Parasha / E-Letter

Light a Candle for Coexistence: Weekly commentary by Rabbis for Human Rights

0 Comments 21 December 2011

Weekly commentary by Rabbis for Human Rights: Parshat “Miketz”

Rabbis for Human Rights condemns the wave of fascism that has been sweeping over Israel in the last week, including: the torching of mosques, the burning of a Jewish-Arab center in Be’er Sheva, blocking roads in the West Bank, and the publication of racist books similar to “Torat HaMelekh.” Rabbis for Human Rights will light a candle of hope in Israel and in the Occupied Territories, a candle of shared existence, and insist that the security forces prevent continued violence and potential religious war. May your festival of light bring blessings and hope, and Shabbat Shalom.

Rabbi Jeremy Milgrom | Parashat “Miketz”: “More than once during the last 35 years, ever since I started composing Torah homilies, thereby allowing the Torah to speak through my life, the Joseph story (Genesis 37-50) has jumped up and bit me. This week, it brought together resonances of one event that gripped the Israeli public recently, another that passed right by it, a Hebrew phrase that inspired a poem my mother wrote a few decades ago, and the echo of an insight from my father’s Commentary on Leviticus”

“Tag Meir” (Light a Candle for Coexistence) Events

  • Lighting the second Hannukah candle: Wednesday, 12.21.11, at 4:00 PM in A-Sirah a-Qabliya, next to settlement of Yitzhar (transport will leave from Gan HaPaamon at 3:00 PM. To sign up, contact Barak Weiss or Moriel Rothman at 054-315-7781)
  • Lighting the third Hannukah candle: Thursday, 12.22.11, at 4:00 PM by the mosque in the village of Burqa (trasnport will leave from Gan HaPaamon at 3:00 PM. To sign up, contact Barak Weiss or Moriel Rothman at 054-315-7781).
  • Lighting the fourth and fifth Hannukah candle: There will not be an event on Friday or on Saturday.
  • Lighting the sixth Hannukah candle: Sunday, 12.25.11, Khirbet Zakariya, near Gush Etzion (hours and details will be published soon).
  • Lighting the seventh Hannukah candle: Monday, 12.26.11, near the mosque in the town of Tuba Zangariya, in the North, at 5:00 PM (arrive on your own, and the Conservative Movement is organizing transport from Kibbutz Hanaton).
  • Lighting the eighth Hannukah candle: Tuesday, 12.27.11. Yaffa, on Yafat St. | Gan HaShnayim (five minutes from the Hummus restaurant that was damaged by a Tag Mechir (price tag) attack). Details to follow.

Almost everyone is condemning the torching of mosques, and certainly will condemn the attack on the mosque in the village of Burqa last week.  But the real test is not only to condemn, but also do demand that the security forces be prepared in advance to prevent the violence that will be enacted against Palestinians following the evictions of illegal outposts. Rabbi Nava Hefetz creates a theological and political link between the roots of the ideas in the book “Torat HaMelekh” and the attacks carried out on the military base of Hativat Ephraim. Last Thursday Palestinian cars were blocked from travelling in the area of Nablus. We believe that the blockage of roads in the West Bank could lead to dangerous inflammation of dormant tensions, and certainly is a violation of basic human rights.

Rabbi Nava Hefetz took a delegation of Rabbis for Human Rights down south to protest the violation of human rights that took place there with the burning of the Jewish-Arab center, and to express solidarity with the activist and community leader Amal Ansa. Here is a slide show, with music and interviews, from the event that took place after the burning:

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This week, one of our field activists was quoted in Ynet and in the Wall Street Journal about settler attacks on Palestinian cars in the Occupied Territories. In addition, he was also quote on Israeli News Channel Two about the burning of the mosque in Burqa after the eviction of outposts, and he emphasized the need to enact strong, active enforcement against the active members of the extreme right wing. ‘Bright tag’ candles at ‘price tag’ scenes By Melanie Lidman (Jpost).

Call for Volunteers:

  • Rabbinical Visit to Silwan: To participate in a rabbinical visit to Silwan, please get in touch with Rav Arik Ascherman at [email protected], and 050-5607034 or with Moriel Rothman at [email protected] or 054-3157781 or with Rivka, at [email protected] or 02-6482757.
  • Demonstration Against the Disenfranchisement of the Bedouins in the Negev: 12.25 a weekly demonstration will take place at Tzomet Lehavim against the systematic discrimination against Bedouins in the Negev.
  • Rebuilding the Arab-Jewish Center that was Burned in Be’er Sheva- last week, anonymous attacks burned the Ajik Volunteer Tent, an Arab-Jewish center for equality, empowerment and cooperation, in Be’er Sheva, twice. We invite you to donate to help rebuild the center.

Happy Hannukah and Shabbat Shalom.

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