Isaac Kaplan

"Is it any wonder I've got too much time on my hands?"

Sunday, July 18, 2004

More on Tefilos for Israel and the Army

Another argument I once heard against the prayers was that it's not so pashut to compose new tefilos, and that in fact the person who composed the tefillah was far from an adam chashuv.
First of all, where do we draw the line? There have been other mi sheBairachs composed recently. The Tosfos Yom Tov composed one a few  hundred years ago. Many books of prayers for women have prayers that are relatively recent. And Rav Schwab and the Bobover Rebbe ZT"L both composed kinnos that are read on Tisha B'Av. So where do we draw the line? Who can compose and who can't? And if an adam chashuv has to compose it, why not get one to compose it? (more on that below)
And if someone will say that we already daven for them by saying "V'Liyerushalayim Ircha," then I'd say that there should be no more Mi SheBairachs for the cholim or for the people that ger aliyos. The sick people already have "Rifaeinu" going for them; so why should we say any more? As for the people getting aliyos, let's scrap their Mi SheBairachs, because, after all, we bless the entire congregation in Yekum Purkan! I like this shittoh-- it would make davening a whole lot shorter! But the answer apparently is that, for various reasons, some things deserve to be singled out and focused upon in our tefillos. That's why we mention the names of all the cholim instead of saying "all the cholim of Klal Yisrael." So by the same token, why doesn't the Intafada deserve special attention?
I've heard of one gadol compose a prayer for Eretz Yisrael (as opposed to Medinas Yisrael). I thought this was a great thing. Although I feel we have what to be grateful for regarding the State, but if people feel it's inappropriate to daven for the State, then the least they can do is daven for Eretz Yisrael. I'm very surprised that this has not become more commonplace. I just don't see anything wrong with it. The same goes for the Tzahal Mi SheBairach. These soldiers are in quite a dangerous situation. The same way we pray for cholim, why not pray for them, especially considering that the army protects so many of our bretheren? Because some of them aren't frum? Is that it? Or because we don't agree with everything they do? And therefore to hell with them, even though they're sacrificing their lives for us? I just don't get it. 
And perhaps some of our communities could use some more pride and focus on Eretz Yisrael. In these places, there aren't many people who make aliyah or even take an active interest in the happenings of Israel. Perhaps a prayer for Israel would be first step in calling attention to the importance of supporting Eretz Israel.


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