Ittay Flescher, Jewish Educator, Australia

Ittay Flescher, Jewish Educator, Australia

1. What in your opinion should Jews in the diaspora DO, in the light of the events of the past month?

As a tribal people, our leadership tend to call for mass gatherings of prayer, protest and solidarity at this time. Even if you find the monolithic nature of such events challenging because the nuance and focus of the message is not the same as you see it, in challenging times like these, do not set yourself apart from your people. Wrestle with them, hug them, challenge them but do not forsake them.

2. What specific ACTION/S should Jews take?

Instead of sharing opinions in an echo chamber, Jews should make an effort to speak with the “other side” as much as possible. This could include “the left”, “the right”, Palestinians, Muslims, Israelis in your community and whoever else you think may have an opinion that is different from yours. Make time to sit together, to hear each other. Even if you don’t convince “the other side” of anything after an hour, the mere act of sitting together and being open to hearing a view that is different from your own is imperative during times of war. At a time when so many Middle Eastern hatreds are spilling into our streets, politics, media and homes, dialogue is our best antidote to stop the hate. Don’t get to a situation where friendships are broken to an extent that they can’t be renewed after the conflict is over. Those personal connections you have with “the other” are our bridges to a better world.

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