A Message from Spirit of the Galilee
God is with the brokenhearted
This is a devastating time in the Holy Land.
As we all know, terrible violence has befallen Israel/Palestine.
The trauma here is beyond description.
After some shock wore off, our Leadership Group met to share, mourn, pray, and think together what we as spiritual leaders of various faiths in the Galilee, who believe in peace where there is conflict, and love across difference, can do to make our collective voice heard.
The meeting was a salve for our broken hearts and motivated us into collective action.
We composed the following statement to be a voice of reason, love, compassion, connection, and universal faith in the good of humankind, to counter the voices of hate and separation in the name of God now flooding the world:
An Urgent Call for Tolerance and Peace
We, people of faith, leaders from all religions and denominations, promote a shared society based on interfaith dialogue, mutual respect and hope for a just and true peace.
We are heartbroken from the tremendous suffering and unimaginable cruelty of the events of the last few days, in which thousands of innocent men, women, and children were murdered, and are still being killed.
Together we hurt with all the family and friends who lost their loved ones.
Together, we cry out for a quick salvation for all those missing, for the immediate freedom of all the captives, and for a complete recovery for all the victims.
As Jews, Muslims, Christians and Druze - we all believe that each person was created by God and in God’s image. We all believe in the human duty to choose life, and to preserve life. We condemn and denounce any use of religion as an excuse and justification for harming a person.
Even though we pray in different languages and from different holy books, even though we observe different customs and live in different communities - we are all sons and daughters of this land and wish to continue living in it together, in peace, safety, and tolerance. Anger and fear are natural emotions, but we must not succumb to them, we must not sink into the poison of revenge and hatred.
We must make sure the violence that has spread in the border areas in the south and north does not spill over into the spaces where we share our lives.
Let us remember that we are neighbors, partners and friends - and not enemies. This is our responsibility.
At this difficult time, when we are in a campaign to restore security and peace to our country, and the sword of war passes through the land, we call on all people of this place to garner the strength not to lose hope in thee long-term vision of peace and partnership among us.
"A Voice is hear in Ramah, mourning and great weeping, Rachel weeping for here children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more." (Jeremiah 31:14)
"For the sake of my family and friends I will say, 'Peace be within you'. For the sake of the house of thee LORD our God, I will seek your prosperity." (Psalm 122:14)
"Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful." (Luke 6:36)
"But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to ruse on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous." (Matthew 5:44-45)
"And Allah invites ˹all˺ to the Home of Peace and guides whoever He wills to the Straight Path." (Quran Surat Yunus 10:25)
Spirit of the Galilee Zoom meeting for prayer and sharing a few days after Hamas' attack
A call for help...
In these difficult times, Spirit of the Galilee is raising funds to aid civilians in the Galilee, Jews and Arabs alike, who are in need during wartime. Communities, families, and individuals have many needs - both physical and emotional - to get through these challenging times. Many people fall through the cracks of state and even charitable emergency funding; we, as community spiritual leaders are uniquely situated to both locate those in need and get the money to them quickly and discreetly.
Thank you for your support
A Healing Prayer from the Galilee
El Na Refah Na Lah Please, God, heal her! (Numbers 12:13). These are the words Moses cries out to beseech God to heal his sister Miriam from leprosy. To this day, we use these words as a prayer for healing of body and spirit. We, too, call our to God now to heal the wounded and those broken in spirit from the horrors we have witnessed. We hope our rendition helps heal your spirit, too, in the face of such darkness.
Until next month, shalom!