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A prayer regarding politics and the news

שמואל עמנואל ז"ל

Translation by Yehoshua Siskin 

Shmuel Emanuel was accustomed to compose personal prayers. He was a Holocaust survivor, among the founders of Kibbutz Sha'alvim, located halfway between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. He was a man of Torah and education, of settling the land and agriculture. This week marks six years since his passing and some of his relatives sent me the following prayer that they found among his books, written in his own hand:

"God! Give me the wisdom not to be enslaved to the mass media.

Give me the tranquility to continue to work and be active when the lives of all those around me are disrupted by the radio and the television.

Grant me the discipline to be updated once or twice a day and not every passing minute.

Give me the courage to overcome a perverse curiosity that confuses and distracts me.

Give me the wisdom to understand that I will not be missing anything and will lose nothing if I hear the news later on.

Give me the common sense not to waste my time thinking about and guessing what will come next when, within days or hours, I will see my suppositions had no merit.

Grant me the humility to recognize that nothing will change in Your world, and nothing in the course of history will be altered, if Shumel Emanuel does not follow every move of some politician.

Make a portion of your Torah a part of me so that I do not waste my time reading articles and hearing analysis based on guesses and futile evaluations that pop up all of a sudden and are just as quickly proven wrong."

Shmuel wrote this prayer in 5738/1978! In Israel there was only one television station in black and white with no commercial channels, no Internet, and no social media networks. What should we be praying for today?


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