Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem

old city/Western Wall at sunset
“Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem” — Psalm 122:6

This week we will commemorate Shavuot and Matan Torah – the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai. The Torah, our bible, is the roadmap for democracy, freedom, and above all, the value of human life. From the bible, we come to learn that we are created in the divine image. It is a joyous holiday. Today, however, I have a heavy heart.

Tensions between Muslims and Jews in Israel have escalated to levels not seen since 2014. There is violence at holy sites and violence in the streets. Every life is precious. As a congregation, we have welcomed our Muslim and Christian neighbors into our Temple. We have come together to pray, celebrate, and learn. Our relationships have been forged through dialogue and understanding.

Emotions overwhelm me as I consider the safety of friends and family throughout Israel. Julian Resnick, an Israeli who has served as WHC Scholar in Residence and guided us on our congregational trips to Israel, shared a story on Facebook about his six-year-old granddaughter’s ever-increasing knowledge of rocket attacks. He ends his post by imploring Jews and Palestinians alike to teach our children and grandchildren to care for each other so all can live in peace.

We pray for an end to the violence.

.עֹשֶׂה שָׁלוֹם בִּמְרוֹמָיו, הוּא יַעֲשֶׂה שָׁלוֹם עָלֵינוּ וְעַל כָּל יִשְׂרָאֵל, וְאִמְרוּ אָמֵן

Oseh shalom bim’romav, hu ya-aseh shalom aleinu v’al kol Yisrael, v’imru: amen.

May the One who makes peace in the heavens send peace to us and all Israel, and let us say: Amen.

In response to recent events in Israel, Rabbi Rick Jacobs, President of the Union for Reform Judaism, also issued a statement on behalf of the Reform Movement on the situation in the region. Click here to read the statement in full.

To learn more about the most recent violence and conflict in the region, we invite you to join us on May 19, May 26 and June 2nd for (virtual) discussions with experts on the region. Hosted by Rabbi Lustig and Rabbi Miller, these programs are free and open to everyone! 

Learn More & RSVP