My grandmother, may she live long and strong at 96 now, used to say "kaynahurah" whenever she or anyone would say something they hoped for or whenever someone talked about the possibility of something good. It was her way of putting a protection spell on our hopes and dreams. It is a yiddish phrase to ward off the evil eye, and she still says it to me when we talk most Sunday mornings when we can start the morning together on the phone.
Grandma, may your protection spell work well here, on us. On those working for ceasefire everywhere. May there be a ceasefire now, kaynuhurah. May there be a release of all hostages, kaynuhurah. May there be an end to unrestricted military aid to the farthest right wing government in Israel's history, kaynuhurah. May there be abundant and unconditional humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza, as a start, k'aynuhurah. May the memories of each and every one of the nearly 11,000 lives lost be a blessing and peace be upon them, kaynuhurah. May there be a just and reconciliatory end of Israeli occupation, kaynuhurah. May there be stumbling blocks before the Christian Zionists and all powers in the world that wish to dispense of Jews and Muslims, kaynuhurah. May there be interference and interruption of all White Christian Nationalists and settler colonialists who wish to dispose of indigenous peoples, Black peoples, and people of color throughout the world. Kaynuhurah. May there be accountability and forgiveness for all those who can't figure out how to call for an end to violence, kaynuhurah.
Six months from now, my oldest daughter will read from the torah as a bat mitzvah. She will chant the phrase "do not stand idly by the blood of your friend/companion." those whom we are in it with. May we expand our idea of who is a friend, a companion on this one sacred Earth. She will chant the phrase "love your neighbor as yourself." Will we be listening? Will we be able to say, yes! Check! Did it and still doing it. Or, will we still be ignoring this ancient teaching, dishonoring our ancestors, blaspheming our precious traditions and their intersections.
May she chant these words into a world that is actively engaging, not turned away, unwilling. May her voice not fall on hardened hearts, and calcified stances. May her potential passion for these universal teachings not be tamped down by dehumanizing complexification of that which is plain. And simple. We will not stand idly by. We will love each other. We will protect life. Ceasefire now. Let Gaza live. Free the hostages. K'nay'nuhurah.