Hayyim Feldman
  • 67, Male
  • Somerville, Massachusetts - near Boston
  • United States
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Hayyim Feldman's Discussions

Jewish Letter of Support to Egypt

Started Feb 12, 2011 0 Replies

Not a petition, but an open letter we can sign onto at this website: Citizens and Friends…Continue

Jerusalem Peacemakers & Jerusalem Post on Sheikh Abdul Aziz Bukhari

Started this discussion. Last reply by Basil Keilani Jun 19, 2010. 1 Reply

    From: Eliyahu McLeanSubject: Sheikh Abdul Aziz Bukhari of Jerusalem Peacemakers leaves this world      Date: Fri, 18 Jun 2010 Hello friends and supporters, I am saddened to announce the untimely…Continue

Tags: interfaith, sufi, Bukhari, Sheikh

Free Gaza, Israeli piracy, and nonviolence

Started this discussion. Last reply by Thomas Dixon Jun 15, 2010. 68 Replies

My deep condolences go to the family, friends, and comrades of those who were killed or injured by this latest unjustifiable atrocity.  There was a demonstration here in Boston yesterday, one of many…Continue

Tags: nonviolence, Gaza, Free

Imagining the Holy Land

Started this discussion. Last reply by Yigal D. Kahana Sep 23, 2008. 90 Replies

What is your wildest utopian dream about Israel/Palestine? What is the very best outcome you can imagine, your most hopeful and beautiful vision, for all the peoples of that land - say, in 100 years…Continue

Tags: realism, dream, vision, utopian

A Question for my Muslim friends and comrades

Started this discussion. Last reply by Hayyim Feldman Sep 14, 2008. 4 Replies

B'shem HaShem HaRahamanSalaam aleikum,I am a religious Jew, and I think about Israel/Palestine largely (though not only) in religious terms.I would be very grateful if any Muslim members of mepeace…Continue

Tags: ibrahim, land, promised


Hayyim Feldman's Page

Profile Information

My personal story:
My parents separated when I was 11 years old. The ways they each spoke of the other, and of what had happened between them, differed so wildly that one could hardly believe they were both describing the same events. Hearing them both, I would try to imagine what actual course of events might have resulted in such radically contradictory perceptions of reality. This is how I came to pursue peace in Israel-Palestine.
Why I want peace:
To make the Holy Land a hospitable place for the Holy One to dwell among and within us.
Interests and activities:
* Network of Spiritual Progressives, which is affiliated with Tikkun Magazine
* The Compassionate Listening Project
Something you didn't know about me:
I love my new recumbent tricycle!
Favorite website:
How I found
From a link to a mepeace article from the website of TOI (The Other Israel).
What I want to achieve here:
To share ideas about how best to do our work, and to find people to work with.
Do you promise to respect others and our guidelines and not spam?
The Songs

1. Supplication, by Sami Yusuf, is from the soundtrack of The Kite Runner, a film of great spiritual power (and occasional repulsive violence), about betrayal and atonement in contemporary Afghanistan. This song comes at the moral climax of the film, and the combination had me sobbing. You can see a music-video performance of the song, not from the film, on YouTube.) Here are the lyrics in English and transliterated Arabic (the last part of the English, "Yah Allah...", is a rough translation of the Arabic) - but please, do yourself a favor and don't just read them; stay and listen:

Allahumma salli 'ala,
Muhammadin an-Nabiyyi al-ummiyyi
Wa 'ala alihi wa sahbihi wa sallim

Oh my Lord
My sins are like the highest mountain
My good deeds are very few
They're like a small pebble

I turn to you
My heart full of shame
My eyes full of tears
Bestow your forgiveness and mercy upon me.

Yah Allah
Send your peace and blessings on the final prophet
And his family and companions
And those who follow him

2. In Tzama l'cha nafshi, Matisyahu - a world-popular reggae/hip-hop artist who is also a Lubavitcher (Chabad) chasid - sings lines from the 63rd Psalm:

Tzama l'cha nafshi
My soul thirsts for you
Kama l'cha b'sari
My flesh longs for you
b'eretz tziyah v'ayef, b'li mayim
in a dry and weary land, without water.

Keyn ba-Kodesh chaziticha
I have envisioned you in the Holy Place
lirot uz'cha u-ch'vodecha
to see your strength and your Glory.

