Swords Into Plowshares
“They shall beat their swords into plowshares,
and their spears into pruning-knives.”
On October 7th Yaron Bob was happily living in his kibbutz, one mile from the Gaza border. Then terror struck. “A lot of my friends were killed,” said Bob. He survived after hiding in a safe room for 33 hours with no electricity or outside communication.
In some way, Bob was used to Hamas attacks. Since 2001 more than 34,000 rockets have exploded inside Israel. One day a few years ago Bob saw a blackened projectile on the ground and thought, “It’s laughing at me.” That’s when he decided to do something. As a sculptor, Bob had an eye for metal. He took a Hamas rocket into his workshop, cut it open, and noticed in its core a pattern that looked surprisingly like a rose. He took the twisted metal of hatred and turned it into something of beauty. And so “Rockets to Roses” was born.
Today Bob takes swords and turns them into plowshares. His creations include a menorah made of projectiles (which was featured at the White House), Shabbat candles and other Judaica, as well as jewelry. All made from the weapons of war.
The greatest obstacle to peacemaking is the near-universal sense that “there is nothing I can do.” We can’t change the big system, we think, so why try? Whatever small acts of peace we make are critical—an email, a letter, a phone call, a prayer for peace within our own hearts. We do not lose faith in small acts of peace, because ultimately we do them not to change the system, but so that that system does not change us.
Prayer: In a war-weary world, we await your coming, Prince of Peace; let us not be conformed to this world, but transformed into instruments of peace and vessels of hope. Amen.