A Pre-Shabbat note: Dignity, Unity, and Pride
© Rabbi Menachem Creditor
Friends, I'm working on a follow-up piece to "I'm Done Apologizing for Israel," incorporating some of the language and reactions. I've made the decision to not link the articles/blogposts being written at me (barely any are actually about what i actually write in my article), so as not to give voice or exposure to the hatred. I'd much rather amplify the pride the Jewish world should take in our commitment to retain our humanity and act with restraint despite this terror onslaught and PR war.
When the carnage is smoldering in the rear-view mirror, as it hopefully will be soon, we'll have to do some personal/communal accounting about what we've learned, who we mean to be as a people, how we lead ourselves forward, the language we allow our leaders to use when speaking about Palestinians, and more. That work is an always-task, including now, which is why I'm so amazed at the Israeli Press' dynamism, even in the midst of war.
The focus of Diaspora Jews in this moment must be on the immediate, on countering the horrible lies, and acknowledging (as I myself witnessed yesterday from the mouths of other speakers on KQED Forum) that for Hamas, the "occupation" they are looking to end is 1948, the State of Israel itself. We have much work ahead, but if we can take a small teaching from this week's Torah Portion: The Israelites continued their journey "B'Yad Ramah", with “a raised hand,” which I understand to mean that they emerged from terrible tribulation with their pride intact, with unity, and with human dignity.
May it be so today.