Fast for Peace

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Join in a one-day Fast for Peace on Tuesday, July 15, called by some a Hunger Strike Against Violence.

Rabbi Arthur Waskow and the Shalom Center point out: This day is in both Muslim and Jewish traditions a time of Fasting from sunrise to sunset, arousing inner spiritual reflection and shared effort to turn from violence to compassion, from idolatry to celebration of the One. This year it is specially intended as a response to the worsening spiral of violence between Israelis and Palestinians. Tuesday, July 15, in the Jewish calendar is the 17th of Tammuz. It commemorates the day in 586 BCE when the Babylonian Army broke through the walls of Jerusalem. Three weeks later, on Tisha B'Av (the 9th of Av) the invaders destroyed the First Temple. The Fast therefore recalls the suffering of people subjected to war and conquest by more powerful armies, and renews our sacred calling for compassion rather than hatred.

This year, the Jewish lunar month of Tammuz coincides with the Muslim lunar month of Ramadan, during which Muslims fast on every day from sunrise to sunset. During that month Mohammed the Prophet, peace be upon him, first received the early revelations that came to make up the Quran.

This day of fasting is not just for Jews and Muslims--It's for everyone who wants to say "no" to Netanyahu and the Israeli forces of violence and "no" to Hamas and the Palestinian forces of violence. Instead, we must say "yes" to peace, reconcilitation of the heart, non-violence and dedication to the struggle for the peace, environmentals sanity for all people on the planet.

But of course, fasting is not enough. Neither are demonstrations against the violence on both sides. These are valuable things to do, but a more serious effort will begin when you and others you know are ready to articulate what a world of love and kindness could look like, in the Middle East but also here in the U.S., how it could work, and what you and your neighbors are going to do to make it all happen!

Text from the Network of Spiritual Progressives.