Prayers for Peace in Israel

A Message from Rabbi Davidson

May 10, 2021

With the escalation of violence in Jerusalem, and Hamas rocket attacks on Israel, we offer prayers for the wellbeing of Israelis and Palestinians alike, and share with you this statement published by the American Jewish Committee this afternoon:  “We stand in solidarity with the people of Israel as Hamas rockets from Gaza rain down on Israeli cities and towns, including several fired at Jerusalem a short time ago.  Millions of Israelis are currently under threat. Israel has the right and the duty to protect its citizens.”

We pray for an end to the cycle of violence, a conflict that has scarred the lives of generations of Israelis and Palestinians.  The brilliant Israeli poet Yehuda Amichai compared it to the Passover song Had Gadya, wherein one killing follows another until butcher, ox, and kid all are dead:

An Arab shepherd is searching for his goat on Mount Zion
and on the opposite mountain I am searching
for my little boy.
An Arab shepherd and a Jewish father
both in their temporary failure.
Our voices meet above the Sultan’s Pool
in the valley between us.  Neither of us wants
the child or the goat to get caught in the wheels
of the terrible Had Gadya machine. 

Afterward we found them among the bushes
and our voices came back inside us, laughing and crying. 

Searching for a goat or a son
has always been the beginning
of a new religion in these mountains.

May the search for peace continue despite the current unrest.  Together “we pray for the peace of Jerusalem.  May they prosper who love you.  May peace be in your walls….May we see our children’s children, and peace upon Israel.” (Psalms 122, 128)

Rabbi Joshua M. Davidson