As fulfilling as it was to engage in Shavuot programs, a lot weighs on me. With COVID-19 continuing to ravage Black communities and racist violence all over the news, I almost feel like it’s Yom Kippur instead – the time when Jews are supposed to be most aware of their own mortality.
This week, I tell a friend I’d love to chat but actually I have to run Yom Kippur services are starting soon and I’ve got to repent for my sins before the gates are closed. She laughs. “Well, you’re gay, so you’ve definitely got a lot of repenting to do.”
Was this really me, committing to two weeks in Israel as a volunteer working on an Israel Defense Forces base? Completely out of character, but I was leaving my husband, children, and grandchildren for an experience beyond anything I could have imagined.
A remarkable new survey was released just before President Obama’s visit to Israel. According to the poll, Americans heavily favor the Israelis over the Palestinians, 64 percent vs.
History demonstrates that the events of the Holocaust served as an impetus for the creation of the state of Israel in 1948. For this reason, Israel’s civil calendar first acknowledges Yom HaShoah, which commemorates those whose lives were lost during the Holocaust.
“Did you know?” asked my husband’s Israeli granddaughter, at 16 indignant and adamant. “Reform Jews don’t believe the State of Israel should even exist!”
My love affair with Israel began in 1972 when I journeyed for the first time with my immediate family. My parents had been for the first time in February of 1968, six months after the Six Day War. We also were there six months before the Yom Kippur War.