When the blog began, it was an important outlet for me. I felt there were too few voices seeking to speak peace into the violence and anger following the 2014 Israel-Gaza Conflict. I wanted to do something -- anything -- to try and drown out the voices of anger, to share what I saw, to let those few Israelis who also thought like me know that I was among them, to let those of you abroad know that Israelis do not speak with one voice or one perspective, and, in spite of the dominant perspectives advocating the operation in Gaza, to let others know that there are minority voices who do not share this opinion. This blog gave me a space to do that, to talk about my experiences here as a woman, to share about religion and politics, both venues largely inhabited by male voices and perspectives.
Over the past three years I’ve enjoyed sharing parts of my life and experiences with you. I feel I’ve contributed what I can in this blog. While I still seek to find creative ways to talk about religion, politics, and my lived experiences as an Israeli Jerusalemite woman, it’s time for me to move on. I appreciate the encouragement some of you have offered, reaching out to us via email or by commenting; your words have boosted my spirit when I’ve felt isolated and discouraged.
As I move on, one thing I’ve learned by living in between conflicting societies and being a minority voice in the midst of many different groups is to keep listening and learning, to try and be gracious and compassionate and kind along the way. As I leave this venue, I leave with the desire to keep my eyes and heart open toward others, those similar to and different from me. In essence, it’s a desire to think of others who may be overlooked, as I hope that others will think of me and mine when we are overlooked. Mahmoud Darwish summarizes aspects of this well, so I leave you with his poem.
Thank you for journeying with me and sharing my thoughts these past few years.
As you prepare your breakfast, think of others
(do not forget the pigeon's food).
As you conduct your wars, think of others
(do not forget those who seek peace).
As you pay your water bill, think of others
(those who are nursed by clouds).
As you return home, to your home, think of others
(do not forget the people of the camps).
As you sleep and count the stars, think of others
(those who have nowhere to sleep).
As you liberate yourself in metaphor, think of others
(those who have lost the right to speak).
As you think of others far away, think of yourself
(say: “If only I were a candle in the dark").
"Think of Others" by Mahmoud Darwish from Almond Blossoms and Beyond.