Nov 3, 2022

Prayer for Gentle Peace

Prayer for Gentle Peace
Rabbi Menachem Creditor

I lift my eyes and glimpse a sliver of the expanse. 

What do You see, Holy One? Was Bildad correct?* Is force the only way to achieve peace? Is there a way forward other than dread?

I look to the rabbis, whose inspired Blessing for Peace* was also a textual revolution against Bildad. They saw Heavenly peace and invited it earthward. What might otherwise feel unfathomable except through brute force was reframed by those rabbis into a prayer for something gentler.
So, achy for peace, I follow my ancestors' example and gaze at the sky. It seems peaceful up there, especially when compared with the earth below. Especially today.

I look to Heaven and pray for peace to grace this fragile planet we share.

Source texts (via Sefaria)
*עֹשֶׂה שָׁלוֹם בִּמְרוֹמָיו הוּא יַעֲשֶׂה שָׁלוֹם עָלֵֽינוּ וְעַל כָּל־יִשְׂרָאֵל וְאִמְרוּ אָמֵן:
May the One Who makes peace in the Heavens make peace upon us and upon all Israel and let us say: Amen. (Siddur)
*הַמְשֵׁ֣ל וָפַ֣חַד עִמּ֑וֹ עֹשֶׂ֥ה שָׁ֝ל֗וֹם בִּמְרוֹמָֽיו׃
Dominion and dread are God's; God imposes peace in God's heights. (Job 25.2)

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