In a Time of War, “A Prayer for Peace” and “One Day”
By Dr. Josh Krug, Director of Jewish Life and Learning
I remember, after a presidential election some years ago, my dad told me that this was not the country that he and my mom hoped it would be. I was grateful for his candid sharing about the pain of wanting and expecting another reality, different from what is.
At the moment, I am recalling that moment, as I think about what is going on in Eastern Europe as one sovereign nation invades another sovereign nation. This sort of news story evokes memories of learning about earlier conflicts in that region, from where many in our Kehillah community claim roots.
The Motherland Monument is pictured at dawn Kyiv, Ukraine on Friday, February 25, 2022. (Evgen Kotenko/ Ukrinform/Future Publishing/Getty Images)
In this time of dissonance between the world as it is and the world as it might be, I returned to page 416 of Siddur Sim Shalom (the Siddur I used growing up),
“A Prayer for Peace” reprinted here in English translation:
I had hoped to have profound reflections about these lines or helpful connections between these lines and the current reality. Alas, I do not feel that I have especially much to add. I think these lines speak for themselves. It is worth noting though that these lines evoke the biblical Isaiah’s vision of a world at peace. Matisyahu, American reggae singer, also articulated this yearning for a better way as he riffed on Isaiah 2:4 in “One Day”:
I am feeling a gratitude for these poetic and musical yearnings for “One Day” all the more because I just checked in with a friend who is based in Ukraine. Larysa told me that tomorrow will likely bring a new day of attacks and further said, “Pray for us… this is not easy at all.”
This Shabbat, may we dream of peace, and in the days ahead, may we manifest Isaiah’s vision of peace and coexistence.
On February 25, 2022, we paused our usual fun and games that Kab Shab is filled with, for a song-filled and intention-bringing moment.