In Israel, the soldiers pray for peace
An American intern beholds the power and beauty he sees in the Israel Defense Forces.
Come let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, that we may walk the paths of the Most High. And we shall beat our swords into ploughshares, and our spears into pruning hooks. Nation shall not lift up sword against nation—neither shall they learn war any more. And none shall be afraid, for the mouth of the Lord of Hosts has spoken.
In Israel, the soldiers pray for peace.
They weep in the Mount Herzl cemetery, remembering the loss of fathers and brothers, friends and friends of friends, the unspeakable horror of a tombstone over the empty grave of a captured soldier, or the hero who cried out “Shema Yisrael!” as he threw himself on a grenade to protect his brothers.
In full uniform, they cry for the horror and sorrow of war, for what has been done to their loved ones and what they in turn must do.
Arm in arm, dancing into and out of shadow as the last light of the setting sun passes behind the Western Wall, they throw back their heads and toss up their legs, crying out, praying: “May He Who makes peace in High Places make peace for us and for all Israel.” They are still in uniform.
Tomorrow they will put on their uniforms again and bury their tears, for there will be no time to dance and little to pray. For one more week, they will fight for peace.