Bar Mitzvah

Sarah, let’s get real

Dear Sarah,

The discussion on your page sure is getting heated. Some have commented that the Jewish people, in exile for so long, lost some of their rights to the land of Israel, or that the rights of others (like the Palestinians) are superior to Jewish rights.

You always go for the lawyer like reply. You therefore mentioned the League of Nations and the Balfour Declaration. Well, I have news for you. No one cares about legal decisions from like 100 years ago! Do the rights of the Jewish people to Israel depend on the generosity of a bunch of dead white men from Europe?

Sarah, I’m afraid that you are so focused on the details of international agreements that no one knows or cares about that you skipped over the uninterrupted Jewish longing to Israel throughout the exile, the extensive history of the Jews in Israel, and the fact that the Jews, as a people, have only had Israel to call their home.

I’ve been to numerous countries in the world; I’ve eaten cheese in France, drunk beer in Germany (no, I was not drunk!), fish n’chips in England, pasta in Italy, steak in Argentina. Yet only in one country did I feel at home and at one with its people and that country is Israel. That feeling was real and no one can deny it. I don’t need lawyer like arguments to prove my connection, I FELT the connection during my last visit.

Israel is the home of the Jewish People. That explains why I laughed with Jews from Ethiopia over dinner, danced the Hora with Jews who made Aliyah (immigrated) from the Former Soviet Union, and ate some delicious Iraqi style Kube soup and Laffa bread with Sephardi Jews (we are half Sephardi too!). We may all come from all over the world, have totally different cultural references, maybe not even speak the same language, but at the end of the day we are all part of the Jewish people celebrating our Jewish identities together in Israel, the Jewish homeland.

So sis, stop being such a smarty pants. My feeling is, either you get the connection of the Jewish people to Israel, or you don’t and you deny the historical and emotional attachment of an entire people to its land.

I recognize that the situation is complex, that others also have claims on the land, and that there are holy sites in Israel that are important for Christians and Muslims. We need to talk about all this stuff, but let’s be clear on our connection as Jews to Israel, and we can then start the discussion from there.

 

rockets-at-school-in-Sderot

First day of school in Sderot

Dear Joe,

I just got a call from my younger brother, he told me that rockets were fired at his school in Sderot during the first school day of the year.

In normal situations school children have fire drills. In our crazy situation we have rocket attack drills where we have to take cover and/or run to the closest shelter. Even the outside playground for the younger kids is fortified against missile attacks.

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Rosh Hashana in Israel

The Jewish new year – Rosh Hashana begins in less than three weeks. Check out this video of a group called ‘The Fountainheads,’ a group of young Israeli singers, dancers, and artists, all graduates and students of the Ein Prat Academy for Leadership  located in the Judean Desert.  The song is a combo of English and Hebrew….. and since I heard it I have not been able to get it out of my head!