Today is Yom HaAtzma-ut: Israel Independence Day. In honor of Israel’s 73rd Independence Day, I share with you a poem and a prayer.

Wild Peace by Yehuda Amichai (1971)
(from: A Life of Poetry 1948-1994, translated from the Hebrew by Benjamin and Barbara Harshav)

Not the one of an armistice,
Not even the one of the vision of wolf and lamb,
But,
As in your heart after an excitement:
To talk only of a great weariness.
I know that I know how to kill,
I am grown up.
And my son plays with a toy gun that knows
How to open and close its eyes and say “Mama.”
Peace
Without the commotion of turning swords into plowshares, without
Words, without
The sound of heavy seals; let it be light
On top, like lazy white foam.
Rest for the wounds,
Not even healing.
(And the scream of orphans is passed on from one generation
To another, as in a relay race: the baton won’t fall.)

Let it be
Like wild flowers,
Suddenly, an imperative of the field:
Wild peace.

A Prayer for the State of Israel
(from Mishkan T’filah)

Avinu Shebashamayim, O Heavenly One, Protector and Redeemer of Israel, bless the State of Israel which marks the dawning of hope for all who seek peace. Shield it beneath the wings of Your love, spread over it the canopy of Your peace; send Your light and truth to all who lead and advise, guiding them with Your good counsel. Establish peace in the land and fullness of joy for all who dwell there. Amen

L’Shalom ~ Rabbi Teri