Transcript of TBT’s collaborative Sermon from our special Kabbalat Shabbat on Friday, April 21st.

 

“ELAINE: MY ISRAEL STARTS WITH HAIM AND HIS STORIES. I FELL IN LOVE WITH HAIM AS I FELL IN LOVE WITH ISRAEL. 

LIEL:  MY ISRAEL STARTS LIKE A BAD RELATIONSHIP THAT NEEDED TIME AND DISTANCE IN ORDER TO PROPEL INTO A MAD LOVE AFFAIR. 

ELAINE: MY ISRAEL BECAME MINE AS I EXPERIENCED THE LAND, THIS HISTORY, AND THE LANGUAGE. 

LIEL:  MY ISRAEL BECAME MINE AS I STUDIED EVERY CORNER OF THE COUNTRY AND BECAME A TOUR GUIDE.

ELAINE: MY ISRAEL IS PASSOVER WITH MY ISRAELI CHILDREN AND GRANDCHILDREN AS WE GATHER DESPITE THE RELIGIOUS AND POLITICAL DIFFERENCES. 

LIEL:  MY ISRAEL IS FRIDAY AFTERNOON AT A BUS STOP, WHEN THE ULTRA ORTHODOX MAN CONFRONTS THE IDF SOLDIER, ONLY TO REVEAL THAT HE TOO IS RETURNING HOME FROM RESERVE DUTY FOR SHABBAT. 

ELAINE: MY ISRAEL IS THE PROGRAMS OF TIKKUN OLAM THAT BUILD BRIDGES BETWEEN PEOPLE. 

LIEL:  MY ISRAEL IS THE MOMENTS OF INSPIRATION WHICH REMIND US THAT WE ARE ONE FAMILY.

TOGETHER: THAT’S OUR ISRAEL. ” 

-Elaine & Liel Asa

 

 “My Israel is the most exciting place where music is never absent. Every week, there are concerts featuring Philharmonic musicians as well as electronic music parties. Jewish Nigunim are sung in synagogues on Shabbat. The music scene on the street becomes even more fascinating. It’s possible to come across a Bar Mitzvah parade. You could also hear Mizrahi music blasting from cars or even Haredi artists shedding a guitar piece from Pink Floyd. The passion for melodies is unrivaled.

That’s my Israel. “

-Jimi Zhu

 

“My Israel is not only the land and its rich spiritual history, but the people who make up this unique melting pot of diversity in both religion, culture, and dynamics; whether they identify as Ethiopian Jews; Gen 1.5 Russian Jews; Ultra orthodox; Modern orthodox; Progressive; Secular; Druze; Muslim, or  Arab Christian. The joys and the struggles religiously and politically remind us of the great beauty of our Torah. That is the Israel that I love.”

-Mitchel Goldberg

 

My Israel is obsessively checking the news,

It is running to buy cottage cheese as soon as I land because there is none better in the world

My Israel is where Saba ve Savta are, 

A place that we can’t stop yearning for and at the same time is sometimes so intense that it gets a bit too tight.

My Israel is Haifa university and the Hebrew Union College in Jerusalem

It is the Talpiot market in Haifa and it’s the silence of Saturday morning.

My Israel is also the enlightened eyes of the friends with whom I shared the joy of traveling and exploring Israel.

My Israel is deep discrepancies but also an irreplaceable sense of belonging.

Israel is my home, and not just because of my passport but because it’s built upon the hopes and the dreams that our People gathered for more than 2,000 years.

That is my Israel, and also yours.”

-Rabbi Nico Socolovsky

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