Peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians have begun! Though there is more than a little cynicism being expressed from all sides, there is reason to be hopeful. There is a unique confluence of events that has opened the door to an agreement (more about that, perhaps, at the Holydays…). Now if we could just get everyone to step through.
Despite all that has happened to us – perhaps because of all that has happened – Jews are a people of hope, and our fondest hope is for peace. Ashkenazic Jews greet one another not with “Hi” or “Good day,” but with “shalom aleichem -peace to you.” The response is “aleichem shalom – unto you, peace.” Every Friday night and Saturday we turn to one another and say, “Shabbat shalom – a peace-filled Shabbat.” And of course, every worship service contains numerous prayers for peace.
There is always hope. We should be practical, but we should not be cynical. And we must not only pray, but also act. May the One who makes peace in the heavens help us to make peace here on earth, between the Children of Isaac and the Children of Ishmael, and among all peoples. Shabbat Shalom!