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Door de Westelijke Muur

Israel Ambrosia - Cancellation Tree

by Asaf Rolef Ben-Shahar

"I wanted to share something with you.


For years, there was something that really troubled ‎me in the Jewish prayers. Our prayers often include something like, the Lord, God of Israel, ‎and somehow excluding all other nations in the prayer. Even in the prayer for peace – we ‎say, He who makes peace upon the heavens, may he bring peace upon us and upon all of ‎Israel.‎

And so for years, I replaced the word Israel – with all the nations, with everybody. It made ‎me feel more comfortable. But something changed in me since Saturday, and I wanted to ‎share it with you. I was thinking of the original meaning of the word Israel. It was when ‎Jacob went to the city of Luz, and struggled with an angel and did not die. He was then told ‎to change his name to Israel, which literally means – the one who can be in the presence of ‎divinity, or the one who bathes in the presence of the divine. ‎

And I thought, this is it. I want to pray for Israel. But not Israel the country or the nation, ‎not only the people who identify themselves as Israelis – but all sentient beings. I want to ‎pray that we will all be under this blanket of recognising our divinity – our infinity and our ‎capacity to create change and bring love. So I am praying – not to a god in the sky – but to ‎the God in me and in you and in every living being and every animal and plant, that we shall ‎all become Israel, we shall all be able to tolerate the presence of the divine without ‎dissociating or collapsing to violence and separation.


This is not a religious stance. In all ‎honesty, I don’t care much for religion, but a dedicated one – to truly stand for love, we ‎can remember that we are all part of the same wave, forever coming and going. And as ‎long as we are able to bathe in that presence, all is well in the world."

Asaf Rolef Ben-Shahar

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