Dear Fellow Progressive Jews of Michiana
This original date of this letter is October 15, 2023.
During the last several days, as we have watched horrors unfold in the Holy Land, we have also witnessed rifts emerge within our own communities. I do not write to advocate for one side or the other, but to remind us wars are not two-dimensional objects. If we insist on seeing the current conflict in absolute binary terms, then yes, those who identify with the Palestinians find themselves in a very uncomfortable basket with Hamas. At the same time, though, those who identify with Israel find themselves aligned with the most right-wing government in that nation’s history. If we insist on viewing the situation without nuance, then each of us is guilty of looking the other way from an evil we would otherwise not abide.
Therefore, let us not judge one another based on the most unsavory connections we can find. Let us trust in one another to act from conscience and good faith. Let each of us take our positions and advocate for them with all our strength. But when the time comes that we can do no more convincing, let us remember we are still staring into the faces of our fellow Jews, part of one people, dedicated to the service of the One G-d. If baseless hatred can destroy the Second Temple, then surely it can destroy Judaism itself. Let that not be on our heads.
May the time come soon when all Israel, and all humanity, will know the consolation and security of G-d’s sheltering peace.
Rabbi Joshua Rubin
The Liberal Jewish Fellowship