Marion Gribetz, Hebrew College, USA

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Stop demonizing the OTHER.Whether it is Palestinians, Israelis with conflicting views and life styles, Americans, Westerners, protesters, the media, the American government, the Israeli government, the left, the right etc. Hate is a toxin.

We need to remember that we are all created btzelem elohim and our actions reflect on ourselves. By vilifying others, even when we are certain that their actions, thoughts, ideas, words are part of the problem our words just add to the deafening cacophony. We need to be part of the solution. The solution needs to begin with us all valuing human life above all else. Only then can we engage in purposeful problem solving.

Study and Learn. Become literate and knowledgable about Israel, about Jewish History and about the Jewish People. Do this NOT so that you can engage in arguments about who is right. Do this so that you have knowledge as your foundation and then your actions will have meaning in the context not just of today and this war, but will give you a way to engage and make meaning across time and space.

Commit to the Jewish People. See yourself inside the Jewish People. Do not remove yourself. Do not point fingers.

Pray. It couldn’t hurt. But don’t stop there. As Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel said “Prayer may not save us. But prayer may make us worthy of being saved.”  and  “Prayer begins where our power ends.” ― Abraham Joshua Heschel

Visit Israel. Don’t cancel plans for a visit. Be smart, but don’t abandon ship. Our sons and daughters, brothers and sisters need to know that we are with them. Decades ago there was a slogan ISRAEL IS REAL. The closer we stay to the reality, the more we engage with the reality, the more we will know that these horrors are not just myths. Building tunnels to cache weapons of destruction is real. Rockets firing on playgrounds and  bustling, cosmopolitan areas is real. Pursuing peace is real.

Marion Gribetz is faculty at Hebrew College, Newton , MA  Jewish Education Programs and President of Gribetz Mencow Consultants

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