Blog

7http://www.beth-israel.org/blog/2010/06/Rabbi-Lyon%27s-Blog---10_6_18
Rabbi Lyon's Blog - 10_6_18
06/18/2010 02:57 PM Posted by:

From the Desk of Rabbi David Lyon

by David Lyon

6-18-2010

When we arrived in Israel, May 30th, our eyes and ears were open to everything around us. Tel Aviv was far from Houston, and there was evidence of the fact everywhere around us. No humidity. No Texas accent. Just lots of Hebrew, falafel and Mediterranean air. When we boarded the bus to our destination, the guide began to prepare us for our first stop.

Along the way she pointed out lush fields where orchards of fruits and vegetables were growing. She explained that before Israeli pioneers began to work the land, there were nothing but marsh lands. Swamps. They drained the fields and controlled the water so that crops would grow. She also pointed to the tall buildings going up in the distance. They were apartment buildings that sold like condominiums. The growing population including immigrants required the new construction. She cautioned that among the new buildings were what they called “ghost communities.” In some cases, Americans bought up the apartments with intentions to visit Israel a few weeks each year. They thought they were doing the right thing by investing in Israel real estate, but their absence during the majority of the year didn’t sustain neighborhood stores, restaurants and businesses. So, in the absence of residents there was a dearth of business, thus a ghost community. We felt informed and forewarned.

Our guides, Lyana Rotstein and David Leshnick, answered all of our questions with great care and depth. They were true fonts of information, historical, political, modern and cultural. We depended on them for the broadest and deepest views of the Land. And, when we stumped them only because our questions became more intricate, they were not embarrassed to admit, “Israel is complicated.” It became a mantra we began to repeat to ourselves. In America, we have our own pundits who slice and dice the news into bits of information. We look for conclusions we can bank on; but, in Israel, where answers are also sought, sometimes the answer is simply, “Israel is complicated.” What’s unique about Israeli culture is that it is perfectly normal to live with tension between opposing views, ideas and outlooks. Like the culture of Talmud study, the dialectic nature of conversations on many topics shaped and refined thoughts and opinions into sharply honed conclusions. And when it didn’t, sometimes it was the most authoritative or the loudest voice that prevailed. There was ample evidence of both in Israel.

At the end of each day, we were full of information. I can’t say that we always reached conclusions, but we learned to say on our own and without any prompting, “Israel is complicated.” To live with a bit of tension between competing ideas might be the key to peace. Israelis live with tension everyday and to look at them is to observe resolve and resilience.

The way to peace can’t be one way or the other, black and white with no gray areas; often times it has to be two ways that exist together at the same time. The rabbis used to teach, “Eilu va-eilu,” these and these; that is, both views have truth. How do we pursue peace in a contested region? We can take our cue from Israel, where life is complicated and it works.

From my family to yours, Shabbat Shalom.

_________________________________________________

Contact Rabbi Lyon


Blog Search

Categories

Archives

201807July3
July 2018 (3)
201806June4
June 2018 (4)
201805May3
May 2018 (3)
201804April4
April 2018 (4)
201803March5
March 2018 (5)
201802February4
February 2018 (4)
201801January4
January 2018 (4)
201712December4
December 2017 (4)
201711November2
November 2017 (2)
201710October2
October 2017 (2)
201708August3
August 2017 (3)
201707July4
July 2017 (4)
201706June4
June 2017 (4)
201705May2
May 2017 (2)
201704April3
April 2017 (3)
201703March4
March 2017 (4)
201702February3
February 2017 (3)
201701January3
January 2017 (3)
201612December4
December 2016 (4)
201611November3
November 2016 (3)
201610October3
October 2016 (3)
201609September4
September 2016 (4)
201608August2
August 2016 (2)
201607July5
July 2016 (5)
201606June2
June 2016 (2)
201605May3
May 2016 (3)
201604April4
April 2016 (4)
201603March3
March 2016 (3)
201602February2
February 2016 (2)
201601January4
January 2016 (4)
201512December4
December 2015 (4)
201511November3
November 2015 (3)
201510October2
October 2015 (2)
201509September2
September 2015 (2)
201508August4
August 2015 (4)
201507July5
July 2015 (5)
201506June4
June 2015 (4)
201505May2
May 2015 (2)
201504April5
April 2015 (5)
201503March3
March 2015 (3)
201502February4
February 2015 (4)
201501January4
January 2015 (4)
201412December3
December 2014 (3)
201411November3
November 2014 (3)
201410October4
October 2014 (4)
201409September2
September 2014 (2)
201408August3
August 2014 (3)
201407July3
July 2014 (3)
201406June3
June 2014 (3)
201405May3
May 2014 (3)
201404April4
April 2014 (4)
201403March3
March 2014 (3)
201402February4
February 2014 (4)
201401January5
January 2014 (5)
201312December3
December 2013 (3)
201311November3
November 2013 (3)
201310October4
October 2013 (4)
201309September2
September 2013 (2)
201308August5
August 2013 (5)
201307July4
July 2013 (4)
201306June4
June 2013 (4)
201305May5
May 2013 (5)
201304April4
April 2013 (4)
201303March4
March 2013 (4)
201302February4
February 2013 (4)
201301January5
January 2013 (5)
201212December4
December 2012 (4)
201211November5
November 2012 (5)
201210October4
October 2012 (4)
201209September2
September 2012 (2)
201208August5
August 2012 (5)
201207July4
July 2012 (4)
201206June3
June 2012 (3)
201205May5
May 2012 (5)
201204April4
April 2012 (4)
201203March5
March 2012 (5)
201202February4
February 2012 (4)
201201January4
January 2012 (4)
201112December5
December 2011 (5)
201111November3
November 2011 (3)
201110October3
October 2011 (3)
201109September4
September 2011 (4)
201108August4
August 2011 (4)
201107July3
July 2011 (3)
201106June4
June 2011 (4)
201105May4
May 2011 (4)
201104April4
April 2011 (4)
201103March5
March 2011 (5)
201102February4
February 2011 (4)
201101January4
January 2011 (4)
201012December5
December 2010 (5)
201011November4
November 2010 (4)
201010October5
October 2010 (5)
201009September2
September 2010 (2)
201008August2
August 2010 (2)
201006June3
June 2010 (3)
201005May5
May 2010 (5)
201004April3
April 2010 (3)
Captavi QixSuite™ - Hosted Marketing Automation Software ©