3. Imagine: Thanks to Richard Silverstein for his Tikun Olam blog where I learned about this moving cover of John Lennon's utopian anthem by two more international stars, Algerian rai artist Kheb Khaled and Israeli singer Noa (full name, Achinoam Nini), singing in their respective languages and in English. For this duet from Khaled's 2005 Kenza album, the two of them add the following verse (which I've translated from Noa's Hebrew, but I think Khaled sings the same in Arabic; can anyone here confirm please?):

Imagine a world without fear
A world without hate
Where we can live together
A world of love
To build a future for both of us
In the same place

As a religious guy myself, I want to join Richard Silverstein in honoring Khaled for singing Lennon's line, "Imagine... no religion, too". Mr. Silverstein writes: "During the 1990s, other rai performers were murdered in Algeria for singing lyrics like this one. Though the Algerian civil war appears over, Khaled still shows great courage in singing these words..."

4. Living Like a Refugee, by Sierra Leone's Refugee Allstars. The core of the band met and first performed together in the refugee camps of Guinea, West Africa, after fleeing the horrendous violence of civil war in their home, Freetown, capital of Sierra Leone. Read more of their story at their website. (There's also a well-received documentary film about the band available, but I haven't seen it yet.) Simple but vivid lyrics, and remarkably upbeat music from such painful experience. I include it here as a message of solidarity and hope for the refugees of Palestine.

You left your country to seek refuge
in another man's land
You left your country to seek refuge
in another man's land
You will be comforted by strange dialects
You will be fed with unusual diets
You've got to sleep in a tarpaulin house which is so hot
You've got to sleep on a tarpaulin mat which is so cold

Oh real time
Living like a refugee is not easy
It's really not easy
Living like a refugee is not easy
It's really not easy

5. Lift Every Voice and Sing is widely known among African Americans (at least of an earlier generation; I don't know about today's youth) as their unofficial "national anthem." Here, it is performed by Women of the Calabash on their Kwanzaa Album. Kwanzaa, for those of you unfamiliar, is a 7-day winter festival that was founded in the late 1960s as a way for African Americans to reclaim their African heritage.

Here are the lyrics (James Weldon Johnson, 1899):

Lift every voice and sing
Till earth and heaven ring,
Ring with the harmonies of Liberty;
Let our rejoicing rise
High as the listening skies,
Let it resound loud as the rolling sea.
Sing a song full of the faith that the dark past
has taught us,
Sing a song full of the hope that the present
has brought us,
Facing the rising sun of our new day begun
Let us march on till victory is won.

Stony the road we trod,
Bitter the chastening rod,
Felt in the days when hope unborn had died;
Yet with a steady beat,
Have not our weary feet
Come to the place for which our fathers sighed?
We have come over a way that with tears
have been watered,
We have come, treading our path through the blood
of the slaughtered,
Out from the gloomy past,
Till now we stand at last
Where the white gleam of our bright star is cast.

God of our weary years,
God of our silent tears,
Thou who has brought us thus far on the way;
Thou who has by Thy might
Led us into the light,
Keep us forever in the path, we pray.
Lest our feet stray from the places, Our God,
where we met Thee;
Lest, our hearts drunk with the wine of the world,
we forget Thee;
Shadowed beneath Thy hand,
May we forever stand.
True to our GOD,
True to our native land;
True to our GOD,
True to our native land.


This bit from the last speech given by Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (alav ha-shalom), is central to how I think about the politics of the Holy Land. (I'll blog an explanation soon.)

I work with the Network of Spiritual Progressives (affiliated with Tikkun Magazine) - a spiritually oriented progressive political group whose members include people from a variety of religious and spiritual traditions. On Sunday, 06 Aug 2006, we held an interfaith gathering in Cambridge, Massachusetts, to Pray for Peace in the Middle East. During the course of the four hours we were there, about 80 people - Jews, Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, and others - came to share their pain, prayers, and hope regarding the violence, and the possibility of peace, in Lebanon, Palestine, and Israel.

Early on in the event, I sang a song that I wrote in 1978, on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of both the founding of the Jewish state of Israel, and the Palestinian naqba ("catastrophe") of dispersion and exile.

A Buddhist nun responds to my Israel/Palestine peace song, "Land in the Middle" (see my blog, 21 Aug 2008).

I put this Middle East peace candle here because
its animation doesn't show in the photo galleries.

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Hayyim Feldman's Blog

Kol ha-Kavod to the youth and people of Egypt and Tunisia!

Posted on February 12, 2011 at 12:04am 1 Comment


Any system you contrive without us

     will be brought down

We warned you before

     and nothing that you built has stood

Hear it as you lean over your blueprint

     Hear it once again:

Any system you contrive without us

     will be brought down.

You have your drugs

You have your guns

You have your Pyramids

     your Pentagons

With all your grass and…


About Rosh HaShanah, the Head (Beginning) of the Year

Posted on October 3, 2008 at 8:12pm 0 Comments

I'm sorry I haven't been here more in the last week or two, to share more holy-day greetings and blessings with you all. I may not be here so much in the coming weeks, also, because it looks like b’ezrat HaShem I'll be working as a field organizer for Barak Obama's campaign!

