In the Light of Peace

In the Light of Peace lays bare the passionate heart of Congregation Ner Shalom in a poignant and powerful anthology of poetry. “When we first announced our call for poems, we thought we’d get enough for a chapbook,” says editor Leiah Bowden. “We were floored by the quantity of beautiful poetry our members submitted.”

“Go deeply and you will remember/Your heart is the heart of the world.”

The poems themselves suggested the areas into which the editor and co-editors Rita Rowan, Sally Churgel, and Abby Bogomolny placed them: Reflections, The Ancestors, Take Comfort, Time and Seasons, Relationships, Praise and Openings. Ner Shalom’s Rabbi Irwin Keller shares a conversation between angels in British Columbia in one piece, and the Torah’s recipe for a fragrant balm in another. Other works speak of death and dying, revelation, gratitude, loneliness, love, resentment and forgiveness.

“Enter your wild heart where thrives a teeming jungle of life.”

Other selections dance lyrically around Jewish liturgy, weave fabric of spiritual thought, and comment on the sacred cycles of life. We know you will be inspired by the range in this work that offers many possibilities for broader use. Evocative original black and white photographs by congregants introduce each section.

Contributors include Alexandra Ellen Appel, Robin Birdfeather, Laura Blatt, Abby Lynn Bogomolny, Leiah Bowden, Sally Churgel, Yoná Flemming, Carolyn Shoshana Fershtman, Diane Frank, Diana Glassman, Dianna L. Grayer, Sheridan Gold, Basha Hirschfeld, Myrna Joy, Anna Belle Kaufman, R. Irwin Keller, Rita S. Losch, Barbara Lesch McCaffry, Margo Miller, Susan L. Miller, Cyndi Norwitz, Linda Pantoskey, Nancy E. Rapp, Rita Rowan, Terry Rowan, Adam Shemper, Dafna Jo Simon, Phil Temko, and Lorenzo Valensi.

Available now for $18 on Amazon!

(Excerpted lines, above, from “Wild Heart” by Sally Churgel.)

Praise for In the Light of Peace

What a delightful and rich collection of color, fragrance, simile, metaphor, whimsy and profound musing! In the Light of Peace is a feast for the mind, heart and spirit. Each poem offers a unique contribution to the Mishkan (the Holy Dwelling-place) of community and shared humanity. Ner Shalom has provided this place made of words, images, and startling reflections… so that we might enter and be inspired.

–Rabbi Shefa Gold, author of Are We There Yet? Travel as Spiritual Practice

These are poems of hope and healing. They draw forth the blessings of our grief and our joy to help us find the holiness in every day. Keep this powerful medicine for the soul nearby.

–Rabbi Marcia Prager, Dean, ALEPH Ordination Program, and author of The Path of Blessing

In times of loss, ordinary language often fails to reach the cave of the heart. We need a soul language that offers a feeling of companionship to where we are walking. In the Light of Peace is a rich and beautiful gathering of poems to caress the tender heart. Everyone who knows sorrow will be graced by this offering.

–Francis Weller, author of The Wild Edge of Sorrow: Rituals of Renewal and the Sacred Work of Grief

These may be spiritual seekers, but for this anthology they are truly FINDERS — finders of river words, wind poems, heart psalms, spirit dreams. This collection reaches far out and deeply inward. It is a wave of words crashing on the shore of consciousness — soothing, startling, sanding down and building up. There is great heft here, and great beauty, great boldness.

– Jan Philips, Speaker, Artist, & Activist, No Ordinary Time

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