Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb Addresses 2015 Parliament of the World’s Religions
Peace Be With You
Yivaneh Beit Ha-Shekinah Bimheyrah b’lebaynu
Build a House of Peace…quickly in our hearts.
May this story be a prayer.
Once, as a women Rabbi, that’s me, [[applause]], Thank you, I represent women in leadership speaking about ourselves in our own voices.
I was taught by my ancestors that it is not enough to speak, but you must also do, and so invited by the Fellowship of Reconciliation I went to Iran, and was the first women Rabbi to go to Iran, ever.
And I met the Jewish community there and I also met many many Muslims there. And once at Jamkaran, where we were praying, the men with the men, the women with the women, we came out, the night had fallen upon us, and as we were walking out of this beautiful place a young Imam said “Rabbi! Rabbi!” and I turned to him.
He said “This place is holy to us because it has a well of waters in which the Mahdi (Shiaa messiah) appeared as a sign of compassion for the people”.
I said “ Alhumdiliah”
He said “You have a custom like this in Jerusalem. We tie red ribbons on the grill of the well and you put notes on the wall in Jerusalem.”
I said “Yes”
He said “You know this place is holy, but it is not intrinsically holy, the whole Earth is holy”
I said “Yes, we say the same thing, the whole world is holy: Milo kawl ha-aretz kavodo. Jerusalem isn’t intrinsically holy. Jerusalem belongs to everyone, Muslim, Christian and Jews, and the whole world is holy”
He said, quoting the Persian poet Saadi “If you harm one human being then you harm the whole”
And I quoted the Baal Shem Tov and said “All of us are connected to the root of humanity, if we harm one we harm the whole.”
I turned around at that moment because I felt something behind me, and saw all the worshippers at Jamkaran, about 3-400 hundred people listening to a young Shi’ia Imam and a Rabbi speaking words of peace, and i thought to myself, the words of the Kotzker Rebbe “Where is Peace? Wherever You let Peace In”
So may it be for us, may there be peace and justice (because we choose to let it in). I cannot stand here before you today, without praying that the wounds of the holocaust and genocide for all people are healed, and that there is justice for my cousins the Palestinian people.