As I wrote last week, now is the time, given unrelenting terror attacks on Israelis by Palestinians, to stand, as Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson put it: "in simple solidarity with the victims, innocent civilians deliberately murdered just for being Jews, just for being Israeli." (Please stay informed about events as they unfold in Israel. I recommend the following three news outlets: Times of Israel, Ha'aretz, and the Jerusalem Post.) (Please also note that Netivot Shalom is hosting a conversation with renowned JPost journalist Herb Keinon on November 1st. Click here for more info.)
Let's also hear the voice of CNS member, Executive Director of UC Berkeley Hillel, Rabbi Adam Naftalin-Kelman, who wrote painfully and passionately last week about the experience of Jewish students on campus confronted by Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) who organized an 'International Day of Action,' yelling their support for a new Intifada, explicitly legitimizing the stabbings and hatred taking place multiple times each day in Israel these last weeks. Read Adam's full statement here.
This Wednesday, friends, the urgency is hyper local and urgent here in the City of Berkeley.Please join me in responding to the call from the JCRC: The City of Berkeley's Human Welfare & Community Action Commission (HWCAC) is considering a resolution that recommends Berkeley divest from Israel. If you live in Berkeley, please plan to attend the Commission hearing on October 21, 2015! The HWCAC resolution is supported by groups that seek the elimination of the State of Israel. To this end they are seeking to co-opt the good and important work of the HWCAC, which advises the Berkeley City Council on the city's social welfare needs. Come to the meeting in support of Israel and help us keep the HWCAC on track! Please RSVP so that we can provide you the location of the event and talking points. RSVP to email@example.com. If you have questions, please contact JCRC Public Affairs and Civic Engagement Director, East Bay, Ilana Kaufman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Friends, it is time to stand tall and proud as Jews, as a Jewish community, and as Chovevei Tziyon, as Lovers of Israel, to do more than reaching out to anyone you know in Israel or with Israeli family and friends. As we offer comfort to our family in distress in israel, let's do our part of to preserve their dignity and lives. I hope you'll join me at this Wednesday night's meeting.
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem. Please God, may it be so: right now.
(c) Rabbi Menachem Creditorfor Landingham & Kaepernick, our angels in the wings
Sometimes, it isn't about nuance. Sometimes it just comes down to facing the storm, calling God out, standing at the center of a whirlwind holding your ground.
No cathedral is immune to agony, no soul impervious to life itself
no nation purely noble. If it were any other way, there would be no need for cathedrals in the first place.
To kneel is to submit
to lower oneself
to step down
To kneel is to call attention
to touch the Earth's face
to listen to those
whose blood saturates
the very roots of our story.
To kneel is to step aside
to step outside
to invite others to come closer
To kneel is not to stand
not to stand
not to stand idly by. Speak your truth, God damn it.