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A Prayer for the Iran Nuclear Deal

By on September 11, 2015

The only accurate description of how I felt–as an Iranian-American Jew that escaped the repression of the Islamic Republic of Iran at a young age–when I received this summer’s news of a strikingly bad nuclear deal between Iran and the P5+1, is to compare it to an anxious patient receiving a disturbing medical diagnosis by a doctor whose medical malpractice she had suspected had actually contributed to her worsening condition over the course of many, many years.

I felt defeated and hopeless, even more striking given the fact that, I, along with dozens of wonderful young leaders, had co-founded the nation’s leading Iranian-American Jewish civic action organization (30 YEARS AFTER) and knew exactly which community organizations, individuals, media outlets, and elected officials to approach in an attempt to urge Congress to vote against the deal.

After having exhausted all other options that are a normal part of my portfolio when trying to affect change as an activist, I finally remembered that if I had been that distraught patient, I would have immediately turned to another outlet of hope and action: prayer.

Now, I’ve been known to pray for anything, from marriage to children to one lousy parking space at Glatt Mart. But the Iran nuclear deal? My first inclination was to pray for a rampant epidemic of severe piles, also known as hemorrhoids, among Iran’s regime that would render them incessantly sore and irritable, and therefore unable to oversee any further nuclear progress. I had a special prayer for boils and impotence against Hamas and Hezbollah as well.

In truth, praying about this issue in a way that makes one feel both heard and comforted is harder than it seems. For possibly the first time in print, for concerned young Jews, by a concerned young Jew, I now offer something other than an impressive op-ed or superficial meme: A prayer regarding the 2015 Iran nuclear deal:

Master of the Universe (and I really do mean ‘universe,’ as this is truly a universal issue), in whose Hands lay every action of man in the universe: Thank You for the realization that the greatest ultimate power emanates from You, and not from any singular man, assembly of men, or governing body. Forgive me for the confidence and power that I have displaced from You and inadvertently placed in the hands of men, by having allowed their voices and actions to have so disturbed and unsettled me. Forgive me for not having realized that both those that have supported me, and those that have frustrated me, are enabled by You, and ultimately answer to You.

With complete gratitude for the miracles that you have performed for the Jewish people, including the tens of thousands of suffering Jews that you allowed to escape Iran, I appeal to your infinite power and mercy to spare America, Israel, the Jewish people, and innocent civilians worldwide, from further violence and death at the hands of religious fanatics that breathe violence against us.

You, who commanded us to respect and obey the laws of every land that we have settled since our Exile tragically began, please endow our leaders today with the courage to oppose popular viewpoints that may nevertheless compromise our safety; the openness to hear AND be affected by different ideas that challenge their predetermined notions; the compassion to internalize the suffering that the Iranian regime has caused millions, including the victims of Iran’s terror proxies worldwide, refugees that found shelter in America, as well as American servicemen that fought in Iraq and Afghanistan; and the wisdom to lead and act in appropriate ways that will not ease, G-d-forbid, but prevent further violence against us. And above all, endow our leaders with the imperative for responsibility for our country and our future that will ensure a truly good deal that dismantles the cruel threats against us, according to Your will.

As for those who curse us and plot evil against us, whether their leaders, soldiers, or their proxies, make nothing of their plans and schemes against us, and render all of their weapons against us–whether by hand, by mouth, by sale of arms, or by the press of a button–useless and futile. Let their plans fall flat and crumble like days-old pita bread. Do not allow them to be emboldened with either spoken global support or increased financial livelihood to further their violence against us. Change their hearts and reverse their hatred, and forgive us for how WE have strayed from You, and our highest potential. Please unite our voice and do not cause us to turn against each other in disunity and national schism, whether as Americans or as Jews.

Bless our children to inherit lives of peace and safety, rather than violence and chaos at the hands of bellicose oppressors that seek our destruction. Strengthen our hearts with complete faith in Your protection and open our souls to pursue Your will and teachings each day, in peace and compassion. Amen.

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About Tabby Refael

Tabby Refael is a Los Angeles-based writer. She previously served as Executive Director of 30 YEARS AFTER.