Prayers are the heart felt thoughts sent to the universe when one realizes the need for more than human efforts to move us toward peace. Pray now. This picture depicts the Hebrew blessing the Nesiat Kapayim.
“The LORD bless you and keep you;
the LORD make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you;
the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace.”
This blessing is performed in Jewish synagogues by the Kohanim. These are priests who are direct descendants of Aaron (the older brother of Moses). It is also used at every Shabbat to bless the children after the lighting of the Shabbat candles. Moreover, it is used in most Christian churches as the final benediction at the end of services. We all want the blessing of peace. The trick of course is all must want it and the problem of humanity remains the quest many retain for domination, power, or revenge along with the willingness to do whatever to satisfy that sad human need. I believe in the God of love. I believe God weeps while watching the wars of belief fought supposedly because too many of want one belief to rule. How then do I explain to myself the wars men seem constantly to reign if God wants peace and is all powerful? That’s a hard one and turns many away from belief. I take comfort in the idea of Tikkun Olam the edict that we humans and particularly the Jews must “Repair the Universe.” God waits for all men to seek peace, he wants all his children filled with love so God is waiting for us to work it out. Do I justify the current Israeli actions? Yes. One might be able to pray for peace in whatever life comes here after, but on earth those who truly want peace, must stay alive. Self-defense is not just a right but a responsibility. My heart bleeds for the innocent people of Gaza. Many are innocent but most brainwashed as children to hate the Jews and seek their destruction. Israel cannot make peace alone as the tunnels prove. Moreover, the Palestian claim comes late in the game of who owns the land of Israel. In 1970, archaeologists uncovered a silver amulet at the site of the Christian Church St. Andrews in Jerusalem. The amulet dates back to the seventh century B.C., and contains a scroll citing the blessing above. It is the oldest known remnant of scripture in the world. and places Jews in Israel long before Mohammed was born. But as some would note, the desire to maintain ones Jewish faith prevents peace for all. A problem that would be solved if all the world let all non-violent faiths blossom while eradicating beliefs that justify attack and destruction.
Prayers for peace in any form matter, but actions are equally as important. As one rabbinical story reminds us the burgler prays for success as fervently as the most pious priest or rabbi. Prayers must be accompanied by right action and right action is treating all as you want to be treated. As we all want to live, at time taking up arms is necessary. My small effort besides praying is to practice kindness and not just to those I love or see as like me. Also remember to practice gratitude. Thank the God of your understanding, thank your children, thank all who smile on you, thank even those who wish you evil for enlightening you to reality and reminding you to pray and work toward peace on earth.
This post resonates with this DAILY PROMPT Back to Life After an especially long and exhausting drive or flight, a grueling week at work, or a mind-numbing exam period — what’s the one thing you do to feel human again? Life now is continuously grueling for those of us who stay tuned to the wars around the world and particularly the explosives situation in the Middle East. For me relief comes in doing what little I can toward creating peace on earht.