In the shadow of unprovoked confrontation and harassment by the Israeli military, 150 activists with Rabbis for Human Rights (RHR) came to the West Bank village of Burin in the morning of 12 February 2021 to plant over one hundreds olive trees in groves that had been damaged by settlers this year.
One hundred Israeli rabbis have already signed a letter calling on Israel: “to expedite the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine throughout Israel, and in parallel – with as much importance and urgency – in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. “
This is our responsibility and it is what Jewish ethics demand of us, as rabbis, as Jew and as human beings.
We invite you to join with us and the other rabbis who have already signed and to add your signature today.
RHR Board Member, Rabbi Noa Mazor offers us a compelling and moving exploration of this week’s Torah Portion, and as is her custom, she incorporates meaningful poetry that assists us in summing it all up!
“And I shall keep faith in the future, Though the day be yet unseen. Surely it will happen as peace will come carrying its blessing from nation to nation.” Tchernichovsky Continue reading
In this week’s Torah portion, Ki Titzeh, there is a substantial connection between ensuring justice for the stranger (the Other), the orphan and the widow and our collective will to exploit our national memory so that we may be empathetic towards the oppressed members of our society.
You shall not subvert the rights of the stranger or the fatherless; Continue reading
As the holiday approaches, Rabbis for Human Rights share a special Shavuot edition of their newsletter.
The Calling of Shavuot: Standing Again at Sinai & Standing for Justice
Rabbi Michael Marmur, Chairperson, Rabbis for Human Rights
Shavuot Sameach! This year the festival of Shavuot will be experienced in a different way than usual. In various stages of post-lockdown, puzzling over the cultural, institutional and economic impact of this global crisis, Continue reading
An open letter from Rabbi Michael Marmur, Chair, Rabbi for Human Rights and an appeal for donations to help create an Israel of equals, with democracy and human rights and where all Israelis and Palestinians are treated with dignity and respect.
Avi Dabush, Executive Director of Rabbis for Human Rights, spoke at the British Friends of Rabbis for Human Rights AGM last December. This speech, discussing peacefully bringing together the different cultures and peoples of Israel, is reproduced here with his kind permission.
Avi also wrote a reflective piece on Human Rights, on the occasion of Tu B’Shvat this year, before RHR went out to plant olive trees in the West Bank where they had previously been burnt and uprooted. Read In the Shadow of an Uprooted Olive Tree here. Continue reading
For the last couple of years, I’ve taught a class about ‘Religions, Justice and Peacemaking’ at Leeds Trinity University in the Theology and Religious Studies program. It has been a wonderful opportunity for my research into Israeli-Palestinian peace activism to lead directly into my teaching, by using religion in the Israel-Palestine conflict as the class topic. Among the activists I research are Rabbis for Human Rights, giving me the perfect case study around which to focus the class.
RHR doesn’t describe itself as a peace group but it certainly pursues “justpeace” as conceived by peace studies scholars. One key idea of “justpeace” is expressed by the familiar slogan “no justice, no peace.” Beyond that, “justpeace” entails an ongoing process of addressing inevitable social conflicts non-violently and with an emphasis on justice. RHR’s advocacy for social justice within the State of Israel as well as the Occupied Palestinian Territories, its practice of nonviolence, and its dedication to building reciprocal social relationships through education and interfaith work all indicate that it strives for “justpeace.”
So, what did the students learn in the class and what did they make of RHR? Continue reading
by Rabbi Colin Eimer
Imagine the scene. A rabbi in Israel is being attacked by a man wearing a balaclava and threatening him with a big and dangerous looking knife. They struggle and fall to the ground; the man has the rabbi in a stranglehold, still waving the knife, but incredibly not sticking it in. Eventually the man runs off. Given what’s been happening on the streets of Israel in recent weeks, you might be thinking that it’s not surely all that surprising.
by Rabbi Arik Ascherman
It sounds strange. How can I say anything positive about a knife wielding violent and hate filled young man who has turned the sanctity of the Land of Israel into idolatry? When one looks at this awful video of the attack filmed from afar by Rabbis For Human Rights’ field coordinator Zakariah Sadeh on October 23rd, one sees that he could have easily murdered me. He was on top of me, my back was exposed, and the knife was in his hand. One can see him almost plunge the knife several times, but he doesn’t.