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Reb Lisa's Message

Like last week, I share a poem that has come my way, to help make sense of the terrifying situation unfolding in Israel. Actually, I should be more precise. It is near impossible to make sense of the situation. Rather, poetry helps us make sense of complicated feelings, and complicated conversations, and complicated perspectives and positions.

I was moved by a recent post from Rabbi Chai Levy, where she reminded us that Hebrew and Arabic share a common root for the word compassion. Similarly, both languages refer to the Divine as Rahaman/Rahman (Compassionate One). Like Hebrew, this root in Arabic has the additional meaning of womb.

Perhaps building bridges with what we share in common, rather than engaging in destruction and violence because of where we differ, can begin to lead us out of the darkness. In that spirit, I share the Prayer of the Mothers for Life and Peace by Rabbi Tamar Elad Appelbaum and Sheikha Ibtisam Maḥameed.

Prayer of the Mothers for Life and Peace

by Rabbi Tamar Elad Appelbaum and Sheikha Ibtisam Maḥameed

מלך חפץ בחיים

הרופא לשבורי לב ומחבש לעצבותם

שמע נא תפילת אמהות

שאתה לא בראתנו על מנת שנהרוג זה בזה

ולא על מנת שנחיה בפחד, כעס ושנאה בעולמך

אלא על מנת שנדע לתת רשות זה לזה לקיים את שמך

שם חיים, שם שלום בעולם

صلاة مشتركة

اله الحياة

الذي يُشفي القلوب الحزينة والمتألمة

استمع لو سمحت الى صلاة الأمهات

لأنك لم تخلقنا لكي نقتل بعضنا بعضاً

وليس لكي نعيش بحالة من الخوف, الغضب والكراهية في عالمك هذا

بل لكي نسمح لبعضنا البعض أن نذكر أسمك

اسم الحياة, اسم السلام في العالم.

God of Life...

Who heals the broken hearted and binds up their wounds

May it be your will to hear the prayer of mothers

For you did not create us to kill each other

Nor to live in fear, anger or hatred in your world

But rather you have created us so we can grant permission to one another to sanctify Your name of Life, Your Name of Peace in this world.

על אלה אני בוכיה עיני עיני יורדה מים

על ילדים בוכים מפחד בלילות

על הורים אוחזים עולליהם וייאוש ואפלה בלבם

על שער אשר נסגר ומי יקום ויפתחהו טרם פנה יום

على جميع هؤلاء أنا أبكي دوماً

أبكي خوفاً على الأطفال في الليالي

يحمل الآباء أطفالهم الصغار واليأس والظلام في قلوبهم

على البوابة التي أغلقت والتي لا نعرف من سوف يقوم بفتحها

For these things I weep, my eye, my eye runs down with water

For our children crying at nights,

For parents holding their children with despair and darkness in their hearts

For a gate that is closing and who will open it while day has not yet dawned.

ובדמעות ובתפלות שאני מתפללת כל הזמן

ובדמעות כל הנשים שכואבות את הכאב החזק בזמן הקשה הזה

הריני מרימה את ידיי למעלה אנא ממך אדוני רחם עלינו

שמע קולנו ה׳ אלהינו בימי הרעה האלה שלא נתייאש

ונראה חיים זה בזה

ונרחם זה על זה

ונצטער זה על זה

ונקווה לזה לזה

وبالدموع والصلوات التي أصليها طيلة الوقت

وبدموع النساء اللواتي يشعرن بهذا الألم القوي في هذه الأوقات العصيبة

أنا أرفع يدي اليك يا ربي أن ترحمنا

لنعيش مع بعضنا البعض

ونشفق على بعضنا البعض

ونواسي بعضنا البعض

ونأمل الخير لبعضنا البعض

And with my tears and prayers which I pray

And with the tears of all women who deeply feel the pain of these difficult days

I raise my hands to you please God have mercy on us

Hear our voice that we shall not despair

That we shall see life in each other,

That we shall have mercy for each other,

That we shall have pity on each other,

That we shall hope for each other.

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