Is hate the answer? Yishai Fleisher and the Palestinian Question

My plans for the summer did not include reading or in any way weighing in on the discussion of Palestinians.  Honestly, while I probably should have been more educated on the issue, I can say that aside from driving through Judea and Samaria during each of my last three trips to Israel and avoiding roads that have the big red and white ‘enter at your own risk’ warning signs, the Palestinians have not been on my mind.  I’ve been minding my own business.  Until a few weeks ago.

While the circumstances and players are not important to this article, a sequence of conversations and confrontations brought me face to face with a simple and very uncomfortable fact: what if I’m related to the Palestinians?

Now, some of you are chuckling because you know well my Swedish blue eyes and very European ancestry, even if I tan easily to a deep bronze.  But seriously?  What if I am related?

The simple truth is that I believe I am.  Continue reading “Is hate the answer? Yishai Fleisher and the Palestinian Question”

…Mourn with those who mourn.

Romans 12:15 (NIV) “…mourn with those who mourn.”

For the last ten years or so, 9/11 has been a day of remembrance and sorrow.  Nationally, 522px-North_face_south_tower_after_plane_strike_9-11we cannot forget that date.  It is forever burned in the memories of any who watched, and we have told our children who may not have witnessed the horror.

Imagine for a moment if, against massive statistical odds, we could look back at numerous disasters that fell on that same date: 9/11!  How then, as a people would we feel about that date?  What if the combined deaths from those tragedies, always on (or very near) that date, totaled in the tens of millions?  Blackness.  Grief.  Mourning!

There is such a date, and it begins at sundown tonight.  It is Tisha B’Av, or ‘the ninth of Av.’

Against all statistical odds, this date has proved more disastrous for the Jewish people than any other date in history! On this day,

  • 587 BCE Solomon’s Temple breached and burned/destroyed by the Babylonians.
  • 70 CE Second Temple destroyed by Romans.800px-Francesco_Hayez_017
  • 135 CE Bar Kokhba rebellion put down and 100,000 Jews slaughtered at Betar.
  • 1096 CE First Crusade began by killing 10,000 Jews in first month and 1.2 million before it ended.
  • 1290 CE Jews expelled from England.
  • 1306 CE (10th of AV) Jews expelled from France.
  • 1492 CE (7th of AV) Jews expelled from Spain.
  • 1941 CE SS Officer Heinrich Himmler received approval to implement the ‘Final Solution,’ i.e. Holocaust.
  • 1942 CE Jews in Warsaw Ghetto deported for Treblinka (death camp).

And those are just the biggies….  Many more tragedies fell on Tasha B’Av or within a day or so.  Very strange…  and sad.

How am I, as a non-Jewish follower of the Jewish Messiah, to react? Continue reading “…Mourn with those who mourn.”