As interested as I was in Judaism, I had assumed that becoming part of the Jewish community was not an option for me. For a long time, I thought that one could only be part of the Jewish community through Jewish ancestry or marriage to a Jewish partner.
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On Sunday, Israel’s Knesset narrowly voted in Israel’s 36th government with Naftali Bennett as the nation’s 13th prime minister, unseating the incumbant Benjamin Netanyahu.
When the State of Israel was established in 1948, its secular founders envisioned a nation that would be both Jewish and attuned to the values of liberal democracy. They were confident that a country with an overwhelming Jewish majority could maintain a Jewish character and ensure civic equality for all its inhabitants.
Judaism is a religion, but it is also a practice. I choose to practice my Judaism by expressing my love for the Jewish people and my becoming one of them. I practice by immersing myself in Jewish wisdom and participating in the conversation of Jewish philosophy.
When my dream came true, and I was accepted to a PhD program at Harvard, I expected to struggle at times as a Zionist and former IDF officer.
Much of the rhetoric coming out of an American understanding of the Israeli-Palestinian interrelationship seriously lacks nuance. Nuance is cavalierly sacrificed on the altar of the soundbite and the hashtag. Those who preach liberal politics and tolerance based on their American experience seem unwilling to understand the complexity of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The current wave of violence in Israel and Gaza is a heartbreaking human tragedy. The loss of innocent life (including that of children) rends the heart, destruction of homes and endemic fear defy the peace and security in which every human being deserves to live.
he current violent events in Israel have a strong tinge of déjà vu for me. However, over the past two decades, I’ve had the time to envision what a Jewish state might look like.