Menachem Begin's Prayer

On his first visit to the liberated Western Wall, in 1967, Menachem Begin was accompanied by the leaders of Herut and former commanders of the Irgun. He recited the following prayer which he had compiled for the occasion.

May we all repeat his prayer.

"G-D OF OUR FATHERS Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Lord of Hosts, be Thou our help. Our enemies encompassed us about, yea they encompassed us about and arose to destroy us as a people. Yet has their counsel been destroyed and their schemes will not be accomplished.

For there has arisen in our Homeland a new generation, the generation of liberty, a generation of warriors and heroes. And when they went forth to engage the enemy there burst forth from their hearts the call which echoes throughout the generation, the call from the father of the Prophets, the redeemer of Israel from the bondage of Egypt:

"Arise, 0 Lord, and let Thine enemies be scattered and let them that hate Thee be put to flight".

And we scattered and defeated them and flee they did.

"The defeated enemy has not yet laid down his arms. The Army of Israel continues to pursue and smite them. Lord, G-d of Israel, guard Thou our forces who with their arms are forging the covenant which Thou didst make with Thy chosen people. May they return in peace, children to their parents, fathers to their children and husbands to their wives. For we are but the surviving remnant of a people harried and persecuted, whose blood has been shed like water throughout the generations.

"Today we stand before the Western Wall, the relic of the House of our Glory, in Jerusalem, the Redeemed, the City that is now all compact together, and from the depths of our hearts there arises the prayer that the Temple may be rebuilt speedily in our days.

"We shall yet come to Hebron, the city of the Four Couples, and there we shall prostrate ourselves at the graves of the Patriarchs of our people. We shall yet be on the way to Ephrath as thou comest to Bethlehem of Judah.

We shall pray at the Tomb of Rachel and we shall bring to mind the prayer of the prophet:

"A voice is heard in Ramah, wailing and bitter lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children, for they are not. Refrain thy voice from weeping and thine eyes from tears, for there is a reward for thy labor, saith the Lord, and they shall return from the land of the enemy. And there is hope for thy latter end, and thy children shall return to their borders".