Resources

Special Resource | Shavuot 2017

Opinions, Opinions, Opinions

Shalom Educators,
Many of us get most of our news and form our opinions from our preferred press sources. Some of us read the newspaper in the morning, some listen to the radio on their way to work and some watch the evening news. Recently we heard on Israel's TV channel 10 (preferred press source), that most young Americans get their news and form their opinions based on watching Jon Stewart's The Daily Show, from their friends' posts on social media sites and from tweets by celebrities rather than news commentators. 

Here are a few resources that have to do with opinions rather than news. They are a testament to the complicated issues we face, and explain in a way the heated arguments that happen daily here and in Israel.

We are sorry if this only adds to the confusion rather than solves it. Unfortunately, this is the nature of this very long and painful conflict. 
What's your opinion??
All the best and let's continue to hope...

David Grossman's "End the Grindstone of Israeli-Palestinian Violence". published in Yediot Ahronot.

Jon Stewart The Daily Show, We Need to Talk About Israel 

Extended Interview with Hillary Clinton

Ha'aretz Opinion Pages

Ynet (Yediot Ahronot) Opinion Pages

Amos Biderman
Daily caricature
The caption reads: Failure of Humanitarian Cease Fire 
The comic depicts opposing sides in Israel (on the right activists against continuing the Gaza operation and on the left for continuing the operation)
Web page for Ha'aretz Daily caricatures: 

Tisha B’av

By Vavi Toran

In the past few weeks I argued with almost everyone I know. I also agreed with almost everyone I know. In the morning I am right-leaning and at night I am a leftist. In the morning I see no other way than continuing with all our might until the job is done (what job? When do we know it’s done?) and at night I mourn for victims of both sides. Most of all I wish this was over. I wish for an end to violence and suffering. When I talk or argue or try to get my point across I don’t always remain calm or listen attentively to my adversary. Many times we find out a few minutes into the heated argument that we have very similar beliefs after all. We argue because we care!

But not everywhere and every time there is a clash of ideas they remains civil and non-violent. On the streets of Jerusalem, in public places where people are demonstrating for this or that side, in written and broadcasted commentaries, and in social media, the discourse is far from civil and hatreds ancient and new come out in their ugliest manifestations.

Today is erev Tisha B'av, the commemoration of the destruction of both the First and Second Temples in Jerusalem.

“Why were the Temples destroyed? The ancient rabbis explain that the First Temple was destroyed because of three things that occurred in it: idolatry, unseemly sexual behavior, and bloodshed. And then they give what to me is a provocative answer as to why the Second Temple was destroyed: "Because there was sinat chinam, baseless hatred." The Talmud goes on to say: "This teaches that baseless hatred is equated with three sins: idolatry, unseemly sexual behavior and bloodshed." (Talmud Yoma 9B)

What is sinat chinam? It includes gratuitous internecine backbiting, malicious hurtful speech and the inability to discuss differences in a civil way. These behaviors are seen as being as bad as idolatry, adultery and murder.

The astonishing claim is that how we talk to and about each other around issues that matter can destroy a city or maybe even a country. Words matter. Innuendo can kill." (From an article by Rabbi Laura Geller)

On this Tisha b’Av let us remember to listen to one another, honor each other’s opinions, and respond with civility and compassion. 

This  poem by Yehuda Amichai “From the Place Where We Are Right” - is especially poignant on this day.

The Place Where We Are Right

by Yehuda Amichai
From the place where we are right
Flowers will never grow
In the spring.


The place where we are right
Is hard and trampled
Like a yard.


But doubts and loves
Dig up the world
Like a mole, a plow.


And a whisper will be heard in the place
Where the ruined
House once stood.

 

Read more about Tisha B'av.