The following post is by musician Beth Hamon. She writes with great heart and simplicity about some very complex matters. I asked for her permission to share it here with you, my readers. For more about Beth and her music, you can check out her website. – Rabbi Adar
You and I don’t really get each other very much, I admit it.
I don’t get why people tell me I should want to move there.
You don’t get why Portland is my Jerusalem.
I don’t get how you can be simultaneously so loving towards certain Members Of the Tribe and so awful towards, well, a whole lot of everyone else (see: women, people of color, Palestinians).
You don’t get why I think it’s possible to be dynamically and fully Jewish wherever you are — and with whomever you love.
And yet, when I hear your name I still stop for the tiniest moment and listen.
I wonder about what it means to be connected to a place so far away, and to Jews whose temperament is so different from mine. (You’re not the first to tell me I’m too nice or too polite.)
Look, I’m super-broke and probably always will be; so it’s highly unlikely I’ll ever be able to go and meet you in person.
So let’s agree to try and understand each other and respect each other a whole lot more from afar.
Can we work on that, you and me?
I’m willing to keep wrestling.
Happy 70th birthday. May you have many more in good health.
I hope and pray that someday soon you’ll know real, lasting peace.
Thanks for being here — Beth
3 thoughts on “Guest Post: Dear Israel”
I love this. Thank you for sharing it.
Fortunately, I was able to spend 4 and a half months there back in 1980. I know it’s changed since I’ve been there and I’d love to return.
I hope you get the opportunity to return! Shabbat Shalom!
I’d hope I could ever visit, because of what’s supposed to be lovely there, and despite what’s apparently less lovely. However, my disabilities may make that rather unlikely, but who knows…