A Prayer for Divine Aid during the Pillar of Defense (Amud Anan) Initiative in Israel, based on the Ana B'khoach - offered during Kabbalat Shabbat on 11/16/12
The Ana B'khoach prayer is attributed to R. Nehuniah b. Hakanah - based on the mystical 42 letter name of the Divine, this name is related to the creation and thus is an intercessory prayer. Traditional Hebrew and literal English translations of the source lines are provided at the beginning of each paragraph.
אָנָּא בְּכֹֽחַ גְּדֻלַּת יְמִינְךָ תַּתִּיר צְרוּרָה. Please with the strength of Your right hand’s greatness, release the entanglements.
Once again we Pray to Your loving kindness, to guide us, to find a way to untie the tangled up mess we have gotten ourselves into. You know that this earth-world always is full of suffering.
Somehow we become numb to the suffering. And, then, our hearts are wrenched open when the Children of Abraham trade rockets and bombs, destabilizing the fragile accords that hold the Land of the Prophets from self-destruction.
קַבֵּל רִנַּת עַמְּךָ, שַׂגְּבֵֽנוּ, טַהֲרֵֽנוּ, נוֹרָא. Receive the song of Your people, strengthen us, purify us, Awesome One.
O Sublime One, we want to sing to you again, together, in Hebrew and Arabic and English and Aramaic and Farsi. Awesome One, cleanse us of fear of violence and fear of each other.
נָא גִבּוֹר, דּוֹרְשֵׁי יִחוּדְךָ, כְּבָבַת שָׁמְרֵם. Please, Strong One, guard those who seek Your Oneness like the pupil of an eye.
Strong One, care for each of your creatures who are terrified: the thousands of Israeli’s huddling in shelters fearing rocket attacks; the thousands of Gazans, cowering, seeking to find distance from their homes and mosques as bombs approach the rocket launchers hidden nearby.
בָּרְכֵם, טַהֲרֵם, רַחֲמֵם, צִדְקָתְךָ תָּמִיד גָּמְלֵם. Bless them, cleans them, have compassion upon them, Your righteousness always recompenses them.
Bless us all. We need Your love to wash us clean. Let justice pour over us like waves; let righteousness flow like a moving stream. Let a knowing of Your Oneness and our profound interconnectedness fill the hearts of everyone - in the Middle East, in Washington D.C, at the UN, everywhere.
חֲסִין קָדוֹשׁ, בְּרוֹב טוּבְךָ, נַהֵל עֲדָתֶֽךָ. Powerful and Holy Divinity guide Your congregation with Your expansive goodness.
Guide us through this confusing and conflicted time with Your goodness, so we not default into pro-them and pro-us thinking. Clearly we need Sacred Guidance in how to respond from our highest selves, to see the suffering in each other, and work as a united community to mitigate this pain.
יָחִיד גֵּאֶה, לְעַמְּךָ פְּנֵה, זוֹכְרֵי קְדֻשָּׁתֶֽךָ. Exalted Unity, turn toward Your people, those who note Your sanctity.
Unity, turn toward all Your peoples, help us remember that, as Yisra-El, as Jews, our directive is to live as a holy people, a kingdom of the priesthood.
שַׁוְעָתֵֽנוּ קַבֵּל, וּשְׁמַע צַעֲקָתֵֽנוּ, יוֹדֵֽעַ תַּעֲלֻמוֹת. Accept our outcries, hear our shouting, You know the hidden dimensions.
Receive our supplications, Hear the shouts of all - as you heard Ishmael’s silent cry "ba-asher who sham" - from exactly where he sat alone in the desert, dying of thirst because his mother could not see the well of life-giving potential that was waiting to be seen nearby. Help us find that hidden solution that will seem obvious once it has become known. There are so many secrets, so much hidden from an ordinary person’s knowledge - we depend on You to see though all the veils of deception and teach us to seek right thought, right action and right speech.
בָּרוּךְ שֵׁם כְּבוֹד מַלְכוּתוֹ לְעוֹלָם וָעֶד. Blessed be the Name of Your dominion’s glory forever.
Blessed be Your Honor throughout time and space. Let Your Annanei HaKavod, your clouds of glory, the Amud he-Anan, the pillar of cloud revert back to its original source as the guiding beacon that led the Israelites as they wondered in the wilderness. We are all wondering in a wilderness of confusion and pain. This would be a good time for You to show up with a miracle.