God commands us to love others as we love ourselves. If we cannot love ourselves then, how can we love others?

So it is with Peace… If we do not have peace in our hearts, “shalom bayit” or peace in our homes, how then,  can we be at peace with others?

Leonard Cohen left this earth last week, and less than three weeks before his death, he left us one of his most troubling, brilliant poems entitled, “YOU WANT IT DARKER.”  In that poem he cries out in Hebrew: hineni, hineni, I’m ready my lord.

“Hineni” was Moses’ response to God’s summons from the burning bush. “Hineni”. I am here. I am ready. As you recall, Moses had a stutter. I imagine he was mortified at first to raise his imperfect voice and speak the truth of his innermost being. But it was time. He had to move through whatever vanity, past wounds, and future fears had previously kept him from baring and speaking his naked heart.

Many of us are feeling the “Hineni” rising within us in response to these turbulent times. It is my hope that some of these events will serve you as you heed the call to let the truth of who you are shine ever more nakedly in this churning world.

Hear now a prayer of forgiveness and peace from the Jewish High holy days:

You, Lord, our eternal friend, open our hearts, we are ready Lord. Let us forgive others, so that we may forgive ourselves. With your power of healing, we can continue to fight against social and economic institutions that oppress others, or hurt the earth’s life support system. Let us do so with love in our hearts.

Lord, we seek peace, let each of us be peace. We seek justice, let us be just. We seek a world of kindness. Let us be kind. We  seek a world of generosity. Let us share all that we have with those who are in need. We seek a world of love. Let us be loving beyond all normal expectations.

And lord, let us be open, aware, sensitive and understanding.

Source of goodness and love in the universe, give us energy, the courage, the strength to engage in the struggles that must take place to transform our government, our community our homes and our hearts.

Hear, oh lord, the words of our mouths and the meditations of our hearts that they find acceptance before you.

Hineni, hineni, I am ready my Lord. Amen


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