Counseling U.S. Jews on Events in Israel and Palestine

(Hebrew version)

Recently my Regional Jewish leaders’ group spent some time discharging on the recent outbreak of violence in Jerusalem (Israel) and surrounds. As I counseled the five of us, a general issue became clear. Each one of us had made real efforts to work for a solution to the struggles, through building personal connections, activism, Jewish community leadership, and so on. But not one of us could put our attention on the situation without blaming ourselves in some way, thinking of what we hadn’t done, dismissing our own efforts. It seems like the experience of witnessing the ongoing hurt of the conflict from the outside makes us hate ourselves for where we haven’t been able to stop it.

It was obvious to me that each person had to notice that his or her efforts were real, made a difference, and needed to be appreciated. It helped to ask them all to take a stand against hating or blaming themselves, so that they could face the reality of the struggles and not turn away in discouragement (or grimly persist). By the time we got to my turn, when the same material came up for me, it was clear how to work on it.

It was good to help each other face reality in this way.

Dan Alter

Translated from English into Hebrew (see above) by Dan Alter

Reprinted from the RC e-mail discussion list for leaders of Jews

(Present Time 182, January 2016)

Last modified: 2022-12-25 10:17:04+00