Commemoration of 2nd Anniversary of the War in Iraq

Submitted by Sarah Gonzales on November 15, 2005 - 4:45pm. ::

RABBI SHAUL OSADCHEY ~ CONGREGATION OR AMI at "Sing Peace" event in Houston, Mar. 19, 2005 

Shalom Aleichem, Salaam Aleikum

Peace Be Unto You   I stand before you as a member of the Abrahamic tradition that includes Jews, Christians, and Moslems. The tent of Abraham, Sarah, and Hagar was open in all four directions in order to more easily greet travelers and provide them with food and hospitality. From their example flowed the three faiths that each in their own way foster compassion, seek justice, and pursue peace for all peoples.

This evening our attention turns to the region where Abraham was nurtured and where he embraced the notion of one universal God that cares for all of creation. Our hearts are heavy because of the violence that has become commonplace and that destroys lives along with the desire to forge loving and respectful relationships among the varied peoples and traditions of the region. We grieve with the families of innocent Iraqis killed in the current war as we also mourn the loss of American soldiers and civilians who went there with a noble purpose. May their lives not be wasted in vain but rather may their memory prompt the building of a society that is guided by justice, peace, and dignity for all inhabitants.

In the name of the One God whom we all serve and celebrate, I join with you in condemning all forms of violence that diminishes freedom and human rights. I call upon our government to set a firm and speedy date for completing the safe return home from Iraq of all American soldiers and civilians under military contract. I urge the UN to work directly with Iraqi political groupings to insure that there be a democratic and truly elected government. I turn to the international community to discern meaningful ways to counter the dangers of international terrorism, to prevent the spread of nuclear and similar weapons, and to resolve conflicts over the control of oil and water.

On the second anniversary of the war in Iraq, let us remember our origins as members of the Abrahamic tradition and celebrate the prophetic vision that should guide our attitudes and actions to:  

Make peace and not war;
To effect justice and not allow oppression;
To build bridges of understanding and not erect barriers of hatred;
To heal the earth and its inhabitants and not to despoil it;
And, to renew and expand the opportunities and blessings of democracy for all peoples.  
Oseh Shalom Bimromav, Hu Ya’aseh Shalom Aleinu V’al Kol Yisrael V’Goyei Ha’aratzot, V’nomar: Amen
May the One who brings peace to the heavens, bring peace to all the nations of the world, and let us say, Amen.  

(This text is based upon a statement from the Shalom Center, Philadelphia, PA)
Rabbi Shaul Osadchey Congregation Or Ami 3342 Walnut Bend Lane Houston Tx 77042 713-334-4300

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