| |

SIDIC Periodical XXI - 1988/1
Violence and Peace (Pages 20)

Other articles from this issue | Version in English | Version in French

Gleanings - Peace and violence
The Editors


The Individual
There is a spirit that is in my heart, smaller than a grain of mustard seed, greater than the earth, greater than the heavens, greater than all these worlds. (Chandogya Upanishad BOO BC)
Verse 11 of Psalm 29 is usually translated "The Lord will give strength to his people; the Lord will bless his people with peace." But the translation is gravely lacking in relation to one unique word :in Hebrew. The Hebrew word, oz, which is here translated "strength", means much more. Oz is both a daring spiritual strength and a joyful fortitude. Thus the psalmist indicated that only if persons could realize in their life a joyful fortitude coupled with daring spiritual strength would the people be blessed with peace. No writer since has expressed peacemaking in action more succintly.
Haim Gordon "Peace-making in action" in Education for Peace (Orbis books p. 223)
"Then Jacob was greatly afraid and was distressed" (Gen. 32:7) Jacob felt fear that he would be slain by his brother Esau, but distress at the thought that he Jacob might himself be a slayer.
(Tanhoma Vayishlah 4)

The family
Suppose he has to choose between a candle for the house and a candle for Hanukkah or wine for Kiddush, he should give priority to the candle for the house, for it makes for peace in the family. For even the Name of God may be erased in order to make peace between man and wife. Great is peace, for the entire Torah was given in order to make peace in the world, as it is said "her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace."
Hilchoth Meglflah Uhanukkah 4:12 from Jacob B. Agus, The Vision and The Way (F. Ungar Publishing Co. p. 99)

The Individual and Society
Therefore one man was created ... to teach you that he who kills one soul, of him it is said that it is as if he had killed an entire world for he destroys all future generations that would have come from that one person; and he who saves the life of one person, of him it is as if he had saved an entire world
B. Talmud Sanhedrin 37a)
We ordained for the children of Israel
That if anyone slew a person — unless it be
for murder or for spreading mischief in the land —it would be as if he slew the whole people; And if anyone saved a life
It would be as if he saved the life of the whole people
(Q’uran Surah 5:35)

If societies are managed with a view towards efficiency which makes violence national policy; if naked violence is concealed by the mantle of bureaucracy; and if we forget and forgive past violence in an effort to conceal the darkness of the world from ourselves; we can still hope that the hidden dimensions within humanity are indeed emerging; that mutuality will do battle against rivalism, and that swords will be turned into plowshares.
"When does night end?" asks a rabbi of his students. He rejects all of the standard answers: "When you can see another human being and recognize that he is your brother" ... "Time of the winds, time of the wolves: until the world ends, no humans will spare one another" — sing the Edda. But the Jewish tradition does not accept this: the messianic time of peace, of a world without violence, can come tomorrow — it can come today.
Uri Ben Alexander, "Violence and the Jewish Tradition' in European Judaism, 1985 Vol. 2 pp. 17-27

In heaven
Whenever destruction of the wicked takes place there is grief for them above
(Zohar 1:576)

The dialogue
We are not meeting each other just for ourselves. We certainly try to know each other better and to understand better our respective distinctive identity and the close spiritual link between us. But, knowing each other, we discover still more what brings us together for a deeper concern for humanity at large: in areas, to cite but a few such as hunger, poverty, discrimination wherever it may be found and against whomever it may be directed, and the needs of refugees. And, certainly, the great task of promoting justice and peace (cf. Ps. 85:4), the sign of the messianic age in both the Jewish and the Christian tradition. grounded in its turn in the great prophetic heritage. This "spiritual link" between us cannot fail to help us face the great challenge addressed to those who believe that God cares for all people, whom he created in his own image (cf. Gen. 1:27).
I see this at the same time as a reality and as a promise of the dialogue between the Catholic Church and Judaism, and of the relations already existing between your organisation and the Commission for Religious Relations with Judaism and with other institutions in some Rica/ Churches.
Pope John Paul El To Anti-Defamation League of B'nal B'rith 24/3/84

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God. (Mt. 5:9)


Home | Who we are | What we do | Resources | Join us | News | Contact us | Site map

Copyright Sisters of Our Lady of Sion - General House, Rome - 2011