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Song: "Oseh Shalom" - A Prayer for Peace

May 9, 2009 | by staff

Singing about shalom, the most recognizable Hebrew word.

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Vocals and piano by Sam Glaser.

Story: Two Brothers in Jerusalem

A long time ago in Jerusalem lived two brothers who were both farmers. They tended their crop on opposite sides of a hilltop. One brother was married and had a large family. The other lived alone. They farmed the land, and harvested equal amounts of produce. Every night the two brothers, each in his own home at opposite ends of the field, would lie awake in thought.

The brother with the large family would think to himself, "My brother is alone, and has no one to take care of him. Surely he needs more of the crop than I." Meanwhile, the single brother wondered, "My brother has many children to feed. Surely he and his wife need more of the crop than I."

And so each night, long after midnight, the married man would gather bundles of wheat, carry them across the field and quietly place them among his brother's supply. And likewise, the single man would gather some of his bundles late at night, and secretly deliver them to his married brother.

Years passed, each brother unaware of the other's generosity.

One clear starry night, the two brothers met as they carried their bundles of wheat across the field. Realizing what the other had been doing all these years, they dropped the produce, held out their arms, and embraced. Weeping together, they realized the true meaning of brotherly love.

The hill on which their field sat was Mount Moriah, and the spot where the two brothers wept was to become the Holy Temple built by King Solomon – for only such a place of extraordinary giving could serve as the bedrock for the holiest site of the Jewish people.

This story has become popular Jewish lore in recent years; it is not sourced in the Talmud or Midrash.

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