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Shut Out and Shut In

Jewish tradition holds that the destruction of the temple was the result of שנאת חינם – causeless hate – within the Jewish people. This morning, the first day of Av, the month when we mourn for the temple, I received a stark reminder of that senseless hate, right next to the ruins of that very … Continue reading

Modelling Empathy

There were two examples I saw this week where Jewish women raised their voices in empathy with the suffering of the Palestinian residents of Gaza. In both cases, they were met by condemnation on the part of many in the wider Jewish community. Rabbi Sharon Brous was attacked by Rabbi Daniel Gordis, in a piece … Continue reading

Gaza Temper Tantrums

One of the lessons I remember from the child-rearing “bible” I used when my children were little (Penelope Leach, for those who are interested) was to take the time to think before saying no to something your child wants – because the very worst thing you can do is say no, and then after your … Continue reading

Enough!

18 months ago, in May 2011, I wrote a blog entitled “Hitting Back” which finished with the following paragraph: “Our government has a tendency to suggest that the Palestinians only understand violence. ‘We won’t talk under fire,’ they say. But when the Palestinians aren’t firing at us we won’t talk either. It seems that we … Continue reading

Healing Hatred

The heart-breaking tragedy of the Palestinian school bus that overturned and burst into flames last week after a crash with a lorry that swerved on the wet road and hit it head on, was greeted by a mixture of reactions on all sides. While some swung into action in order to save as many lives … Continue reading

Glimmers of Hope

Having spent two evenings this week at candle-lighting ceremonies organized under the auspices of ‘Tag Meir’ (translated by the organizers as “Spread the Light”) I find myself reflecting about glimmers of hope in today’s situation. On Tuesday night 400-500 people gathered together outside the Prime Minister’s house to light the first candle of Chanukah. Rabbi Yoel Ben-Nun spoke at the … Continue reading

Join Tag Meir – Light a Candle for Coexistence

This week there will be much lighting of candles around the world. Jews will begin lighting Chanukah candles on Tuesday at sundown, and will continue for 8 days. In many parts of the world candles are also intimately associated with Christmas, coming as it does, at least in the Northern hemisphere, at the darkest time of the … Continue reading

Gilad Shalit – Home At Last

There are so many blogs I could write about Gilad Shalit, it’s difficult to settle on one. I could write of the tsunami of emotion that swept Israel up in tears of pain and joy as step-by-step we followed Gilad’s journey home. I could write of the dilemmas of our overpowering desire to see this … Continue reading

If they will it…

Despite the sense of the impending doom that threatens to overwhelm the Middle East, I feel the need to share a more personal reflection about my own family and our lives here in this complicated but fascinating and challenging part of the world. One of the main motivations for my decision to live in Israel … Continue reading

One in a Million

So September has arrived and with it so many blogging possibilities that I don’t know where to start. The school system, beginning another school year dedicated to Zionism and Jewish Culture. The month when the Palestinians will demand recognition in the UN. And the moment of truth for Israel’s social protest movement. As I read the … Continue reading

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