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Field of Dreams and Nightmares


This past week, with the assault on Israel's way of life, will change the course of history.  A millennium old conflict will now be insured for another generation of pain and suffering.  We grieve for all humanity. Nobody wants innocent people to be murdered in their own homes.  Every Jew on the planet now feels a little less secure.  It's real.  It's inter-generational TRAUMA.  Make no mistake about that.  We carry it in the cells of our bodies and we will never forget.  


Half of my Jewish friends and colleagues want Israel (and USA) to level Hamas to the ground.  Why shouldn't we want to eliminate terror?  Think Bin Laden.  But the other half want not to kill thousands of poor, oppressed, regular Palestinians.  We can ask why their Muslim brethren never want to help them. But it will be moot.  Throughout history the Jews have been persecuted yet held to a higher standard. People are making this far too black and white.  The long arm of history will tell you that everyone lays claim to the hallowed ground that is Jerusalem, the cradle of civilization.  And if someone came and shot your child at a peace concert, you can be sure you would want to blow his head off.  But meeting might with might is never the answer. We know it just perpetuates fear.    


I was heartened to see old friends from my trip to Israel in 1983 together again, trying to assist the families whose children are taken hostage.  I am comforted that my friend, the President of her small temple, is fielding the factions of dissent among her congregation.  I am humbled that my daughters participated in modest ways toward loving peace through words and language and not hate.  Nobody is saying that revenge will work as a long term strategy.  But Hamas is a terrorist group whose only goal is to eliminate Israel.  Why shouldn't Israel protect itself?  Its very existence?


These are complicated times. You can love America and hate Trump. You can love Haaretz but hate Netanyahu. Contradictions are everywhere as the world becomes more polarized.  As the polarizers take no accountability and think they're above the law.  These disrupters, (I blame Trump) want nothing but their own self-aggrandizement.  How tragic for us all.  


I saw this field in my town, named for the good witch, Billie Burke, from the Wizard of Oz.  The sun was setting and children were carefree, playing ball, without the burdens of the outside world. What freedom we have!  Let's pray that extremism doesn't find its way here.

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