Just an hour after this picture was taken at noon this afternoon, the Churva was filled to the brim with yeshiva boys and neighbourhood residents all called together to recite tehillim for more than an hour, in lieu of the potential strike by Syria and our enemies.

On the other side of the city, hundreds stood in line for hours, unsuccessfully trying to get their gas masks just as a precaution in the event of a strike.

Meanwhile, all was quiet and serene at the Kotel (Western Wall). kotel

People are always in a good mood and easily taken into a talk about spirituality here.

The month of Elul is in the air. We jump from shiur (Torah class) to shiur, each with another idea about what is the best thing to try and fix in our middos (character traits) and avodas Hashem (divine service) in the last few days we have left until judgment day (Rosh Hashanah).

I sat at the Kotel this morning and in business-like fashion, wrote out a list of all the possible things I could have done wrong this year, and all of the possible people I could have wronged this year. As I spoke aloud what I did and that I was truly sorry for it and never wanted to do it again, I crossed it off and went to the next, making sure to feel that it impacted my heart. I then went home and wrote a very difficult apology letter to a person I knew was upset at me (even though I quite honestly felt that I was the one who should be getting an apology). My hishtadlus (physical efforts in this spiritual world) was to get into her head-space and justify her, even if I technically did not have to.

When my kids got nervous today after their prayer session, I said they could take comfort in doing one thing to make shalom (peace) between them and each other in our home, so the Holy One will emulate us and make peace with our enemies.

I implore each one of you who reads this to do the same. Do one act to make peace with another person who feels either that you have wronged them, or forgive someone who you feel has wronged you. Even if you are right. Do it for the sake of the peace of the world. Making peace is greater than doing teshuva. Maybe it will be in your merit.

With blessings from Jerusalem,

7 responses to “Hour Long Psalm Prayer Session Today for Peace in Israel!”

  1. Wendy Beth says:

    This could very well be the strangest question you’ve ever received. It’s a bit shocking

    Recently a dear friend opened up to me and asked about forgiveness before Rosh Hashana. She asked sincerely, but admits to hatred in her heart for what the perpetrator did. I admitted to her that this kind of question is far beyond my ken. I’m only a layperson.

    She would like to know how to forgive a Jewish cousin who intentionallly set her family’s home on fire when she was young. The results were that 1. The family went through untold suffering, being homeless, as they were, for some time, and. 2. The youngest child does not acknowledge the rest of the family, perhaps because he was hit particularly hard. The worst is that the cousin was coerced into the act by the estranged husband – the FATHER of the children – seeking retribution against his wife.

    What can I possibly tell her? By the way: she herself is in very good shape, with husband and family.

    Sincerely yours, Wendy Beth

    • batyaburd says:

      Wow Wendy,
      That definitely takes the cake in terms of an extremely terrible act to forgive.

      It reminds me of a story.
      During one of the Israeli wars of the past hundred years, the entire Yeshivas Mir was huddled next to the Torah, doors sealed expecting a bomb to hit them any minute. The women were on one side praying, and the men were on another side. The Rosh Yeshiva overheard an old woman praying next to the separation. She said, Hashem, I am an agunah (a woman who did not receive a get from her husband after they were separated and so can never remarry). I am poor with many children. My husband has been terrible, left me with no recourse in life and treated me terribly and left me in a dead end situation. I have every right to be mad at him my whole life, but I will forgive him completely right now, and You too, I ask in turn, forgive us and save us. Just then everyone heard a loud boom. It turns out that a missile hit the building, but instead of detonating, miraculously went dead and just landed on the building without hurting a fly.

      The Rosh Yeshiva immediately called the men together and related what he had heard. He said that in this woman’s merit, the entire yeshiva had been saved.

      We never know why we have to go through a certain suffering in life. But we do know that it is for a reason and that each bullet has an address and is meant for someone specifically to teach them and others.

      First of all, you should and probably did console your friend tremendously. Tell her, and I know it is hard to believe, but that part of the reason she was born into this world is to go through this specific incident and work it out and forgive. Perhaps she did something heinous to her cousin in a past life and now it was time to even the scales until one person decides to be the bigger person and end the entire ugly cycle. Anger is an energy that she is carrying with her. It is a burden she is carrying and will continue on with her soul into the after life and may even cause her to have to come back in a gilgul (reincarnation) to have to work out again.
      If she can do it now, i.e. forgive her, she can stop it once and for all. She will be doing an incredible kindness to her own soul, that desperately wants to be free from negativity and make space for G-dliness. She will also be freeing herself from a never ending drama with this cousin that will carry on beyond this lifetime and quite likely onto the next, to re-experience once again until she hopefully finally, makes peace. So now is the time to do it. I know a wonderful healing therapist who can help her with this if she would like. Let me know. We are only here to learn, grow and become unconditionally loving and forgiving just like G-d. This is her big chance to shine and fulfill one of her greatest and hardest missions here. She should start first with praying that she is able to forgive. That will open the window..

  2. Evelyn M.E. Sholter says:

    I is a very humbling experience to forgive someone who themselves are arogant and at faultAlthough a humbling experience,It does build character.We in Canada love you all and keep us in your prayers

  3. chan keng yik says:

    God bless Israel and the world amen

  4. Thank you so much for your very meaningful words.

  5. tzaddekis says:

    do you have to forgive only a jewish person or do non-jews have the same forgiveness criteria?

    • batyaburd says:

      The actual mitzva is for a Jew.
      But, as you can see from my reply to Wendy above, a person would be a fool not to take the opportunity to forgive anyone.

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