Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Mike: Response to Rami's 7/27 Post

Beautifully written! The nature and practice of "shalom" appears to be something you've mulled over a great deal.

I agree that "shalom" is the key background concept in question, and I resonate with your description of the role of separation and alienation.

Human violence certainly is driven by fear and want. I suspect other factors are at play as well. Violence incited by want and fear at least has some semblance of a rational basis, usually related to self-perceived survival issues. What are we to make of pathological violence? Irrational violence? I mention this only to suggest that eliminating fear and want might not prove enough to end violence.

You write: "To put an end to violence, we must put an end to fear; and to put an end to fear we must re-pair ourselves with the world..., and then re-pair the world with God." I might tend to reverse the order. On the other hand, I suspect that if we pick up part of the task, we eventually find ourselves involved in what remains.

I strongly agree that unity with God is the way to find peace within ourselves, thus opening the way to pursue peace in other contexts. From the perspective of my tradition, I probably would speak of unity as becoming aligned with God's nature and purpose, but the end result appears to be similar.

I am interested to see what you have to say about "children of God."

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