Dear friends good afternoon I'd like to take this opportunity to thank the leaders of sant'egidio for organising such an important convention my dear father Rabbi David Brodman the Chief Rabbi of Savyon who had the privilege to participate in those conventions for the last 15 years sends his warm regards and blessings for success. My father felt that the spirit of Assisi had to be made known to as much people as possible. The fact that spiritual leaders from different countries and religions meet and discuss peace has a major impact on the world and will make the world a better place to live in.....
King David writes in his psalms  "Go-d will bless his people with peace," and it is written [Job 25], "Go-d makes peace in his heights" [Isaiah 27] "He will make peace" the rabbis added to the last sentence "upon us and on all of Israel"
It is well known that in Judaism peace is the most important and most lofty thing. As our rabbis taught us [Ukatzin 3] : "Go-d did not find a vessel that holds a blessing for Israel but peace."
We need to understand and explain what the virtue of peace is and what is peace at all?
The matter is explained as follows: Peace connects two opposites - as our sages explain the verse "he makes peace in his heights" meaning in heaven, because it is the angel that was created from fire and the sky is created from water that are two opposites because water extinguishes the fire and go-d makes peace between them and connects them together, and so there is harmony among the celestial bodies who do their job without struggles and without wars.
We know that peace is expressed in many areas and in different forms. Peace exists between brother and brother, between friends, between husband and wife and of course between nations and countries. King David in his prayer to go-d asks for peace just as go-d makes peace in the heights as we explained so peace should be established between us and between opposites and different people and different opinions will prevail in peace And love , so that differences will not affect the personal relationship between people and peoples.
It is well known that in Judaism the peace accompanies the person in all three daily prayers in the morning, at noon and in the evening, in all of them; they ask for the blessing of "peace be upon us and all of Israel" as it also concludes the kaddish prayer, which is recited many times a day. In the biblical blessing given by the Kohanim [priests] to the community on a daily basis in the Land of Israel it reads: "
May Go-d bless you, and preserve you. May Go-d make His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you, May Go-d lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace.
One of the great commentators "the holy Ohr HaChaimh" adds that peace is the opposite of separation, and peace is no less: The foundation of the world ... and when G-d blesses Israel with peace and puts His name on them, the people of Israel rise and form unity between Israel and their Father in heaven.
Hence, peace is an expression of the wholeness of life and not only of peace itself, and when there is no peace, it is not only a personal problem of a person who does not live in peace with others. The lack of peace is a painful personal problem. Conflicting people lose not only the joy life they might have, but also the ability to enjoy the other good things life provides them.
And why do those who do not live in peace lose the blessing of the Creator "who makes peace in His heights"? Why is peace a condition for a good life?
The answer is: When there is peace, when everyone can contain each other and allow living space of others, only then we feel that we are all as one, thus we are serving as the "tool" of the Creator whose name is "Shalom" peace. And then life is better. Peace is thus a critical condition for a healthier and better quality of life.
In order to make life easier, it is important to know that peace does not require full agreement on every issue. Not at all.
Peace does not require giving up principles or beliefs and opinions. Peace in the eyes of Judaism is one in which people believe that we can live in unity even if we disagree on everything. Peace is such that everyone knows that he has a great deal to contribute to his environment, and those around him have a lot to contribute to.
And I shall conclude with a wonderful Jewish idea:
In the Jewish prayer system, the main part of prayer is the "Amidah prayer" in which the Jew stands and converses in a whisper with his Creator. Praises and thanks him and asks for the future. This prayer contains a long list of different requests, such as health, livelihood, good life and justice etc..
The prayer concludes with the following request: "He who makes peace in His heights will make peace upon us and all of Israel." The reason is that even if all our requests will be fulfilled, if we do not have peace, we cannot realize all the good. There is an interesting custom don prior to praying for peace: we take three steps backward. A reason for that is in order for peace to prevail, we must acknowledge to those around us their uniqueness and should recognize that those around us need their living space and their own way expression.
Therefore we step back to make space for others.
When we live in this way, in the form of peace and brotherhood, our lives will look completely different, better, healthier, and happier.