My senior year of high school, one of my classmates was diagnosed with bone cancer. It was very traumatic for our relatively small, private school. He studied English Literature in my class, and my classmates and I began to write him letters and notes while he was at St. Jude Children’s Hospital receiving treatment. At that time, I began to pray for him daily. I never missed a day and after graduation lost touch with him. I continued to pray. About a year later, I saw his obituary in our local newspaper. It made me so sad. Even though I was not close friends with him, there was a connection I felt nevertheless through praying for him.
The same can be true for us and Israel. Through praying for the needs and people of Israel, we can feel a connection with the people and the Land. You will feel a relationship develop. You will learn more about the needs of the people here and you can pray for G-d’s plan to be revealed and accomplished.
Consider making a prayer journal to record your prayer journey with Israel.
In May, Baruch and I were in Amsterdam, where he was teaching a conference. We went to the Jewish neighborhood for our meals and met the people at the bakery, grocery store, pizza place and another restaurant. What struck me was how everyone was able to speak Hebrew well! And these people were not transplanted Israelis. You can travel to any Jewish community around the world and communicate with the people in Hebrew.
Last night (early morning) out daughters and I were sitting in the living room talking at 2 am. We heard someone trying to put a key in our front door. We looked out and saw a couple with suitcases and very confused. They knocked lightly on our door (because they had heard our voices) and said that they were looking for a particular apartment. Turns out it was in the other building. But what was so interesting was that they were doing a house swap with the other family and this couple was from France. However, they were Jewish and conversed with us primarily in Hebrew, with a bit of English thrown in. This is another example of how Jewish people around the world feel a connection to each other and to Israel.
Another way to feel an affinity with Israel is to learn a little bit of the language. The last time I was in the States, I stopped in several bookstores (which I loved doing) and checked out their language section. Our younger daughter is learning Japanese and I wanted to check out the Hebrew books. Even in the Midwest, and not in big cities, I was able to find at least one book to learn Hebrew at each bookstore.
Why not consider learning a little bit of Hebrew? I know that even the alphabet is daunting, but why not give it a try?