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Jewish Perspectives on this Moment

A special session for non-Jewish clergy
Rabbi Justus Baird is a Senior Vice President at the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America. He directs the North American Kogod Research Center and oversees the Institute’s interfaith and intergroup work. Prior to joining Hartman in 2019, Justus was the Dean of Auburn Seminary. He was ordained at HUC-JIR and is an alumnus of both the Wexner Graduate Fellowship and the Hartman Rabbinic Leadership Initiative (RLI). Raised in Texas, Justus lives in Montclair, NJ,

Mijal Bitton

Tamar Elad-Appelbaum

The unfolding war between Israel and Hamas is affecting Israelis, and Jews in North America, more deeply than any other event in the last fifty years. How can non-Jewish clergy connect to and support local Jewish communities in this time of war? Why are Jews in North America so affected? This unique session, designed for North American clergy who are not Jewish, presents insider Jewish perspectives from Israel and the U.S. about how Jewish communities are experiencing this moment and how to reach out to them.

Hear from three Jewish spiritual and communal leaders: Tamar Elad-Appelbaum (Jerusalem), Mijal Bitton (New York), and Justus Baird (New York).

Prayer of Mothers for Life and Peace:

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.

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 before the day has ended?

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.

And we shall write our lives in the book of Life
For your sake God of Life
Let us choose Life.

For you are Peace, your world is Peace and all that is yours is Peace,
And so shall be your will and let us say Amen.


Prayer written by Sheikha Ibtisam Maḥameed and Rabbi Tamar Elad-Appelbaum. English translation by Rabbi Amichai Lau-Lavie. Additional information about the prayer, including original languages and copyright info, available at the Open Siddur Project.

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