First Report from Israel - @AIPAC #RabbinicMission2Israel
© Rabbi Menachem Creditor
While tweets and headlines from and about Israel continue to reflect very real concerns on the ground, here's what I need to share, having landed just an hour ago.
As I sit on a tour bus with rabbinic colleagues from around the US, receiving updates from AIPAC staff and tour guides, my cheeks are wet the tears that poured uncontrollably from my eyes when I saw my sister and brother-in-law at Ben Gurion Airport. This isn't only a statement of my love for my immediate family. It is an explosion of my heart, to see Jewish life and love and hope and determination.
Yes, 150 missiles were fired from Gaza into Israel last night. Yes, 40,000 Israeli reservists were called up today. Yes, when I saw the skyline of Tel Aviv, I realized that I had been holding my breath for fear that it wouldn't be there when we arrived.
BUT - I also know that I am here as a Jew, as a Zionist, as an American Jewish Faith Leader who is part of the unfolding of Jewish history in our home.
I witness burned out cars from the 1948 War of Independence. My bus drives by the towns where Eyal z"l, Gil-Ad z"l, and Naftali z"l lived, the city of Modi'in where they are now buried, cars filled with Israelis, some of whom believe peace is possible and a mandate, some of whom believe it is an impossibility, a few of whom see Jewish security as separate from shared peace.
My job is to stand, speak, breathe, mourn, teach, preach, cry, scream, laugh, agitate, and celebrate as part of it all, to do what I can - which means what I must - to add life and holiness and meaning to this messy mix of which I am an impassioned, grateful part.
I am here because I am called to be here.
I am home.
I wouldn't be anywhere else.
° netivotshalom. org