“israel is the long-lost fraternal twin from whom i was separated at birth. we are deeply connected by blood and spirit, yet we barely understand each other. every time i see her, i feel we are growing further apart. everyone asks: ‘you’re twins! how could you not be best friends?'”
Dr. Michael A. Meyer, the Adolph S. Ochs Professor of Jewish History at HUC/JIR Cincinnati shares:
“Yisrael–Jacob’s struggle with God gave us a name deeply embedded in our nature as Jews. We Jews have always been strugglers–to stay alive and to justify God’s troubling relationship to us. Sixty-four years ago our state took on that name after a long Zionist struggle to bring it about. Medinat Yisrael struggles still and we struggle, as well, in our unconditional commitment to it.”
Dr. Jane West Walsh, the URJ’s Day School Specialist and Executive Director of PARDES: Day Schools of Reform Judaism beckons us to revisit some favorite words of poetry:
“Take a moment to wander quietly through the courtyard by the windmill in Yemin Moshe, in Jerusalem, with Israel’s beloved poet, Yehuda Amichai z’l.
This windmill never ground flour.
It ground holy air and Bialik’s
Birds of longing, it ground
Words and ground time, it ground
Rain and even shells
But it never ground flour.
Now it’s discovered us,
And grinds our lives day by day
Making out of us the flour of peace
Making out of us the bread of peace
For the generation to come.”
(Translated by Glenda Abramson and Tudor Parfit. Taken from “Poems of Jerusalem” Schocken Publishing House Ltd.)