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Signs of the Times  •  21 March 2016  •  No. 65

Special "Good Friday" edition

¶ Recommended music for Good Friday. Henryk Górecki’s Third Symphony, Opus 36 (“Symphony of Sorrowful Songs”), second movement (“Lento e Largo,” 9:10).
        “No, Mother, do not weep, / Most chaste Queen of Heaven / Support me always.”
        This is the opening line to the Polish prayer to the Virgin Mary. The prayer was inscribed on wall 3 of cell no. 3 in the basement of the "Palace," the Nazi German Gestapo's headquarters in Zadopane, Poland. Beneath is the signature of Helena Wanda Blazusiakówna, and the words "18 years old, imprisoned since 26 September 1944."
        You can listen to the entire symphony here. (56:13)


Let the women talk! Let the women act!
Commemorating Women’s History Month

Below is the text of a peace petition issued 19 October 2000 from Jerusalem Link,
a partnership between Israeli women represented by Bat Shalom (Daughter of Peace)
and Palestinian women who were involved in the
Markaz al-Quds la l-Nissah (Jerusalem Center for Women – JCW).

We know that two peoples can live in this land. We know that our children deserve a life of dignity and peace. We do not want our children to be killed, nor do we want them to be killers. We must stop this madness. We must stop the use of brute force.

Let the women talk. Let the women act.

Let Palestinian and Israeli women lead the way. It was Israeli women who changed public opinion about the terrible and pointless war in Lebanon. It was Palestinian women who were courageous enough to engage in joint peace initiatives with Israelis. We the women can find an end to this cycle of violence as well.

Let the women talk. Let the women act.

The men tell us not to be scared. They all tell us to be strong. We are scared, and we want them to be scared too. We do not want to be "strong". We don't want them to think that they are strong enough to make the other nation disappear or go down in defeat and disgrace. We want each and every person to have the right to live in peace and dignity.

Let the women talk. Let the women act.

We want to share the resources of this land, its water, its vines, and its holy places. Jerusalem can be shared; this whole area can be shared between two independent and equal nations. Israel should not rule the lives of Palestinians. Neither Palestine nor Israel should believe that peace can be won through violence and force.

Let the women talk. Let the women act.

There are too many men with too many egos involved in burning this piece of land.

Let the women talk. Let the women act.

Bring the women in. The men have not done a good job here. They talk of a security based in might. We know that security means being good neighbors. Without forgetting the wrongs of the past, nor the unequal distribution of power, we will focus on how to live here in peace. We do not want the next generation of children to wear uniforms, to go to war. We want them to know self-determination and dignity, without the need to fight for them.

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¶ Formed in 1993, Jerusalem Link was one of the most famous and internationally acclaimed women’s programs. Unfortunately, this collaboration failed.

“In spite of attempting to overcome oppressive ethno-national discourses affecting individual and collective identities,” this and other similar organizations “have not been able to dismantle the source of the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict, namely the power asymmetry between the ‘occupier’ and the ‘occupied.'" —“Jerusalem Link: Feminism between Palestine and Israel," Giulia Daniele

¶ Such failures, too, are part of our story. There will be many more before the dawn of the Beloved Community. Despite the brutal disappointments, such defeats need not immobilize us. Though it will chasten, break our hearts, make us limp, in the end despair is a form of narcissism. To carry on we must ripen, and find a way to get over ourselves—come to sense, intuitively (that is to say, in prayer), that more is at work than we can see or measure or predict. —Ken Sehested

¶ Preach it.It’s Friday But Sunday’s Coming,” a short clip (3:34) from Tony Campolo’s most famous sermon.

¶ Benediction. “Two thousand years ago Jesus is left there hanging / Purple sky slowly turning golden / Cowards at his feet loudly laughing / Loved ones stumbling homeward / their worlds reeling / Red Tail above my head quietly soaring / Water turns from ice, creek is roaring / He says enough of all this shit, I am going."  —“Good Friday," Cowboy Junkies

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