The Vayigash Movement

Advancing a true peace process in the Middle East.

First Step

Understanding the Conflict

vayigash peace signThe real conflict in the Middle East is whether this will be a region where human life and peace are valued for their own sakes or one where people are taught to hate and murder under the guise of religion and nation. Until peace and human life are widely valued, formal peace agreements are unlikely to be implemented and even less likely to be maintained. But when love of peace and life are the norm, even deep-seated disagreements are unlikely to receive violent expression. Read More

Many regional actors, including Hamas, Al-Qaeda, ISIS, Iran and Hezbollah, understand the nature of the conflict and are working hard to win. Israel, sadly, has yet to even show up for this battle of ideas.

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Second Step

Understanding our Role in the Conflict

vayigash dove sign of peaceOur very raison d’etre as a nation is to facilitate improved spirituality and moral behavior of all peoples. Read More

However, many Israelis are currently being educated to be indifferent to the moral behavior of Arabs and Muslims. Our failure thus far to own our essence is not only a squandering of a long-awaited opportunity, but it is contributing to a sense of confusion, polarization and despair in an Israeli society that is no longer sure what we are doing here.

Much of the world intuitively understands what we have recently been working hard to repress: that the reemergence of a sovereign Israel should bring moral benefit to the whole world.

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Third Step

From New Mindset to Tangible Peace

There are two major ways in which widespread Israeli internalization of our essence can eventually lead to real peace in the region.

The change in mindset will direct creative energy towards finding many diverse ways of positively influencing the attitudes of our fellow Middle-Easterners. Read More

As emphasized in our religious tradition, prayers, tears and feelings can have considerable cosmic influence in their own right.

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PRAYERS FOR PEACE

jshulattack

Prayer Following Massacre in Jerusalem Shul - Yael Unterman

Hashem - please open the eyes and hearts of our neighbours in this land to make good choices instead of evil ones, to desire peaceful solutions in place of violence, to feel love instead of hate, choose life over death. We know from the story of Jonah that you want all people's hearts to turn back to You, so help and guide them to do so with strong, good leaders who can effect the change that is…

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cherlow

A Prayer for an End to Bloodshed in Syria - Rabbi Yuval Cherlow

Master of the Universe, Who makes peace in the upper echelons,
Although we are not authorized to establish prayers, we can no longer look at the slaughter which is taking place in your world and not pray. Although we know that both sides in the war spill blood callously, we cannot remain silent while so many non-combatants become casualties.
We turn to you with the prayer that simple humanity and…

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baalshemtov

A Prayer for Connectedness and Repentance

This prayer is based on a kvittel attributed to the Baal Shem Tov from the eve of Rosh Hashanah 1756. Here, we extrapolate his personal requests vis-a-vis his fellows to requests of all Israel vis-a-vis the other nations.

We request health and a good long life. May we merit forming a bond with the souls of every nation, connecting them to their roots. May all of our enemies repent and become…

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The Sheikh of Love
I can think of few compliments greater than comparing somebody to Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach zts"l. And since Reb Shlomo was one of the truly great spiritual leaders of our time and is certainly one of my personal "super-heroes," I wouldn't make such a c...
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