By Aliza Hava Founding Director of Peace Day LIVE.
Aliza was featured in the Summer of Peace.
Today is Peace Day, and as we celebrate the good works and global impact of organizations and individuals around the world, I am reminded of the incredible power music has to uplift, inspire and harmonize humanity with its universal appeal. In particular, I’d like to recount my experience with The Shift Network in helping to harmonize people in the Middle East during a prophesied time of shifting the collective consciousness.
On November 30, 2012, I received a phone call from Stephen Dinan asking if I would be willing to produce an event in Jerusalem as part of the December 22nd Birth 2012 global live-stream of synchronized events around the world. What Stephen didn’t know, but what he may have sensed, is that I had been developing a model for an event called Harmony in the Holy Land for some time. The concept is based on the principle of ‘music as prayer,’ a theme that can be found in every major religious/spiritual tradition.
Singing hymns in Christianity, chanting the Quran daily throughout the Muslim world, singing the sacred words of the Old Testament in Jewish synagogue, chanting mantras in Eastern spiritual traditions and native drumming & singing in indigenous cultures all speak of something we can easily recognize and appreciate – music is a universal language that has the potential to weave all of the faiths together in a symphony of prayer. This is the founding principle of Harmony in the Holy Land.
After we hung up the phone, I realized I had only three weeks to put my model to the test. Calling upon the leaders of organizations I was working with at the time, we worked day and night to create two days of events that were included in the global Birth 2012 live-stream. ‘UNIFY Jerusalem,’ a globally synchronized prayer for peace, took place on Friday, December 21st at sacred sites throughout the Old City. Highly respected Religious/Spiritual leaders from each of the three Abrahamic faiths - Christianity, Islam and Judaism - came to the Tower of David Museum at the entrance to the Old City of Jerusalem to pray together as one human family. The leaders and participants then set out in groups to the sacred sites of their traditions to pray in their own heartfelt ways.
The following evening, Saturday, December 22, a lived-streamed concert and musical meditation/prayer for peace took place that was facilitated by Thomas Huebl and members of the Jewish-Arab band Diwan Saz. The music and messages of the evening were entirely focused on spreading peace and healing throughout the region.
Although the production process itself was incredibly intensive and time sensitive, it was extremely successful in that both events were packed over-capacity. In particular, the Harmony in the Holy Land concert, which had several hundred people standing in line to get into an already over-packed event, was successful even beyond the overflowing attendance. Our team had secured permits for Palestinians from the West Bank to attend both events, and many of them had never before had the opportunity to come to Jerusalem. At the concert, they danced together with Israelis who they had never met before, with a tremendous feeling of upliftment and possibility. What this revealed to our team is that people are thirsty for these kinds of events and that we need to create more like them. It also proved that the model for Harmony in the Holy Land was working.
About a month or so after the event, I was in Jerusalem attending a celebration of the Jewish holiday Tu’B’Shvat, which honors the life-giving force of trees. Gathered in community, I overheard a friend talking about his experience traveling in South America. It seems that he, quite coincidentally, had met some Mayan elders who had shared information with him that had literally “blown his mind.”
My friend’s story is as follows, and I do my best to quote from memory.
“I was backpacking with two friends through the jungles of South America and we had hired a guide to lead us. At one point the guide said he would take us to a Mayan village off-the-beaten path where travelers usually weren’t welcome. But since the guide knew the elders of the village personally, it was ok for us to go. When we arrived he took us to the Chief of the village right away, as is customary. While sitting in the tent, the Chief looked directly at me. With a heavy accent and piercing eyes, the first words he spoke were, ‘Are you of the Hebrew tribe?’ “
“I was very surprised and looked at my friends. We were not particularly Jewish looking, but I said, ‘Yes, we are Jewish, if that’s what you mean.’ The Chief went on to explain that thousands of years earlier, a Hebrew prophet named Yochanan had come to their land, and had lived with them for some time, sharing ancient mystical secrets. One of the secrets they discovered was that the Mayan Calendar and the Hebrew Calendar (also lunar) coincided. He told us they had known for thousands of years that a Hebrew calendar year ending in the number ‘3’ would be the one when a shift of consciousness would begin throughout humanity. He then went on to say that the Yucatan Peninsula was named after this Israelite prophet.”
On December 21, 2012, the Hebrew calendar year was 5773. Just in the last few weeks, the Hebrew calendar year has started anew. A quick Google search reveals that no one really knows the definitive way the Yucatan Peninsula was named. Whether or not the information is completely accurate, it was my friend’s personal experience and hearing that story by chance was yet another confirmation that this time and event were spiritually blessed by our ancestors
Find music videos from live performances at Harmony in the Holy Land at www.youtube.com/HarmonyInTheHolyLand
Aliza Hava is a recording artist, songwriter, producer, and educator who serves as an Israeli Representative and Alternative Representative to the United Nations for the World Peace Prayer Society. Aliza is also the Founding Director of Peace Day LIVE, a global celebration of the International Day of Peace, which promotes Peace Day through live events around the world. For more information, please visit www.peacedaylive.org, www.harmonyintheholyland.org and www.alizahava.com.
As part of the global celebrations of peace through music, Aliza joins 1Love Playing for Change Day and will perform LIVE online, September 21st from 3:00-3:30pm PST. For more info, visit http://playingforchangeday.org/show/aliza-hava-plays-for-change-on-peace-day.
May Peace Prevail on Earth.
The Catalyst is produced by The Shift Network to feature inspiring stories and provide information to help shift consciousness and take practical action. To receive The Catalyst twice a month, sign up here.
This article appears in:
2013 Catalyst - Issue 16