(Karen gave this subject header the name "Heretic's Prayers". I found it compelling the number of people from different faiths who took upon themselves to pray for one little boy. I feel that there is so much goodness and unity in this world!-L)

Leah,
I just needed to let you know that there are more people who care about Yossi than even you know. The Presbyterian church where I take Nikki has made Yossi their special focus for this past week. Ditto for my neighbor's giant Catholic church. They really pulled out the stops for Nikki when she was dying of PCP and they are outdoing themselves for Yossi. The Sunday morning service was dedicated especially to him.

One of my favorite neighbors belongs to a sort of ecumenical congregation. I don't know how they worship exactly, but she assures me that they are all praying for the YossMan.

I come from a long line of actual Druids. (I'll bet I'm your first...) I am not a Druid myself, but I called on them to help out. (More on that later.) Likewise, the Buddhists I used to hang with. They, in turn, have asked the entire community of the Buddhist Churches of America to meditate on Yossi's behalf. Like you, the Buddhists also belive that good works are essential, so everyone is "assigned" to perform anonymous acts of charity and peace this week to assist Yossi.

My New Age friends are burning candles, using power stones, chanting, meditating, and sending positive energy to you and Yossi.

I have friends among the Hindus, Sikhs, and Muslims both here and in India. They all know of Yossi and are praying and making offerings for him.

My next-door neighbors are Palestinians from Lebanon. They are Coptic Christians. They went to church last weekend for the first time in a long time,just to share Yossi's story and to urge their congregation to support him. The husband is also an officer in a local group of Arab American professionals. He sent a mass e-mail to their national membership telling of Yossi and his battle and reminding them that Yossi is a brave and innocent child who represents the world of goodness that all sane people hope for. He asked them to keep Yossi in their hearts.

My daughter, Nikki, is of Cherokee Indian descent. I don't know if you know it, but the Cherokee Nation is very large and powerful. Last year I met a man who is a shaman and is on the tribal council for the Nation. He became interested in Nikki and rallied the entire Cherokee Nation on her behalf. I contacted him and he has done the same for Yossi. They are holding pow wows all over the country to help cure him. He has also contacted friends of his in other Native American nations and asked them to pray for Yossi as well.

I used to work in Losotho with a Zulu chieftain. Now the Zulus and the Banthus of Lesotho and South Africa are praying and making offerings for Yossi.

None of us knows which, if any, expression of faith or spirituality is "correct". I suspect they all are, if they are genuine and peaceful in intent. But I can tell you that there is powerful magic being sent your way by spiritual people from every faith and all parts of the globe. Yossi's spirit -- and yours -- has touched all of their hearts. Yet one more gift that the YossMan has given -- global and religious unity. If you sit quietly and listen hard, I know that you will hear a cacophany of languages you do not know speaking prayers you do not understand and performing strange and exotic rituals you cannot fathom. But they are all saying one word that you can understand and word is "Yossi". Do you hear it?????

Back to that Druid thing for a moment: one thing that I have held over from that heritage is that I sometimes consult runes. Runes are not to be used to tell fortunes or such. They are to be used to help understand what is G-d's will and how you should behave to stay on the path of wisdom. They provide a focal point for thoughts, prayers, and meditations.

I decided to cast runes for Yossi. There are many ways to do this, but I decided to pull only one stone while concentrating on Yossi, his battle, your strength and ferocity, and our collective sorrow about what has surely looked like his impending loss. I was astonished and comforted by the rune I drew.

It is ISA, "Standstill".

"ISA is a rune of winter and often indicates that the winter of the spiritual life is upon you. You may find yourself entangled in a situation that you desperately want to know the implications of, but you cannot. You feel powerless to do anything except to submit or even sacrifice some long-cherished desire or you feel pulled to abandon the ways of truth. ISA tells you to be patient, for this is a period of gestation that precedes a rebirth.

Your plans are on hold now. Your aspirations do not matter and the circumstance continually reminds you of this. Your energy is drained beyond the point you thought you could go on, yet you must go on and do so blindly.

ISA requires that you sacrifice the personal, the "I". Yet there is no reason for anxiety. Submit and be still, for what you are experiencing is evidence of the divine in action. What has been full must empty; what has increased must decrease. To surrender your will now is to display courage and wisdom.

You cannot hope to rely on help or friendly support. This experience requires isolation, caution, and humility. The seed of the new is present in the old, the seed of unrealized potential, the seed of the good. Trust what you know to be true. Trust yourself. Trust G-d. And watch for signs of Spring."

You may not be able to hope for support, but believe me, Lady, you have it. The world is pulling for you and Yossi, it's bravest inhabitant.

Karen Morehouse, mom to Nikki, age 6, ALL, dx 7/8/98,OT 1/10/01


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