In the latest newsletter from Rabbis for Human Rights, NPR follows the Olive Harvest in the Shadow of War – Palestinian farmer Ayoub Abuhejleh is arrested as he tries to harvest this crucial crop. Click the photo below to hear the story from NPR.
Far from Gaza, the war between Israel and Hamas upends lives
At the same time, with the rise in settler violence across the West Bank (with three times the number of attacks on previous years), RHR are reaching out to their Palestinian partners to express solidarity and ask how they can help. This has led to the purchase and distribution of emergency medic kits across the Northern West Bank.
Samir Awad, Avi Dabush, Rabbi Michael Marmur & Anton Goodman of RHR at the Hizme Checkpoint
We are excited to announce that Rabbis for Human Rights’ Olive Harvest Project, protecting Palestinian communities in the West Bank will begin on October 15th! In partnership with 5 Palestinian communities we will be bring volunteers every day of the Harvest to join Palestinian farmers and their families in picking olives, and ensuring a peaceful harvest by repelling settler violence.
We have recently released our volunteer sign-up form and hundreds of people have already signed up to be volunteers at one or several of the harvest opportunities. If you are in the region of have friends and family who would like to join, we would be so pleased to welcome you to the Harvest!
Thoughts on Parashat “Re’eh” | by Rabbit Lana Zilberman Soloway
“See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse. The blessing if you obey the commands of the Lord your God that I am giving you today; The curse if you disobey the commands of the Lord your God and turn from the way that I command you today by following other Gods, which you have not known” (Deuteronomy 11, 26-28)
These are the opening words of Parashat “Re’eh”. The Parasha that reveals many of the commandments that our people are obligated to follow when we enter the land of Israel. These include: destroying idolatry and concentrating God’s work in one place, the laws of Kashrut, the mitzvah of giving away ten percent, the commandment of holy pilgrimage to Jerusalem three times a year, and more.
Some of the commandments were already mentioned earlier, during the wilderness generation. Others are new, only announced now, as we prepare to enter the land. There are fifty five commandments in total, listed one by one, after the opening verse, which has received endless interpretations: “See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse”. Continue reading →
L-R: Ishai Menuhin, Mazon-Israel; Adv. Becky Keshet, Rabbis for Human Rights MK Meirav Cohen, Yesh Atid, Dorit Adler, President, Israeli Forum for Sustainable Nutrition
In recent weeks our Social Justice team have been fighting tirelessly to overturn a sudden government decision which stopped food stamps reaching 6,000 families across Israel.
Last week, at a hearing called by MK Meirav Cohen (Yesh Atid) who chairs the Knesset Committee for Caring for Holocaust Survivors, the Government reversed their decision and food stamps will be issued to the families who has been blocked.
We are proud to work shoulder-to-shoulder on the issue of food security with our partners: Mazon – a Jewish Response to Hunger; and the Israeli Forum for Sustainable Nutrition.
The weak defend themselves with humor. It can be Macaulay Culkin’s character outsmarting the burglars in the movie: “Home Alone,” or the Jews in Yiddish stories about bamboozling the non-Jewish authorities, or the protagonists in many hilarious Czech novels poking fun at the ham-fisted efforts of the Czechs’ German and, later, Russian occupiers to squelch their economy and culture. In whatever setting, we root for the scrappy underdog who turns the oppressors’ stupidity against them. We laugh at the downfall of the cruel and inept. Continue reading →
When do we find the first example of one person forgiving another, in the Torah? Perhaps in this week’s Torah portion, Parashat “Vayechi”. One of the first cases of human forgiveness is when Joseph forgives his brothers. Since “first time” stories often form an archetype, it’s worth dwelling on them. Continue reading →
by Avi Dabush (Translated from the original Hebrew)
The use of Judaism and Zionism to slander, trample and harm entire communities: LGBTQ people, secular, Arabs, leftists and anyone who does not align, is a blasphemy. This is a true call for mobilization: those for whom human dignity, human rights, humanity and Judaism are important must get off the fence and join the struggle.
The idea of blasphemy is about how people harm [religion in general] good name of Judaism through what they do. I always think about this, of course when I see defendants who, on a daily basis, do not wear a kippah put one on as they are being arraigned or remanded in court. It should be the opposite. Continue reading →
Right-wing Jewish supremacists must not be allowed to distort Torah teachings and crush foundations for long-term prosperity in this Land we hold dear!
“The attempt by the Jewish supremacist right wing to weaponize Judaism and Zionism in order to attack anyone who refuses to fall into line with their fake patriotism is nothing new. This is a well-known practice of violent and dangerous right-wing forces throughout history.”
Rabbi Lana Zilberman Soloway shares testemony from a soldier in the IDF as well as her own observations from a visit to the historic city of Hebron in the West Bank where up to 800 soldiers are stationed to protect settlers.
Many things happened to our mother Sarah during her lifetime, but the the greatest impact she had on the Jewish future was in her death.
“Sarah died at Kiryat Arba, that is Hebron, in the land of Canaan, and Abraham went to mourn for Sarah and to weep over her”. (Genesis 233, 2)Continue reading →