Ariel Katsev
Co-Founder of JKeyboard

A Prayer for Peace: Ukraine and Israel

Image source: Mahmoud Illean/AP/picture alliance

In the midst of pessimistic darkness, Ukraine and Israel pray for peace.

Peaceful life is still a universal value that cuts across borders and cultural differences in a modern complicated world. Ukraine and Israel, two countries facing various difficulties and pasts, are now united in solidarity, praying for peace while facing war atrocities.

For Ukraine, the road to peace is a long and dramatic path. My homeland has been fighting for a democratic future, being oppressed by dictators and now bravely defending itself from barbaric Russian aggression. This lack of stability is leaving countless Ukrainians praying for a peaceful and normal and predictable future.

Ukrainians have resorted to prayer as the source of peace of mind and psychological balance in the face of hardship. Prayers for peace and victory have been heard in churches, synagogues, and mosques around the country. The interfaith prayers show the strength and solidarity of the Ukrainian people, who are committed to overcoming obstacles and creating a prosperous society.

Meanwhile, in the Middle East, since October 7 Israel has faced barbaric and terroristic invasion by the occupiers of the Gaza Strip. The ongoing Israeli-Hamas war, and worldwide antisemitic attacks, have created a longing for peace that transcends national and religious boundaries.

Israel, a nation known for its diversity, has also seen a coming together of different faith communities in prayer. In Haifa, a city that holds immense religious significance for Jews, Muslims and other communities, 600 Jewish and Muslim worshippers gathered at the mosque to support each other and to pray, wishing for an end to the cycle of violence and a future of peaceful coexistence.

The prayers for peace that are being said in Israel and Ukraine are evidence of the power of spirituality to bring people together and their common need for peace. People from all spheres of life, faiths, and backgrounds are uniting to send a message to the world: pursuing peace is an honorable goal that goes through all barriers.

From my observations, despite the obstacles, Israeli and Ukrainian nations both believe that there is a way to achieve peace. This is the path when international actors guarantee security on previously agreed conditions and promptly respond to aggression or unlawful actions. Although there are various difficulties to overcome, the basic desire for peace does not change.

As the world watches Russia’s war against Ukraine and the war between Hamas and Israel, the act of prayer reminds us of the importance of empathy, unity and shared humanity. These prayers for peace serve as a reminder that, no matter what, the human spirit longs for harmony, and this desire can transcend even the darkest of hours.

Slava Ukraini! Am Yisrael Chai!
Слава Україні! עם ישראל חי!

About the Author
Ariel Katsev, Co-Founder of JKeyboard, Master of Laws Graduate at the University of Vienna, Young European Ambassador in Ukraine.
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