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October 25, 2014 | 1st Cheshvan 5775

Peace

Hillel would say: Be a disciple of Aaron's, loving peace and pursuing it, loving people and bringing them to Torah.

-Pirke Avot 1:12

 


 

Reading by Alan Paton

Eternal our God,

open our eyes that we may see the needs of others;
open our ears that we may hear their cries;
open our hearts so that they need not be without succor;

let us not be afraid to defend the weak because of the anger of the strong,
nor afraid to defend the poor because of the anger of the rich.

Show us where love and hope and faith are needed,
and use us to bring them to those places.

And so open our eyes and our ears
that this day we may be able to do some work of peace for You

(Adapted by Rabbi Lindsey bat Joseph)

 


 

 

O God You Have Called Us to Peace

O God, 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:

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

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

Where there are fear and suspicion,
Let there be confidence and trust.

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

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

Where there are strife and discord,
Let there be harmony and peace.

(Adapted by Rabbi Chaim Stern from Rabbi John D. Rayner in Service of the Heart, in Gates of Prayer, pages 693-694)

 


 

Humanity is Indivisible

When he heard he would be awarded the Peace Prize of the Association of German Publishers, former Jerusalem Mayor Teddy Kollek chose Manfred Rommel to present the prize. Rommel is the Mayor of Stuttgart and is the son of General Erwin Rommel. Upon accepting the prize, Kollek said the following: "Who would have imagined that the Field Marshall's son and I would meet in the peaceful profession of being Mayors? Isn't that a symbol of peace, which is our theme here tonight?" In the face of fanaticism and intolerance there is a need for a deep belief in humanistic Jewishness… treating all people with the same respect and in the same manner. That isn't always recognized, especially among groups which only think of themselves and overlook the interests of others… According to Jewish belief, however, humanity is indivisible."

(From Rabbi Dov Peretz Elkin's Forty Days of Transformation)

 


 

Swords into Plowshares

Centuries ago, Micah the Prophet offered a vision of peace. No longer ruled by war and violence, humans would live together, unharmed, and content. His words reach us today and remain most relevant:

Lo yisa goi el goi cherev lo yilmedu od milchama

In the days to come,
The Mount of Adonai's House shall stand firm above the hills.
The peoples shall gaze upon it with joy.

They shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks,
Nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
nor ever again shall they train for war.

Then everyone shall sit under their own grapevine or fig tree
with no one to disturb them.

-Micah 4:1,3-4

 

 


 

Sim Shalom

Sim shalom tovah u'vracha chen v'chesed v'rachamim alienu v'al cal Yisrael amecha

Grant us peace, Your most precious gift, O Eternal Source of peace, and give us the will to proclaim its message to all the peoples of the earth. Bless our country, that it may always be a stronghold of peace, and its advocate among the nations. May contentment reign within its borders, health and happiness within its homes. Strengthen the bonds of friendship among the inhabitants of all lands, and may the love of Your name hallow every home and every heart. Blessed is the Eternal God, the Source of peace.

(From Gates of Prayer, CCAR, 1975, page 695)

 


 

A Request for Peace

We humbly ask you, O God, to bless our world. Give us the understanding to work for its true welfare that we may together seek to remove all evil, and labor for the victory of goodness. Teach us Your law, and show us how this nation, and all nations, may be united in the endeavor to fulfill Your will, so that its children may dwell among our human family in mercy and peace, from shore to shore, the wide world over.

(Rabbi David Kaufman)

 


 

We Give Thanks, Grant us Courage, Bless us With Your Peace

For those who went into danger.


We Give Thanks.
For those who remained behind with the infirm and injured.

We Give Thanks.
For those who thought of others first.

We Give Thanks.
For those who offered comfort to others.

We Give Thanks.
For moments of unknown.

Grant Us Courage
In times of fear.

Grant Us Courage
When called upon to stand for the rights of others.

Grant Us Courage
When others call for our destruction.

Grant Us Courage
When the enemies of freedom lash out.

Bless Us With Your Peace
When the darkness of hatred descends.

Bless Us With Your Peace
When we feel the urge to trample and destroy.

Bless Us With Your Peace
When we look to the future of your universe.

Bless Us With Your Peace
Amen

Amen

(Rabbi Matt Friedman)

 

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