Dispatches from #CCAR16
I spent the afternoon in Hebron today with #CCAR16. It was a powerful, holy, agonizing day. On the bus ride up, we were stopped at Gush Etzion where a stabbing had just taken place. To see the soldiers, the murdered army reservist, the workers cleaning up the blood on the side walk, was a horror.
In Hebron, we met Yishai Fleisher, a settler who offered a potent perspective on the Jewish claim to Hebron & made the case for why we need an Israeli army presence for the 85 or so Jewish families in Hebron.
We also met with a remarkable young man named Nadav from breaking the silence, who shared with us the agonizing costs of the Occupation for both Israelis and Palestinians-the moral implications of young soldiers being forced to separate people; the loss of business & livelihood for the Palestinians because of the closed streets they are banned from using & the cages on their windows, & the emotional ghost town of Hebron.
My heart aches but I am more committed than ever before to helping figure a way out of this occupation for the Israel I love so much. With our power comes moral responsibility to end the occupation. For the sake of our own souls.
Michael Latz, a Wexner Graduate Fellowship alum (Class 8), is the founding rabbi of Kol HaNeshamah: West Seattle’s Progressive Synagogue Community. Recently, he returned to his hometown, Minneapolis, Minnesota, to lead Shir Tikvah Congregation. He was ordained by HUC-JIR’s New York campus in 2000. Michael enjoys traveling, hiking, politics, cooking, theater and spending as much time as possible with his life partner, Michael, and their children, Liat, Noa, Sandler and Avriel. He can reached at email@example.com.