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Rabbi's Week in Review - 1/22/2024

01/22/2024 04:48:00 PM

Jan22

This past Shabbat, we shared feelings and perspectives on the ongoing war between Israel and Palestine — or Gaza or Hamas, depending on whom you ask. This discussion was all at once difficult, emotional, respectful and, most of all, important.

It was clear that there was no agreement about the best path forward, about how Israel should or should not respond to the terrorist acts of Hamas on October 7. Is Israel doing too much in its efforts to eradicate Hamas? Is it possible to eradicate Hamas? Does Netanyahu have a goal or a sense of an endgame in Gaza? Is Israel being unfairly accused of genocide?

I came out of our discussion no more certain of the right path forward than before the discussion.  What I have taken away is the importance of having these discussions. I have said for a while now that my focus has not been on the immediate resolution but rather on the “and then what?” — how do we create a different dynamic so we do not have to keep repeating the same insanity.

I think these discussions, both within the now-fractured Jewish community and between Jews and Palestinians (and those aligned with Palestinians), are necessary first steps toward some kind of healing. We have an obligation to engage in Machloket L’Sheim Shamayim, argument for the sake of heaven, and to be Rodfei Shalom, pursuers of peace. Let this be part of our work in the difficult year to come.

Thu, February 29 2024 20 Adar I 5784