their desert wandering. The cloud symbolized God’s constant indwelling presence, protecting and comforting the people. Leading the way with strength and dignity.
Our thoughts and our prayers, our hopes and our dreams, our tears and our fears, our outrage and our indignation – our whole selves are in Israel. Our bodies may be in the West, but everything else is in the East with our beloved Yisrael.
Shalom rav al Yisrael amekha tasim le olam. Grant true and lasting peace to Israel this Shabbat and for eternity.