I see a young man on the street holding a baby and repeating over and over the words, “For God will order angels to guard you wherever you go.” (Psalm 91:11) I remember my father singing these words every Friday night. We still sing it in my home with my children. The song continues, “God will guard you from all harm; God will guard your life. God will protect your goings and comings, now and forever.” (Psalm 121:7-8) The father repeats this verse like a protective lullaby over his baby’s head deeply nuzzled in his chest. We all need protection. I am repeating the words that my Iraqi Jewish grandfather used to sing on Passover in Judeo-Arabic,
In every generation
there will be those who rise up
to do harm to the people of Israel
were it not for the protecting presence of God.
My Arab friends are scared to speak up for fear of retribution from terror elements in their community. What gives me strength to speak up loudly against Hamas terrorism is my grandfather’s words. It is the belief that the God of Israel does not slumber or sleep. It is my belief that we need to speak up against terror for our children and their future. And, we need to speak up for those who can’t.
Sarah Sassoon is the author of Shoham's Bangle and the forthcoming This Is Not a Cholent. She lives in Jerusalem.