…an occasional update from Israel for Meltonians
On March 17th, Israel will go to the polls again, only halfway through the term for which this Knesset should have sat. It has been said that these elections may prove to be the most significant in many years; that a new Israel is to emerge from them, whichever camp forms the next government… Over the coming few weeks, I will share some thoughts on events, issues, or trends which help define the stage on which we are standing at this point in the history of the state of Israel, this THIRD JEWISH BAYIT.
This Hannukah, as always, Israelis are counting up, with growing light from each Hannukiyah on each night of the festival. We are also counting down, with less than ninety days left before elections, engaged in a cultural battle that may be said to have the issues of light and darkness at its core… Follow closely!!
Counting Up & Counting Down In Israel…
21 December, 2014 – Fifth night of Hannukah
With each of the days of the festival, the light of our candles gets a little stronger, teaching us a lesson in the power of incremental growth.
That's what Melton learning is about, as well: steps taking us forward day by day, exposing us to wondrous ideas and connections.
The Hebrew word for "flame" is "lehava", and at this season it would seem a most appropriate word to be heard all over the land… Instead, "Lehava" has taken a new and disturbing meaning: the name chosen by an organization whose members are accused of torching Jerusalem's Bilingual Bi-National school two weeks ago. As the self-proclaimed guardians of Jewishness and purity in Israel, these members see the burning of schools and schoolbooks as a legitimate way of preserving the holiness of the land and its people.
Now Jerusalem has its faith emblazoned on classroom floors and classroom walls: a Lehava has set a schoolroom alight; has gathered books together in a pile on the floor and burnt them. We see holy letters once again rising from parchment as they are consumed by fire; we see burnt books like in Sarajevo, leaving pages brittle as in other dark places in our own history, aimed at searing the souls of the young students whose desks are now charred… and we can be sure that the perpetrators will justify these deeds, carried out in the name of righteousness.
Will we avoid a descent into the heart of darkness that setting schools afire in this City of the Lord must lead us to? Or will the flame of Lehava consume all in its path and take us toward an Inferno??
Meltonians can choose from one of six Travel Seminars exploring Israel and the Jewish world; go to www.meltonseminars.org to find the seminar that answers your needs best!!
Image credit: Copyright: lucaluppi / 123RF Stock Photo