With tears in my eyes I offer a prayer to the holy and pure soldiers of the most moral army on g-ds earth. I call upon every single Jew to offer prayers, sending only positive energy to the brave young men and woman who are risking their lives in Gaza, right now on Shabbat.

This is the Shabbat where we read the portion of Matot. It starts out with an acknowledgement that though we are one nation, we are also twelve tribes.

Since the beginning of our modern day “three weeks” catastrophe’s unfolding in Israel this summer, we have witnessed an incredible swelling of Jewish pride, seeing how the collective heart of Am Yisroel beats in unison.

Sadly though,we have also witnessed a divisiveness as well- swinging us too far away from one another, to the place where healthy differences have spun out of control, and have resulted in an unhealthy and polarizing tribalism.

I urge everyone this Erev Shabbat, to set aside your differences, at least until our soldiers come home.

Our soldiers have been charged with the just and morally upright mission of eradicating the tunnels of terror that would seek to offer a “home delivery” of death and destruction right to the front door of innocent Israeli citizens.

It’s time for us to end our “tunnel vision” as well.

If there was ever a time to come together it would be right now. The blessings that we send have a stronger potency if it’s a blessing that is sent from us all. ברכינו אבינו כולנו כאחד Means, “bless us our father, all of us as one”. What it really means in a deeper sense, is that even the greatest blessing and energy that we can summon, and send out, will enroute to its intended recipients, leak out of the cracks and fissures resulting from our discord, and disharmony.

The fullness of blessing only flows complete and strong through the intact vehicle of our oneness, and solidarity.

Let our oneness be the “tunnel of love” through which our blessings can travel successfully.

We see this in the less spiritual, but no less important, psychological realm as well. For those soldiers, the high morale that results in the knowledge that ALL the people of Israel are rooting for them, and “have their back” is immeasurable.

So please join me, in sending out this heartfelt prayer to every single one of our חיילי ה, the brave and upright young men and woman of Tzahal.

We send this prayer out from the depths of our hearts and souls – to you, our valiant knights, crouching alone in the dark and perilous Gaza night, first and foremost by saying – you are not alone!! We are all with you, every one of us!

We will not stop praying for you until each one of you returns safely to their homes and families – under “Their vine yards and their date trees.”

We send you the prayer of strength ה עוז לעמו יתן “May Hashem bestow power on his nation.”

Know that we consider you the princes and princesses of our people and your going into Gaza is way holier even than the high priest going into the Koidesh Hakodashim – the holy of holies on Yom Kippur.

And so we bless you with this prayer of King David as well.

The Psalmist writes אור זרוע לצדיק ולישרי לב שמחה, “light is planted and reserved for the holy one, and joyousness for the upright one – today this Bracha of joy and light, belongs to you – for you are indeed our holy and upright ones.

You are our Priests and priesteses our Levites, our elders and our heads of the tribes, our prophets and our kings, our warriors and our heroes, our Samson’s, Deborah’s, King Davids and our Joshua’ s.

Thank you for strengthening our country, that itself entitles you to this most deep blessing – כי חזק בריחי שעריך ברך בניך בקרבך – ” when you will fortify your boundaries your sons will be blessed within your land” – you are indeed the most blessed sons and daughters of this land.

Your presence right now on this Shabbat, is in itself the holiest Friday night Kiddush, holier than any Kiddush ever recited on any Shabbat in our History.

Most importantly, we pray for the success of your mission and your return home to your grateful nation. ולירושלים עירך ברחמים תשוב – may you return home, to Jerusalem through the infinite mercy of Hashem.


Rabbi Yossi