Prayer for Peace
A Prayer for Peace
Avinu ve’ emoteynu sheh ba shamayim, tzur Yisra’el ve’ go’aloe
Our Father and Mother energies in the cosmos, the rock of Israel and our salvation
Bless all the peoples of the Middle East with peace, security, environment sanity, and a sense of being genuinely cared for by the world and by the God/dess of all flesh, however they conceive of this God or Goddess, whatever names or language they give to the ultimate source of love and meaning in the universe.
In this hour of war, violence, and pain, we reaffirm the humanity and decency of all the people on our planet, and our ability to see the humanity and God-presence in the Palestinian people, the Israeli people, and all people on the planet. We understand that each of the many sides of the conflicts tearing our world apart today have their own legitimacy, but we also know that violence cannot be the path to a peaceful and safe world. We may be outraged at the behavior of governments, political parties, or groups acting in hurtful ways, but we will not accept any attempt to generalize that righteous indignation into generalities about all people of a certain nation, race, religion, sexual orientation, or any other such grouping.
We ask you, the Force of Healing and Transformation in the Universe, Yud Hey Vav Hey, ALLAH, the Cosmic Christ, Krishna, whatever name people give to this Force, to open up the hearts of all humanity to each other and to the earth itself. Let us quickly see a new consciousness permeating the human race, a consciousness which recognizes that peace and “homeland security” can never be achieved through strategies based on domination and “power over” others, but only through a strategy of genuine love, caring, kindness, and generosity toward others.
As Spiritual Progressives, we will do our best to practice that open-heartedness, love, and generosity toward the Palestinian people, our brothers and sisters in the Middle East, and toward the Israeli people, even while retaining our critical consciousness enough to wish that each side would stop being hurtful toward the other and would adopt the New Bottom Line of love, kindness, caring for each other and the planet. That New Bottom Line provides the only sustainable path for us and all peoples on the planet. So please help us to overcome the cynicism that tells us that we must work within the existing framework of consciousness and accept that “in the short run” we have to take sides and support one violent side against another violent side, though later we can deal with “long term” transformation. Instead, give us the inner strength to recognize that “the long term” will never change unless we begin NOW to build the world we really want.
We know that peace can only be sustainably achieved when the world is reorganized along principles of social justice, caring for each other and caring for the planet Earth–and so we will commit to putting our energies into that task. Give us the strength and wisdom to know how to heal the many hurts of people who have responded to their own pain by acting in painful ways toward others. Give us the capacity to show empathy and to learn how to heal the wounds, not only of the oppressed, but also the wounds that distort the behaviors and generate the fears that are the basis of racism, sexism, anti-Semitism, xenophobia, Islamophobia, and every other form of distorted consciousness. And give us the humility to recognize our own blind spots and the courage to work to heal ourselves even as we seek to heal others!
Precisely at this moment, we refuse to be realistic, but instead recognize YOU and your presence in our lives as an incitement to put our energies and money behind our highest values—love, kindness, generosity, ethical and environmental sustainability, and awe/wonder/and radical amazement at the grandeur and mystery of the universe. It is from this standpoint, rooted in our Torah and in our tradition for some, for the Koran or the New Testament for others, and in the texts, teachings and/or traditions of many other spiritual sources, that we affirm that love and kindness will triumph on our planet, and we will do our part to make that actually happen. In so acting, we will become Your partners in Tikkun Olam—the healing and repair of the world.
Written for Tikkun magazine, Beyt Tikkun and the interfaith and secular-humanist welcoming Network of Spiritual Progressives by Rabbi Michael Lerner. Please circulate this to everyone you know, post it on your Facebook and other social media and your website, and ask everyone you know to join and support our Network of Spiritual Progressives by going to its website and joining as a dues-paying member at www.spiritualprogressives.org.
–Rabbi Michael Lerner