But here I am now, and I want to share with you all this (very slightly edited) teaching about Rosh HaShanah from one of the holy rebbes of our time, my late beloved teacher, Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach (pbuh),… Continue

"Land in the Middle" - a song I wrote in 1978 (intro, lyrics, and chords)

Posted on August 22, 2008 at 4:47pm 5 Comments


I hope to be able to post this song later as a sound-file. Meanwhile, here are the spoken introduction, the lyrics (very slightly updated to reflect passage of time), and the chord progression. I welcome any feedback.


(copyright 1978, Hayyim Feldman)

[Intro spoken over fingerpicked Am chord:]

This is a song I wrote for the 30th anniversary of both the founding of the State of Israel and the Palestinian Naqba… Continue

Comment Wall (66 comments)

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At 4:12pm on July 21, 2010, Martin Rau said…
Hallo Hayyim,

I am going to Syria this time. I'll visit a monastry there, about 80km north of Damascus. The place is called Deir Mar Musa. They have a website as well. Just now I asked to stay there for a week.

Hope you are doing well back home. Do you speak about your travels?

Greetings and blessings, Martin
At 9:37pm on July 10, 2010, Ahmed Ata said…
thanks for accepting
i am from gaza but not in gaza i was left gaza in 2003 ,now live in other country worst than life in gaza . now i am in yemen .
At 9:48pm on July 1, 2010, Martin Rau said…
Hallo Hayyim,
I had a short look at your profile just now and so I accept your friends request. I am planning on coming back to the Middle East in the beginning of August. Where are you now?
Greetings and blessings, Martin
At 7:23am on June 24, 2010, alice faye said…
Didn't mean to sound harsh , but I live in eastern N C . and lets just say that in the last election cycle, N C turned from red to blue solely due to the Research Triangle an the large number of academics who reside in the Peidmont (central) part of the ole Tarheel state .
At 10:23pm on June 23, 2010, Jennifer A. Miskin-Flake said…
oh, and by the way, my name is Jennifer, I meant to add that. :)
At 10:22pm on June 23, 2010, Jennifer A. Miskin-Flake said…
Thank you, Hayyim, for posting a comment on my blog story. I did not know the ending! So I am happy to know. Yes, the mosque and temple mount, I hope for the brotherly love and not division.
At 11:01am on June 12, 2010, JC | WorriedLebanese said…
Sorry Hayyim,
You're absolutely right, I hadn't seen your answer.
I really liked the ideas you put forward in your post. I now see things more clearly. I wonder how they could be communicated to the more radical fringes of the Free Gaza movement (who would do that and what kind of resistance they might face).
Have a safe trip
At 11:13am on June 11, 2010, JC | WorriedLebanese said…
I'm rather uncomfortable with what the Rachel Corrie boat did. I don't believe they re-establish their movement's smudged nonviolent credentials. By separating non-violence from active resistance (by fully collaborating with the IDF) they actually discredited active resistance and their commitment towards Gaza.
When you speak of re-establishing one's credentials, you cannot simply look at the views of the party is seeking this aim. You have to look at the way its action is perceived.
How can their decision to "let down ladders for the IDF to clim and board them" be interpreted?
The IDF has very effectively used the footage to show that this is what non violent action is, and anything different would be considered as provocation warranting a violent response. So it reinforces its belief that violent repression is necessary when there is no full cooperation.
The pro-Palestinian camp was mostly shocked by the full cooperation of the Rachel Corrie boat. Just take a look at the cyberspace and see how they approached it. Some saw fear in their action. Others saw collaboration with the IDF in its blockade of Gaza. A friend ask me a simple question the other day about the Rachel Corrie: why didn't it go directly to Ashdod? collaborating with the IDF in its boarding of the ship shows that wanting to break the blockade was a sham. This kind of action discredits peace activists and reinforces radicals.
As for the general public hardly heard anything about the Rachel Corrie boat because it slipped through the news like trafic forecast.

What I would have liked to see from the Rachel Corrie folks' action was a lesson in non-violent resistance. I still do not know how in the conditions of the Mavi Marmara, there could have been non-violent resistance (which is different from surrender).
Instead of that, the Rachel Corrie folks gave a lesson in peaceful collaboration.
At 4:31am on June 9, 2010, JC | WorriedLebanese said…
Hello Hayyim,
I/m sure you've been flooded by comments from MEpeace, and mine must have slipped by. But I would really like to hear your ideas on that subject. Here was my question:

I wonder how the Mavi Marmara passengers could have reacted non-violently and effectively to the commando's boarding. How could they have been trained by non-violent activists to resist this night attack and intimidating use of force?

