When I learned about Yitzhak Rabin in Jewish day school, his story seemed so simple. He worked to create peace in Israel, yet some crazy Jewish guy killed him because he didn’t think exchanging a small piece of land was worth it for peace. Simple, right?
Looking back on Rabin’s life and assassination through Yahel has shown me that his legacy is far from simple. In a learning session, we looked at flyers created for Rabin Memorial Day in various years since his death. How did people’s perceptions of Rabin and his legacy change over time? What themes did people focus on throughout the years as they remembered his life and death? This exercise made me realize that Rabin’s legacy is complex. Some people think his work ultimately set the stage for the next 20 years of tension and violence. Others believe if Rabin had lived to finish what he started, the situation today would be vastly different. … More Rabin’s Legacy 20 Years Later
As a veteran of the Israeli army and a learned Jew, I thought I was pretty knowledgeable about the country I served: I attended Jewish day school, went to Jewish summer camp and traveled to Israel often.
I first realized how complex Israeli society was when I was in the army about a year ago. I quickly learned that not all Israeli citizens were comfortable with the way they were being treated. … More Building A Home For All Jewish People
Studying Zionism with Zionists on Kibbutzim, like Kibbutz Hukok in the Galilee, and urban Kibbutz Mishol in Nazareth, I come to the conclusion that Zionism is no different than anything else in the Middle East. It’s not a racist, colonialist political movement, nor is it the saving grace of the Jewish state: it’s complicated (insert expressions of shock and outrage here). … More Do We Need to Reclaim “Zionism”?
The Jewish value of sustainability dates back to what commentary says is being said in the original source of Megillat Kohelet: “When God created the first human beings, God led them around the Garden of Eden and said: “Look at my works! See how beautiful they are—how excellent! For your sake I created them all. See to it that you do not spoil and destroy My world; for if you do, there will be no one else to repair it.” (Midrash Kohelet Rabbah, 1 on Ecclesiastes 7:13) This midrash is essentially saying what Hava ve Adam is teaching its students and workers: that if we, as Jews, don’t create a sustainable environment, there will be none of God’s earth left, and thus we must uphold his work by creating ecosystems that will make this possible. This applies further to the work that we are doing here in Ramat Eliyahu. … More Jewish Values of Sustainability on Tu B’Shvat: From Hava Ve’Adam Farm to Ramat Eliyahu
This week’s parsha post was written by Dori Robinson, Assistant Director for Programming at UMass Hillel. Yahel partnered with UMass this year to run a service-learning program with the Druze community in Maghar. In this week’s parsha, Moses reiterates to the people the commandment of keeping Shabbat. Also, we continue to learn about the building … More Parshat Vayakhel
This blog post was written by Darya Watnick. Darya is a participant on the Yahel Social Change Program. The past six weeks, at promptly 9:30 am on Thursday mornings we met with Rabbi Levi Lauer for an hour and a half class where we discussed everything from God, Judaism and evil in the world to … More “You can’t dance at two weddings with one rear end.”