At this festival of Sukkot, when we remember how our ancestors wandered in the wilderness for forty years before they were ready to create a new society, we are painfully aware that after decades of wandering in a wilderness of war, enmity and conflict, Israelis and Palestinians are still not yet ready to enter a new relationship with one another and create a just and lasting peace.

And yet we cannot give up on hope. Eternal One who has taught Your people through all our journeys across millennia to be ‘captives of hope’, asirei ha-tikvah ((Zechariah 9:12), as a New Year begins, despite the continuing impasse, we dare to hope that in the coming months there will be signs of change. If not now, when? And so, we pray that a spirit of hope will begin to enter the hearts of Israelis and Palestinians so that both peoples begin to take steps towards one another. Hope engenders hope. May hope and optimism eventually triumph over cynicism and despair, so that before many more years have passed, we may yet see two sovereign democratic states, flourishing side-by-side, guided by laws of justice, connected together by mutual ties of co-operation, and living in peace.

Bimheirah b’yameiniu – Speedily in our own day.

And let us say: Amen.

Rabbi Elli Tikvah Sarah

Brighton and Hove Progressive Synagogue