A dispatch from Bruce Barrett of IWagePeace.org:
Every time I meet Nour and Erez of Combatants For Peace I learn something new. (I am going to expose some of my ignorance here, become vulnerable to attack, and I hope, not offend anyone) Until I met Erez, I never really understood how being a Jew was a cultural identity and/or a religious identity. This is because I was taught Judaism was a religion, (and as Jesus was Jewish, I felt close to the Jewish faith,) but I never understood how being Jewish could be a cultural and/or a religious identity.
I know this sounds strange to my Jewish brothers and sisters, but I just didn’t “get it” until I met Erez Krispin, the Israeli Jew from Combatants For Peace. For nearly an hour he shared with me his thoughts and feelings as a Jew, as part of the Jewish people, with Israel as his homeland, and also the national homeland for the Jewish people. All the while Nour Shehada, the Muslim Palestinian, listened intensely, commenting and asking questions along the way. It was a brilliant example of peace making, where each party honors the identity of the other.
Rabbi Ponet of the Joseph Slifka Center for Jewish life at Yale extended my understanding when he said “It’s not a rational or irrational thing, its a fact of human culture that when a group of people for an extended period of time identify themselves as, say the “Irish” or “the Jews”, then they are, by definition, a people. When a Christian stops practicing his faith, he no longer calls himself a Christian, and so Christianity is a religion. But Jews call themselves Jews no matter what, and so… they are a people.”
Now some of you are smiling and saying “Dahhh.” But I ask that you please be gentle when you see me because others of you are perhaps hearing this for the first time. You see, this is peacemaking, making ourselves vulnerable to hear something for the first time. I hope you will come to the walk…
At 6 p.m. Monday, July 16, 2012, at the New Haven Green across from the Library. Park on Temple Street or in the Temple Street lot between Wall and Elm.
See you at the Walk,
About the Walk
The 2012 IWagePeace Walk brings Mosques, Synagogues, Churches, and Peace groups, both religious and non-religious, together for a publicly visible 60 minute walk through down town New Haven.
Starting at the green in New Haven, walkers will visit three centers of faith and culture: United Church on the Green, The Joseph Slifka Center for Jewish Life at Yale, and Masjid al Islam. At each stop we will extend a public greeting to the community we visit, and receive a word of welcome from the minister, rabbi, or imam representing that organization. Learn more at www.IWagePeaceWalk.Org
Thank you for Waging Peace,
Bruce A. Barrett
Walk and Wear your shirts!
Monday, July 16, 6 p.m. New Haven Green
Order Now and get them delivered! Wear them and spread the word! Thirty-five faith communities and cultural groups have sponsored their names on the back of the shirt under the words “We do not have to agree on everything to work together for Justice and Peace.”
Metro Blue Pink
Revenue from shirt sales will be donated to The Combatants For Peace and Kids4Peace. Order them now so we can mail them to you before the walk.”Special thanks to my daughter Sarah for helping place the feet and choosing the colors. Don’t the look great!
“We don’t need to agree on everything…
…to work together for justice and peace.”
Woodmont United Church of Christ (UCC)
Masjid Al-Islam of New Haven
Joseph Slifka Center For Jewish Life At Yale
United Church on the Green (UCC)
The Combatants For Peace
Dominican Sisters of Peace
Congregation Mishkan Israel
The Muslim Coalition of CT
First Presbyterian Church of New Haven
Our Lady of Victory
Saint John Vianny
Islamic Association of Greater Hartford
Trinity Episcopal Church on the Green
Congregation Sinai of Milford
Congregational Church of Naugatuck
North Haven Congregational Church (UCC)
Episcopal Church of the Holy Spirit, WH
Trinity Episcopal Church of Southport
Jews for Justice and Peace
Silver Lake Conference Center
The New Haven Islamic Center
Trinity Lutheran Church of Milford
First and Wesley United Methodist Church
Tree of Life Educational Fund
The Foundation For Middle East Peace
First Congregational Church of Old Lyme
Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedak of Chester
First Congregational Church of Guilford (PAJ)
Guns Down Books Up
First United Church of Christ (Congregational) Milford
Peace Task Force of the Unitarian Society of New Haven
United Presbyterian Church of Milford
Bruce, Nour, and Erez honoring the flags of Israel and Palestine.