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The Rabbi's Message for March

Shalom! As you read this I will be flying home from two months professional development and working/studying/teaching in Israel. And let me be honest: it has not been easy.  On a personal level, my husband’s younger brother took ill and then passed away suddenly in Ottawa, and we sat shiva in Jerusalem with Baruch’s older brother, trying to understand the strangeness of both the rare fungal infection which caused his sudden death, and how to cope and connect from so far away. It comforted us so much to say Kaddish with members of City Shul who came for our congregational tour. 

On a political level, we came hoping to “find answers.” We come home with more questions, but with inspiration from the hundreds of thousands of Israelis we met at marches and protests, and the common Israelis we met who gave us hope. We met with activists religious and secular; with Palestinians, Christians, Jews and Moslems all of whom are committed to dialogue, peace, and a change of government. I attended a Sulha—a Palestinian-Israeli Reconciliation event, and protested each Saturday night at HaBima Square, Mondays at the Knesset and Thursdays at the District Court.I visited Ramallah with a Palestinian guide. Our congregational tour met with Druze Arabs, Ethiopian Jews and asylum-seeking African refugees. Most liberal-leaning Israelis care deeply and agree that the current direction of the government is alarming. They will not stand for any threat to Israel’s democracy. They expressed deep gratefulness in not being abandoned by us at this stressful time. And even the right-wing is being swayed by the protests — last week a huge group of National Religious party members joined the Knesset protest. I have much to share with you, many musings and many experiences I’d like to debrief with you, and of course special Israeli sweets to enjoy. Please join me March 30 for my presentation Israel: Reflections of an Outsider from the Inside. It will be live only; not recorded or on livestream/zoom. Registration is HERE I look forward to seeing many of you in the days and weeks ahead as I get over my jet lag!

Rabbi Dr. Elyse Goldstein

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Sat, April 1 2023 10 Nisan 5783