The recent war just like any war before also raises issues relating to the Jewish people as a whole. Below are a few questions and issues I have been grappling with in these difficult days. We would love to hear your insights:
Solidarity – when Jews are in trouble their sense of solidarity rises to the surface and gets tested. What does it require of us and how are we to express it? The many mails expressing concern I and my family have received, beyond being personal are also expressions of Jewish solidarity. So was the amazing turnout of 30,000 Israelis to the funeral of the American Jew who volunteered to serve in the IDF. These expressions of solidarity are really important in days like these. How can we leverage them to enhance our spiritual strength?
The global context of the crisis – we are seeing that, particularly in Europe, this campaign has global ramifications for Jews everywhere. Beyond our immediate concern for them, it also raises the old question of the participation of Jews all over the world in the decision-making process in Israel, which so directly affects their own situations. How is that to be done?
Particularism vs. universalism – the nature of this campaign and the high level of civilian casualties on the Palestinian side raises the tension between our commitment to our own cause and our commitment to humanistic values and the sanctity of life. How do we maintain our universal values in the face of this difficult war?
Pluralism and tolerance – the current crisis has made the current level of discourse and communication, especially in the virtual networks, both scary and worrisome. It verges, in my opinion, on a strategic crisis. How can we talk to each other through our differences and with civility? Any advice or words of wisdom?
Pursuing peace – these are not great days for peace activists. How does one maintain the hope for peace despite the current events?
Join the Jewish Peoplehood conversation by sending us your thoughts on these questions. Share your ideas and insights – we’d love to hear them!
With wishes for a peaceful week and month ahead!
Dr Shlomi Ravid is the Executive Director of the Center for Jewish Peoplehood Education.