ABOUT THE JEWISH PEACE FELLOWSHIP
Prayer for Peace in a Time of War
In all of our moods, God, we call out to You and You are there. When we are happy and when we are sad, when we are lonely or afraid, when we want to say thank you for the blessings that we have and when our hearts are bursting with good things we want to share, You are there. Just to say Your name feels good and helps us to feel close to You. You have many names, God, a name for all of our many moods. One of your names is Shalom.
We call to You now by Your name, Shalom. In this time of war we are often confused and afraid and we need to find peace within ourselves. It is sometimes hard to know what is right and what is wrong. In this time of war help us to remember how much Your world needs Peace. As we whisper Your name Shalom with our lips, help us to hear Your name of Peace in our hearts and to make it real in the world.
Spread over our soldiers Your shelter of Peace. Bring them home quickly, our soldiers who are sons and daughters, husbands and fathers, brothers and sisters; our soldiers who are aunts and uncles, nieces and nephews, cousins and friends and neighbors. They are just like us and were children not so long ago.
As we pray for them, help us to pray for the Iraqis too. They too are people like us, people who love and are loved, people who laugh and cry and sing and dance and hug their children. Yes, most of all protect the children who are surrounded by war and bring home the people whose hugs make them feel happy and safe.
You have taught us that You do not delight in the destruction of the wicked. That is why we pour off a drop of wine for each of the ten plagues at the Pesach Seder, and that is why we read the names of Haman's sons in one breath when we read the Megillah on Purim. Therefore, help us to find ways other than war to stop those who hurt others in the world.
Help us to remember that war is not a sporting event or a video game, even though it seems like it sometime, the way people talk about it. Real people suffer and die in war, including children, and many things that people need to live are destroyed, including Your Creation, the earth itself.
As Rabbi Yudan son of Rabbi Yossi taught of You so long ago, may we also teach, Great is Peace, for the name of the Holy One is called Shalom.
Blessed are You, God, Whose name is Shalom. Spread Your shelter of Peace over us, and help us to make peace in Your world. And let us say, Amen.
Rabbi Victor Reinstein