Children with Sick Hearts Abroad, Resources They Need in Israel
Right this moment, thousands of infants and children across the world are suffering from heart disease. Some of these children have access to the treatment that can help them. Unfortunately, many children do not. Many of these children suffer from congenital heart disease, which is responsible for more deaths in the first year of life than any other birth defects.
A song exploring concepts of “home”, and the emotional impact of the Gaza disengagement.
(Originally published in Ten Minutes of Torah and Galilee Diary)
Redemption of captives comes before other forms of tzedakah… and one who ignores the plight of the captive violates the commandment, “Do not stand idly by the blood of your fellow.” [Leviticus 19:16]. But we must not redeem the captive for an exorbitant price, in order not to distort the system and encourage our enemies to pursue us to capture us (to hold for ransom)…
-Maimonides (Rambam), Mishneh Torah, Laws of Gifts to the Poor 8:10-12
The quiet little rural community of Hila, about 30 minutes northwest of Shorashim, has become over the past five years, and especially over the past 24 hours, a focus of the entire nation’s attention. Five years ago a kid from Hila doing his army service on the Gaza border, Gilad Shalit, was captured by Hamas forces and secreted somewhere in Gaza. For five years the entire country has been absorbed in the personal drama of the Shalit family and the fate of Gilad. Today he was released in exchange for around 1,000 Palestinian prisoners held in Israel, including a number who were involved in major terror attacks.
Delivered by Professor Michael Walzer at the Global Jewish Forum – a Makōm seminar for the Jewish Agency Board of Governors, Jerusalem, June 2011/Sivan 5771
Michael Walzer is Professor Emeritus at the School of Social Science of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, the editor of Dissent magazine, author and editor of more than twenty books, including Just and Unjust Wars, The Company of Critics and the Jewish Political Tradition.
Dear Mr. Waters,
I was deeply disappointed to learn that you have decided to build a wall between yourself and your Israeli fans. We love you here in Israel. Surely, you must know that from the warm reception you received when you performed here five years ago at the Jewish-Arab village of Neve Shalom.
What you may not realize is that most Israelis believe in a two-state solution. But this vision is not as easy to turn into a reality as you may think. Instead of recognizing the situation’s complexity, you have joined the campaign to boycott Israel, appointing yourself as a judge in a conflict between Middle Eastern tribes. (How British of you!)
At Sinai, the Torah was handed down with its moral code, system of social justice and protections for minorities, and expressing the value of peace. A people was forged into a nation with the promise of a land. Israel was the heart of Jewish identity when the Children of Israel stood at Sinai.
It was at the heart of Jewish identity at the First Zionist Conference and remains at the heart of Jewish identity today. That is why I tolerate no denials of Israel as the democratic nation-state of the Jewish people. I attack the suggestion that Zionism is racist or that a Jewish state merits that malicious canard.
I advocate for Israel publicly and privately without fear. It is “my state” and advocacy is just one of the many ways in which I contribute to its well-being.
1st September, 2010. This morning, one of our friends here in Neve Daniel sent me this e-mail:
Hi – I am sitting here crying because one of the women murdered tonight was my son’s kindergarten teacher. Yehuda is six and is mentally retarded – his teachers are our world because they bring him such joy when the world is such an overwhelming and confusing place. Cochava was an angel, and we were with her an hour before she died – she was on her way home from the gan welcome back orientation when she was murdered.
“Let me get this straight: Israel just killed humanitarian workers in international waters, and the author has the nerve to call that provocation? Unbelievable.”
So writes one individual in response to one of the many journalistic attempts to defend Israel’s position in the recent Gaza flotilla affair.
Let’s be clear: we are losing the PR battle. Badly. Read the international press, read the talkbacks all over the Internet, witness the worldwide demonstrations, listen to international government statements, watch the TV coverage. It all points in one clear direction: Israel is either becoming, or has already become, morally bankrupt.
We at Makom felt we needed to leave 24 hours before responding to the sea-borne events of yesterday. Tough events sometimes lead to tough questions, not always to easy answers.
Today, while driving into town, I saw two little Arab girls walking to school. Ma’aleh, where I work, is situated on Shivtei Yisrael Street, which is pretty well the dividing line between east and west Jerusalem. I stopped at the traffic light and two little girls, aged about 11, crossed the road in front of me. They were wearing their school uniform – dark blue trousers and light blue three quarter length tunics. Each girl had glossy black hair braided down the length of her back. And suddenly I felt such a longing for peace.