Wednesday, 23 September 2009

PRAYING FOR PEACE

Thanks to Leonardo for passing on this story, which humorously reminds us of the intractable nature of the ongoing conflict in the Middle East.
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LLIVE FROM JERUSALEM.
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A reporter goes to Israel to cover the fighting. She is looking for something emotional and positive and of human interest. Something like that guy in Sarajevo who risked his life to play the cello everyday in the town square.
In Jerusalem, she heard about an old Jew who had been going to the Wailing Wall to pray, twice a day, every day, for a long, long time. So she went to check it out. She goes to the Wailing Wall and there he is!
So she watches him pray and after about 45 minutes, when he turns to leave, she approaches him for an interview.
"Rebecca Smith, CNN News. Sir, how long have you been coming to the Wall and praying?"
"For about 50 years."
"What do you pray for?"
"For peace between the Jews and the Arabs. For all the hatred to stop. For our children to grow up in safety and friendship."
"How do you feel after doing this for 50 years?"
"Like I'm talking to a bloomin’ wall."

6 comments:

John said...

Not Funny

Dew of Hermon said...

Hi John,
I didnt mean to suggest that the trouble in the Middle East is a laughing matter, far from it as we know from Scripture that God will ultimately have His way even in that 'trouble spot'. However, I thought the 'story' wryly pointed out the frusterations of even the most devout when prayers do not seem to be answered.Of course prayer is vital and effective but sometimes the heavens can seem like brass and our pleadings appear to be in vain.
Gerry

Brian said...

You should catch up with Tommy Tiernan sometime and the two of ye could have a good laugh

Dew of Hermon said...

I dont think so Brian, there is a vast difference between a tongue-in-cheek story aout the frusteration of seeking peace in the Middle East and treating the holocaust as a laughing matter. For the record I think Tommy Tiernan has crossed a line here going from comedy to an anti-semetic rant.
Gerry

Brian Mc said...

I agree with you Ger, I was only jesting.

Leonardo de la Paor said...

Gerry,

Most, if not all of your readers have never studied the Talmud. I have! Here are a few excerpts from Talmudic Judaism. These are the people Jesus is talking about in John 8:44-47 & Matthew ch. 15


Treating God in such an informal and familiar manner is also common in Chassidic tales, which have also certainly been influenced by the Talmudic stories. In Chassidic stories, God is often chided, albeit in a warm manner, for the harshness of the Diaspora and for not helping his people.
For example, in one classic story, three Chassidic rabbis (Rabbi Elimelech of Lizhensk, Rabbi Israel of Koznitz, and the seer of Lublin) acted as the Jewish court in a suit brought by an individual against God. Their verdict was that the plaintiff was right and God was wrong for allowing the emperor to issue an edict against the Jews. God, of course, had no choice and had to obey the final verdict of the court: The decree was annulled.
In another story, the famous Rabbi Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev once declared to God that if He did not forgive the Jewish people their sins then he would tell the whole world that God’s phylacteries were invalid. According to the Talmud, God’s phylacteries contain the verse: "And Who is like Your people Israel, a unique nation on earth." Rabbi Levi exclaimed that if God did not forgive Israel their sins then they were not a "unique nation on earth," thus making His phylacteries invalid! On another occasion he scolded God and said: The Jewish people are your phylacteries. When one of the phylacteries of a simple Jew falls on the ground he picks it up carefully and kisses it. Dear Lord! Your phylacteries have fallen to the ground.
In Jewish literature too, God is quite frequently portrayed in a warm, amicable, and almost disrespectful, manner. For example, Sholom Aleichem’s unforgettable character, Tevye the dairyman, had Job-like conversations with God: "O God, All-powerful and All-Merciful, great and good, kind and just, how does it happen that to some people you give everything and to others nothing?" Even in the middle of his prayer, Tevye would interject his own personal comments: "Thou sustainest the living with loving kindness -- and, sometimes, with a little food." Tevye could even be somewhat sarcastic at times: "With God’s help, I starved to death three times a day, not counting supper."