Growing up I hated school. I also hated Hebrew school. Until later in life, I didn’t have positive associations with the word ‘education.’ Last week I went back to school and loved it. Along with 150 presenters (they are like the teachers) and 500 students, we gathered at Jerusalem’s Har Herzl complex for a two day celebration of informal Jewish learning known as ‘Limmud.’ This was my first Limmud and I would defiantly go back. Here are three reasons why. Continue reading “3 Reasons Why I’m Glad I Plugged My Jewish Mind into Limmud JLM”
I was just sitting down to a 90 second video distraction before I began my social media night-shift here in the Holy City of Jerusalem and you wont believe what happened! I was watching the Google’s Year In Search 2014 video, curious to see what Google curated for the collective zeitgeist of 2014, and 40 seconds in I saw this photo:
During times of war it is very easy to dehumanize those we perceive to to be the ‘other’ and to forget we are human beings ourselves. The humanity in this IDF soldier resonates off of him as he chants ‘no more war, no more bloodshed’ and turns his nagmash (Hebrew for armoured personnel carrier) into a drum for peace.
Although this was filmed in 2011, it still captures a spirit that I know is very strong today in the Israel Defense Forces, and it is this spirit that is the key to a peaceful future.
I know many soldiers in the IDF who pray for peace and do not want war. Sometimes it’s hard to see that through all the reports of the bombs and the body counts.
My friend who Yonatan A. who served in the infantry of the Kfir brigade and is now in the reserves told me: “The pain and suffering of the people in Gaza is heart-wrenching, it hurts. It’s every soldiers dream to wake up one day and be sent home because there is peace but until then we gotta do everything to protect our families, but not in a barbaric way, obviously. I hope for a time where both peoples realize how similar and closely related we really are, that just working together we can reach unbelievable places.” Continue reading “10 Photos of the Peaceful Warriors of the Israel Defense Forces”
Yesterday morning a friend messaged me to call him ASAP. He told me he was in touch with the IDF official who was going to meet Max Steinberg’s family at the airport. Being that Max was a lone soldier, he wanted to make sure there were people at the funeral. He asked me to do something social media wise to put out the word. So I made a Facebook event and the word spread quickly. I work in social media and it’s usually exciting when posts go viral, but as the event got bigger and bigger my heart remained heavy. I also felt a certain sense of disconnection because although I honored Max as Jew, as a lone solider who deserved the highest respect, and I recognized the huge honor I had been given to provide people information, I didn’t know him. Continue reading “Rekindling the Dream at Max Steinberg’s Funeral”
The words to these songs are from the Torah and the Book of Psalms (both over 2,000 years old), and Jewish prayers going back many hundreds of years. Open your mind and listen to the soul inside these words as they are revealed through these incredible modern renditions. Continue reading “Erev Shabbat Playlist: 3 Forms of Ancient/Modern Mind Expanding Jewish Chanting”
When I worked at the National Library of Israel, I found a book of photographs depicting the graffiti covering the giant concrete slabs that make up part of what is known to some as the ‘security fence’ and to others as the ‘separation wall’. In big white letters someone had spray painted ‘we are not enemies’. These words haunted me. I wanted to meet the person living on the other side of that wall who wrote that. Continue reading “Grassroots Jerusalem: Fasting for Peace with Jews and Muslims in the Holy City”
Clean and cook for Shabbat with some positive sounds from the Holy Land! Open your ears and hearts to this playlist of 3 songs from Israeli artists that channel the spirit of Eretz Yisrael. Shabbat Shalom! Continue reading “Erev Shabbat Playlist: 3 Songs of Musical Ecstasy from Eretz Yisrael”