No Vengeance: Words from a Mother Who Lost a Child to Hamas

I invite you to partake of the moving YouTube video in this daily meditation from Michal Halev, mother of a young man slain by the Hamas invasion of Israel.  It is called “No vengeance in my name – the call of Michal Halev.”  

A grieving mother begs for the fighting to stop — not only in Israel/Palestine, but all over the world. Video by Yael Deckelbaum.

She speaks eloquently from her broken heart to the question I posed last week:

Can humanity survive without compassion?

Can humanity survive without forgiveness?

Can humanity survive without justice?

Can humanity survive with an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth?

Can humanity survive by putting its reptilian brain out front and first?

Can humanity survive in a context of “I win and you lose”?

Muslim women in mourning. Photo by Mehdi Sepehri on Unsplash.

Can humanity survive by war and more wars?

Can humanity survive without love?

Can humanity survive with strongmen dictating political decisions in the name of society?

Can humanity survive on vengeance?

Listen to this mother who lost her son who, in her grief, begs that vengeance not be done in her name.

Listen to her speak on behalf of the mothers in Gaza, who are losing their children also.

This is a spiritual warrior.

David Lorimer, MA, PGCE, FRSA, author of two poems that Matthew is reading in today’s video below. Picture taken from his website.

This is inner strength.

This is the sacred masculine and sacred feminine at work.

This is compassion.

This is the future, if we have one and deserve one as a species. 

I thank David Lorimer for forwarding me this video, and for the two poems he wrote in response to it and the events going on in Palestine and Israel today.

See Matthew Fox, A Spirituality Named Compassion: Uniting Mystical Awareness with Social Justice

And Fox, The Hidden Spirituality of Men: Ten Metaphors To Awaken the Sacred Masculine.

To read the transcript of Matthew Fox’s video teaching, click HERE

Banner Image: Jews pray at the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem. Photo by stinne24. Pixabay. 

Queries for Contemplation

What is your response to watching and praying this video? What can be the response of the Israeli government? Of the people of Gaza? Of the American government? Of the United Nations?

Recommended Reading

A Spirituality Named Compassion: Uniting Mystical Awareness with Social Justice

In A Spirituality Named Compassion, Matthew Fox delivers a profound exploration of the meaning and practice of compassion. Establishing a spirituality for the future that promises personal, social, and global healing, Fox marries mysticism with social justice, leading the way toward a gentler and more ecological spirituality and an acceptance of our interdependence which is the substratum of all compassionate activity.
“Well worth our deepest consideration…Puts compassion into its proper focus after centuries of neglect.” –The Catholic Register

The Hidden Spirituality of Men: Ten Metaphors to Awaken the Sacred Masculine

To awaken what Fox calls “the sacred masculine,” he unearths ten metaphors, or archetypes, ranging from the Green Man, an ancient pagan symbol of our fundamental relationship with nature,  to the Spiritual Warrior….These timeless archetypes can inspire men to pursue their higher calling to connect to their deepest selves and to reinvent the world.
“Every man on this planet should read this book — not to mention every woman who wants to understand the struggles, often unconscious, that shape the men they know.” — Rabbi Michael Lerner, author of The Left Hand of God

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6 thoughts on “No Vengeance: Words from a Mother Who Lost a Child to Hamas”

  1. Avatar

    Psalm of the Mothers

    Weeping, tears gather
    Grief coalescing in brass bowls
    Lamentations stirring over
    Salty still waters.

    Misty veils parting
    Anguished cries
    Lit tapers arise
    pleas of the Mothers

    Uniting Spirits
    Prayerfully uttering
    No vengeance
    In my name.

    Wounded hearts
    Breaking open
    Painfully birthing
    Lost dreams.

    Longingly mourning
    The awaited dawning
    Of peace yet to come
    Gestating, amidst war.

    Ghost dancers
    Clothed in black
    Chant healing songs
    Consoling lost sons.

    Madonna’s Mantle
    Comforts innocent souls
    Transforming wounds
    With anointing oils.

    Myrrh bearers arrive
    Breaking open
    Alabaster jars
    Poured out over all.

    Holy fragrances
    Arise in the wombs
    Of all Mothers
    Pulsating as One.


  2. Avatar

    Just today I was doing some journaling, and suddenly I saw that I hadn’t forgiven someone for something she said to me once; which was really a mean thing to say, which totally hurt my feelings. I was really shaken by the encounter. I see this person on a regular basis, and it’s a very uneasy and treacherous relationship for me. But I have to see her for certain reasons. Wow, was I surprised; that I hadn’t forgiven. I had categorized her offense as a “capital offense”, and my “reptilian brain” had stamped her a total scumbag. And then I tried to deal with her normally, all the while denying what I had done. It never occurred to me to forgive her, because I had banished it from my consciousness. But I carried that pain and anger over what she had said; and that I was aware of, and it was a painful burden. I am today working on this act of forgiveness I want to make. I see it’s importance!!

  3. Avatar
    Greg Allen Russell

    Powerful life affirming videos. Thank you. “No vengeance in my name.” A grief-filled, forgiving response to life shattering violence that is so hard to imagine yet so true. I want no one killed in my name or my son’s name is perhaps our deepest feeling under the rage and hurt and confusion. I am moved listening to her and the poems today. May we live together in peace and may that be true for our children and our children’s children as the poem so elegantly expresses.

  4. Avatar

    This woman’s plea is so important. No vengeance in my name. Revenge is how we try to make others suffer our pain as a defense against bearing it ourselves. “When will they ever learn, when will they ever learn.” Peter, Paul and Mary: Where Have All the Flowers Gone.

  5. Avatar

    “Love in its special dimension of compassion constitutes one of the foundations of any civilized society. May compassion ever deepen my caring for the suffering of the world and still more my desire to heal it. May my compassion cause me to immediately embrace any suffering I become aware of, not by taking it in and suffering with the other one, but by uplifting it in thought with the inspiration of Grace and depositing it at the feet of the infinite Love which heals all.” Pierre Pradervand

  6. Avatar

    I would love to see the world leaders of the 3 Abrahamic faiths gather in Jerusalem and speak at length and in detail about how the violence that is happening is against all the tenets of their faiths. I would love to see the Israeli, American, and other involved leaders speak out against the violence from the secular point of view, how the desire for vengeance is perpetual, etc. , and how the cost in loss of lives and destruction to lives and property can never be justified. Instead, we have the shameful sight of candidates for the U.S. presidency in Iowa just feeding the hatred. We have a young Palestinian murdered in the U.S. Yesterday I watched a very poignant and moving service from the UCC Berkeley in which the question, who benefits from all this violence? was posed, and in which many other questions were raised from the congregation. It was a service of lamentation. I think that we must also lament with all those who are suffering and pray for their relief. And do everything to deal with our own internal spiritual health and then carry the love and justice out to others. As I have often mentioned, support of the organizations helping the refugees and the injured with donations will help—and vigorous demands of elected officials to stop the rhetoric and send humanitarian aid, not weapons. Because those who are benefitting the most are arms manufacturers.

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