Not merely violence
In defending two Muslim women, two men died, with a third in serious condition. Can the rest of us, in good conscience, just chalk it up as yet another incident of violence?
I don't think so. I must look within myself for a commitment to act, as did those three men. Let them not die in vain because we hesitate to speak up and take action. We must act for justice and build bridges between ourselves and strangers. (A stranger is someone I have not met.)
We must take responsibility for our evolution.
I respect, and share, some of the earnest feelings about the plight of the Palestinians that my friend Avram Sachs expressed in his recent letter to The Tidings. But, as a current member and past president of Havurah Shir Hadash, I feel he is not fair to the congregation or our rabbi, David Zaslow, when he claims that the Havurah “strongly discourages any real and meaningful dialogue” on the topic of Israel.
In fact, the Havurah over the years has hosted numerous panels and dialogues involving imans, sheiks and other Palestinians and Israelies who are actively working together, sometimes at risk of their lives, for peace and justice in the Middle East. The Havurah has also held members-only meetings where all members, no matter what position they take on these issues, have been welcomed to speak their minds.
In the grief-stricken, war-torn, anguished history of Israel and Palestine, it’s easy to become polarized, to take sides, to make the "other" the enemy. It’s harder to water the ground with our tears so that new possibilities for reconciliation might sprout in our hearts and in the soils of the holy lands.