|(photo credit: Yishai Cohen)|
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:
"May those who love you be secure.
May there be peace within your walls
and security within your citadels."
For the sake of my family and friends,
I will say, "Peace be within you."
In the snow, with those walls seeming so fortified and impenetrable, Jerusalem seems safe and at peace. Yet we all know it's not. It's history is of turmoil and strife, battles within and without those very walls.
In September 2000, with hundreds of riot police and a handful of other politicians, Ariel Sharon strutted onto the Temple Mount area where the al-Aqsa Mosque stands. As he left, a riot broke out and several people on both sides were injured. Sharon stated: "The Temple Mount is in our hands and will remain in our hands. It is the holiest site in Judaism and it is the right of every Jew to visit the Temple Mount."
When later accused of provoking the Palestinians with his visit, his response was: "What provocation is there when Jews come to visit the place with a message of peace: I am sorry about the injured, but it is the right of Jews in Israel to visit the Temple Mount."
He spoke that as though he truly didn't know there would be trouble.... then why did he go with all those riot police in tow?
Today, this picture of a peaceful winter day belies the turmoil that bubbles just below the surface in Jerusalem. Like any bubbling pot, it often splashes over the edge, scalding any who stand too close. Palestinians and Israelis still battle.
As the psalmist says, "May there be peace within you." That peace needs work ~ talk, face to face and repetitive. It needs someone to step up with hand outstretched and say, Enough. Perhaps, soon, such a leader will emerge. May it be so.