BLOG from the Holy Land #5 – Sept. 12, 2016

Yesterday was a muslim holiday celebrating the sacrifice of Ishmael by his father, Abraham. In our Judeo-Christian culture we speak about the sacrifice of Isaac, not his brother Ishmael. We then find this fundamental disagreement built in from 1500 years ago. Who is right? Perhaps the stories are prophetic tellings of what was to come. If we see these stories symbolically both Isaac and Ishmael are being sacrificed today. Where is the angel who comes at the last moment to save the victims of God’s testing and teaching?

In the midst of the feast day yesterday the atmosphere suddenly changed and we learned of another shooting, another murder, happening close to where we are staying in the home of our dear friend, Ghassan Manasra and his family. In this digital era events are known almost as they are happening. Ghassan was being visited by some Israeli Jewish philosophers and scholars. They all said guns are readily available here and violence follows the instruments of violence.

The sadness of the shooting left a pale over the rest of the day but somehow Abed Manasra and his wife Issra made some incredibly soulful music and we all cried and gave thanks for each other and the incredible human capacity to transform pain.

The angel who will come from God and transform the sacrifice is waiting for an invitation. Abraham invited the angel to come in his hour of need. Our challenge is to find a way to create a real invitation today. We are trying to create that by sacrificing our concepts of right and wrong and crafting the real invitation for peace from our tears and pain. By sharing and listening to the other our soul, our internal angel, is creating peace, a peace that passes understanding.

Shahabuddin BLOG
With love and blessings from the Holy Land,
David Less