A Season of Prayer for Peace in the Middle East
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Season of Prayer for Peace in the Middle East
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Ribono Shel Olam, Master of the Universe, we pour our hearts out to you in anguish for the suffering of all your children. We cry to You Whose tears fall for us. We cry out in reflexive pain for attacks upon our own people Israel, feeling as one body the ache in any part of our being. Protect our people upon our Land, calm and soothe them, return our captives, and let terror be no more. Help us to remember that we are one people, for all of our different ways of response. Let not the wanton hatred that brought down the walls of Your House divide us yet again from each other and from You. Know that our hearts break for the suffering of the innocents who bear the wrath born of our own pain and fear. Yearning for surcease from terror, we lash out in destructive fury. Open our eyes to the illusions of military might, to see in the rising plumes of so much smoke the certain rise of hate that will divide for generations more your children from each other, and bring no peace. Of those who really are children, in all the lands of war, protect them please, their fragile bodies and tender souls like flowers bending in the storm. Ease their parents’ fear and give them reason to hope, that in whatever of Your languages they speak, they may find words with which to comfort their children. Please protect and quickly bring home our soldiers, and those of every flag, and wake us from the strangest dream to see swords and guns and uniforms scattered on the ground. From the whirlwind of war’s futility, guide us to the wisdom of another way. For the sake of the ways of peace, help us all to clothe in humility our words to each other and to You. And let us say, Amen.

Submitted by Rabbi Victor Hillel Reinstein, Nehar Shalom Community Synagogue, Jamaica Plain, MA

Light one candle for the Maccabee Children with thanks their light didn't die.
Light one candle for the pain they endured when their right to exist was denied.
Light on candle for the terrible sacrifice justice and freedom demand.
Light one candle for the wisdom to know when the peace makers time is at hand.

Don't let the light go out. It's lasted for so many years.
Don't let the light go out. Let it shine through our love and our tears. (2x)

Light one candle for the strength that we need to never became our own foe.
And light one candle for those who are suffering pain we learned so long ago.
Light one candle for all we believe in let anger not tear us a-part.
And light one candle to bind us together with peace as the song in our hearts.

And what is the memory that's valued so highly that we keep it alive in the flame?
What's the commitment for those who have died we cry out they have not died in vain?
We have come this far, always believing that justice will somehow prevail.
This is the burden! This is the promise! and this is why we will not fail!

Written by Peter Yarrow

A Jewish Litany PDF Print E-mail

Eternal God, the Guide of humanity, You have called us to peace, for You  are Peace itself. May we have the vision to see that each of us, in some measure, can help to realize these aims:

L:   Where there are ignorance and superstition,
ALL:   Let there be enlightenment and knowledge.

L:   Where there are prejudice and hatred,
ALL:   Let there be acceptance and love.

L:  Where there are fear and suspicion,
ALL:   Let there be confidence and trust,

L:   Where there are tyranny and oppression,
ALL:   Let there be freedom and justice.

L:   Where there are poverty and disease,
ALL:   Let there be prosperity and health.

L:   Where there are strife and discord,
ALL:   Let there be harmony and peace.
(Shaarei T’fillah)

Submitted by Cantor Lynn Karpo-Lantz during the multireligious service in the Tillman Chapel of the U.N. during the 58th Annual Department of Public Information/Non-Governmental Organization Conference

Mourner's Kaddish in a Time of War PDF Print E-mail

[The Kaddish is a Jewish prayer that is used for a number of purposes, including mourning the dead.  In this version, changes in the last line of the Hebrew text specifically include not only peace for the people Israel (as in the traditional version) but also for the children of Abraham and Hagar through Ishmael (Arabs and Muslims) and all who dwell on this planet.
[The interpretive English addresses the meaning of "shmei rabbah," the "Great Name," which is interpreted as that name which includes all the names of all beings in the universe;
[it addresses why in the midst of saying we cannot praise, celebrate, or sing to God enough to meet the Reality, we also say we cannot CONSOLE (nechamot) God enough;
[and in the last verse it prays for shalom for us [those immediately present], for all the Godwrestling folk (Israel), for all the children of Ishmael, and for all peoples.]

Yitgadal V'yit'kadash Shmei Rabah 

May the Great Name, through our expanding awareness and our fuller action, lift Itself to become still higher and more holy;
May our names, along with all the names of all the beings in the universe, live within the Great Name;
May the names of all whom we can no longer touch but who have touched our hearts and lives, remain alight within our memories and in the Great Name;
May the names of all who have died in violence and war be kept alight in our sight and in the Great Name, with sorrow that we were not yet able to shape a world in which they would have lived.
 (Cong: Amein)
B'alma di vra chi'rooteh v'yamlich malchuteh  b'chayeichun, u'v'yomeichun, u'v'chayei d'chol beit yisrael, b'agalah u'vzman kariv, v'imru: --  

May Your Great Name lift Itself
still higher and more holy
throughout the world that You have offered us,
a world of majestic peaceful order
that gives life to the Godwrestling folk
through time and through eternity ----
And let's say,  Amein (Cong: Amein)
Y'hei sh'mei rabbah me'vorach
 l'olam almei almaya.

So therefore may the Great Name be blessed, through every Mystery and Mastery
of every universe.
Yitbarach, v'yishtabach, v'yitpa'ar, v'yitromam, v'yitnasei, v'yithadar, v'yit'aleh, v'yithalal -- Shmei di'kudshah, --  Brich hu, (Cong: Brich Hu) >
May the Great Name be blessed and celebrated, Its beauty honored and raised high; may It be lifted and carried, may Its radiance be praised in all Its Holiness –--  Blessed be!
L'eylah min kol bir'chatah v'shir'atah tush'be'chatah v'nechematah, de'amiran be'alma, v'imru: Amein (Cong: Amein)
Even though we cannot give You enough blessing, enough song, enough praise, enough consolation
to match what we wish to lay before You –

And though we know that today there is
no way to console You
when among us some who bear Your Image in our being
are slaughtering others
who bear Your Image in our being.

Yehei Shlama Rabah min Shemaya v'chayyim { aleinu v'al kol Yisrael, v'imru Amein.

Still we beseech that from the unity of Your Great Name flow great harmony and joyful life for us and for all who wrestle God;
 (Cong: Amein)
Oseh Shalom bi'm'romav, hu ya'aseh shalom aleinu v'al kol yisrael v'al kol yishmael v'al kol yoshvei tevel -- v'imru: Amein.

You who make harmony
in the ultimate reaches of the universe,
teach us to make harmony
within ourselves, among ourselves -- 
and peace for the Godwrestling folk,
the people Israel; 
for our cousins the children of Ishmael; and for all who dwell upon this planet.
(Cong: Amein) 
Submitted by Rabbi Arthur Waskow, The Shalom Center