Lets keep in mind that the objective was to break the blockade... and having the IDF select what kind of merchandise goes in and deliver itself what it considers as "humanitarian aid" only reinforces the blockade that the Free Gaza Flotilla wanted to break. Without any resistance from the passengers, the fate of all flotillas would be like the Rachel Corrie, don't u think?
At 10:58am on June 6, 2010, Yehuda Schwartz said…
Thank you Hayyim for the music tip.
How is climbing a steep hill with a recumbent tricycle?
At 5:10am on June 6, 2010, Michelle M said…
Music can be a very powerful tool for peace - I remember singing "the prayer of the children" in my high school choir and it had little meaning back then, but listening to it now it touches my heart in ways I can't even explain. Thanks for your comment :)
At 6:20pm on June 3, 2010, Yehuda Schwartz said…
Shalom Hayyim!
I am honoured to be your friend!
Thank you for your detailled commentary to my proposal. I will try to answer you soon.
You have wonderfull songs. How one puts music in his page?

All the best!

At 12:46pm on May 31, 2010, Eva said…
Thanks for visiting my page Hayyim.
So I get to enjoy your own song lyrics. If you are the text for "Zaman el Salaam", did I post the lyrics in my "Palestine" group of my own site: "Peace for the Soul."


At 3:50am on May 31, 2010, Shmuel Yerushalmi said…
Looking, I intersting in history of take-parting of jewish in activities of left-movements, and firstly in history of revolutionery jews. I know, that in period between last years of 19 century until 20-30 years of 20 century, yidish was official language of jew communists and other revolutioners in all space of Eastern Europe. In Eastern Europe of 20-30 years lived communist poets and writers that wrote in yidish. In yidish was created very big socialist and communist culture of jewish worker class. Today I try to create alike worker culture (in field of poetry) in hebrew.
At 3:15am on May 31, 2010, Shmuel Yerushalmi said…
Thanks you too! Looking, I respect all languages in equel form. I not opposite to possiblity, that left jews that want, will begine to speak yidish. But I not think, that their are needing in special movement in support this idea. According to me, everybody need to decide along in wich language to speak - hebrew or yidish. I even ready to offer any compromise: in left jewish movment, to yidish and hebrew will be equel status.

I active all time for to advance my idea of one socialist country of worker class, on all territory of Palestine. Just yersteday I wrote new article in russian under name: To israeli-palestinian conflict their are only class solution. in this article, that was published in some political sites in former USSR, try to give arguments in support of one socialist state in Palestine. If you interesting to take-part in my political work - welcome to join.

Revolutionery greetings! Shmuel
At 5:56am on February 15, 2010, Rashad said…
Hi it’s good to know you. Stay blessed.
Regards, love and peace.
Chairman: Hope development organization.
At 9:56pm on January 14, 2010, fesalk411 said…
A True Story By Faisal Al-kateep
I am a Palestinian Arab from Hizmeh, a village between Jerusalem and Ramallah. When I was 15 years old I fought against the Israeli Occupation in search of freedom. At that time I thought every Jewish person, whether soldier or citizen, man or woman, young or old, should be killed. I rejected the right for any Jew to live and every Jew was a target. I was just a kid, believe me, and I didn’t understand anything about politics or the Arab-Israeli conflict. I was arrested and sat in jail for 12 years. This was during the first intifada from 1987. At that time nobody talked about peace but only of violence. I matured during my time in jail. I started studying and reading books on politics, literature, poetry, and about the Madrid Conference.

It gave me hope to live in peace and dignity. I learned that violence only breeds violence and that peace is the only solution for the two nations, the only way for both to have a respectful and beautiful future. We live on the same land. We are neighbors. We drink the same water and both pray to a monotheistic God. We must live in peace on the basis of religion for God and land for everyone.
At 6:00pm on July 23, 2009, aldeeb said…
hi iam fade aldeeb ,,, palestinian ,, iam from zababdeh jinin ,, so nice to see your massage ,,first thank you to accept my invite here in this so nice programs to make a smoll part of peace,, iam lawyer and i have master degree from italy where i take thats photo ,,,and thanks a lot
At 4:40pm on July 12, 2009, Eyal Raviv said…
Thank you for welcoming peacemakers on
At 2:29pm on July 12, 2009, Mohammed Almadani said…
Thank you very much for your comment Mr . Equality among peoples and respect for cultures. This is what I mean I am not a religious person. I respect all religions.


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