What to Pray for this Rosh Hashanah: By Shmuel Sackett
26 Elul, 5774/Sept. 21, ‘14
We all have our lists of what to pray for. Everyone will be focused this Rosh Hashanah on their personal needs which undoubtedly include health, reliable income, family, marriage partners, fertility and much more. The last thing you need is someone suggesting things to add to that list… it is long enough! My job, however, is to get you to write an additional – brand new – list which requires a fresh way of thinking. Allow me to explain.
I have written time and again, that Jews are not simply a bunch of individuals. Yes, we are all different but that is not unique to Jews, it applies to all of humanity. Each person is unique in his/her special way. The part I want to focus on is that – unlike every other religion in the world – we are also a NATION! Rabbi Meir Kahane ztz”l coined a term that Jews are a “Religio-Nation” – some of what we do is based in religion and follows specific guidelines in Jewish law and observance while other parts of what we do is based on Jewish Nationhood – also following Jewish law but on the national level, not the individual level.
This was virtually forgotten over the 2,000 year exile since who thought of being a nation when we were living in the ghettos of Poland, Russia, Morocco and Yemen? Baruch Hashem, those days are over! The ghetto walls have crumbled and the Jewish people have returned home. After 2,000 years, our people have an army and a government! We are no longer under the rule of the Czar and the tax money we collect does not go to some Emperor in Rome! The tax system is ours, the health system is ours, the education system is ours and even the road building system is ours! Yes, there are many problems with the current system – and I am working hard at changing that – but let’s not get stuck on the details. I am referring to the new direction we are heading… and it’s a great one! A Jewish State led by leaders who are proud, strong and connected to our Father in Heaven. Now THAT’S something to pray for!!
Here now is the top 5 on my list – the “Jewish National List” – to pray for on Rosh Hashanah:
- My first prayer on this list is for all Jews to see, understand and identify with our national side. Sadly, FAR TOO MANY of my fellow Jews, many who are very strict in keeping every religious detail, have no concept of our national side. To them, Judaism is just observing rituals and while this is a very important part of who we are and what we do, it is just that… a PART of what we do and not ALL of what we do. I pray that my fellow Jews open their eyes and connect themselves to the national side of being a Jew.
- I pray for the re-establishment of the Sanhedrin. In the last few years some very big Rabbis have tried to re-establish it but, sadly, it has not been accepted by the masses. Our people need to realize that this is the first step in bringing Moshiach! That’s right. Ever wonder why we say that Moshiach will be coming together with Eliyahu Hanavi (Elijah)? There’s a simple reason for that. Moshiach will be our King and the only one capable of anointing a King is a Navi. Therefore, the Moshiach needs Eliyahu Hanavi to anoint him as the Moshiach. The problem, however, is: who will establish Eliyahu as the prophet? Do you think a guy will just appear on the scene one day and say he is Eliyahu? Maybe, since a similar thing happened in Egypt when – out of nowhere – Moses appeared to save the day. Yes, that could very well happen in our modern age but that would be a miracle and while we believe in miracles, we don’t rely on them. The way I live my life is to MAKE THINGS HAPPEN. Therefore, we need to be ready for Eliyahu to come and when he does, he will need to prove himself and be established as the prophet. Guess who is the only group that can do that? The Sanhedrin! Therefore; we establish a Sanhedrin, they declare that Eliyahu is the prophet and then HE anoints the Moshiach as king! NOW you see why we need to pray for a Sanhedrin??
- A must on your “Jewish National List” is that G-d should strengthen the IDF. A major part of our history as a Nation deals with fighting wars. In the Torah, we read about wars fought by Abraham, Jacob(who was ready to battle Esav), Moses, Joshua, Pinchas
and many battles fought by thousands of soldiers from all tribes of Israel. These wars were not “extra credit”; they shaped us as a Nation and most were mandated by G-d Himself. Today’s IDF is the modern day equivalent of those brave soldiers in the time of the Torah and the countless wars fought by our forefathers as they entered the Land of Israel under Joshua, the Judges, the Kings of Israel and the Maccabees. The holy soldiers in today’s IDF need our prayers so that they will be strengthened spiritually as well as physically. For the sake of the future of our Nation, these holy soldiers need to be successful in destroying the enemy of G-d and His Chosen People.
- With all your heart and soul, please pray for Jewish leaders in Israel who put Hashem and HIS house before Obama and the White House. The time has come for Israel to be led by Jews who are connected to our Father in Heaven and whose ultimate goal is the restoration of the Davidic dynasty. These leaders need to be people who are not interested in Nobel prizes or UN accolades but in sanctifying G-d’s Name throughout the world! We have become an orphaned generation with weak leaders and this has led to the biggest desecration of G-d’s Name imaginable, because when the Jewish nation is weak, the world perceives G-d as weak as well. That is simply intolerable. Therefore, pray with every ounce of strength you have and ask G-d to find leaders who will work for Him and not themselves and who are willing to stand strong in the face of a very hostile world.
- While there are many more prayers on my “Jewish National List”, allow me to end with this last one: The need to pray for every Jew – regardless of age, religious background and financial level – to come home to live in the King’s palace… the Land of Israel. Plain and simple; the excuses are over. It is time to pick up and leave the exile and return home. Don’t do this because of anti-Semitism or Hurricane Sandy. Do it because as a Jew, your life is not complete and your soul is broken as long as you live outside the Land. Simply put, you cannot be a part of the Nation when you are 6,000 miles away – it just doesn’t work that way. Therefore, pray to G-d… no – BEG G-d to help you and your family make this move. Beg Him to help you and cry tears over this. This MUST be on your list and if it’s not you must immediately figure out why. Who is keeping this from you and why isn’t this priority #1 for your national life? Talk to our Merciful Father and when you do, I promise the following: If you are serious about this prayer, it will happen… but you need to “put your cards on the table”. Similar to prayer #1 – about connecting to the national side of Jewishness – this one is up to you. And as He did many times in the past, Hashem will definitely help your dream become a reality. But you need to take the first step! Do it, NOW!
May 5775 be the year in which G-d answers all our prayers, both the personal ones and the national ones, so that THIS YEAR we can all welcome the arrival of Moshiach and dance with him in the 3rd and final Holy Temple in Jerusalem! Shana Tova!!