This also appears at Jewschool.com
What’s this all about? Kvutzat Orev is a group of 6 people who built a communal Jewish life, rooted in Hashomer Hatzair, together in Israel and Brooklyn over 5 years. For the last 3 years we have been exploring different paths. Some in Israel and some in Brooklyn. During a group seminar last Spring we decided to start building a new, Jewish, and public Pesach (Passover) ritual. We have been meeting digitally every few weeks, researching our history and tradition, and developing a common language around goals and values.
What follows, a version of the 4 glasses of wine that we drink throughout the Pesach Seder, is an amalgam of the values we set out to embody and some ideas for the rituals that may work with those values. Our process is continuing as we look for questions that need answering through collective culture and build a renewed way of understanding ourselves our people and our role in the world.
Collective Belonging - Birth
Eyes open to our role in the world as a collective force. We touch the freedom of self-determination in its infant and infinite forms. We seek family and we transmit culture from person to person and generation to generation. We are born into identity as we realize our lives are tied to the people and things around us. We engage in argument for the sake of heaven and we follow a path of learning and growth in Chevruta. We pray, eat, celebrate, question constantly and grow with others and when we touch self-determination we touch equality and oneness; the connected nature of the universe as the root idea in monotheism in Judaism.
This piece was originally published at +972 Magazine.
The way the world is talking about the Israeli occupation is changing. Alongside that change, opportunity is knocking for those of us standing in opposition: calls for diaspora Jews to be present on the ground in Israel and Palestine are increasing. An important shift is beginning to take place — right now.
The writing is on the wall. Since Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was re-elected, U.S. President Obama and his staff have been speaking differently about the once-incontrovertible two-state solution. One campus Hillel changed its name instead of changing it’s programming to adhere to Hillel International’s rules. If Not Now stormed onto the scene last summer in response to the violence in Gaza. Boycotts and BDS campaigns are sprouting up on campuses and at supermarkets all over the world.
The Day After the Israeli Election
This post originally appeared at Jewschool.com
Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu's extra dose of racism in this election will most likely translate into street violence and worse for Palestinian Citizens of Israel, other minority groups in Israel, Palestinians under occupation and Leftists.
When the man, referred to by his followers as "Bibi, King of Israel" makes racism the norm you can bet it will flow into every corner of the country and it's occupied territories.
When the final campaign effort is a reaffirmation of eternal occupation you can bet that hope for self-determination will be lost for millions.
When last summer's bloody 'operation' in Gaza gave way to street violence by “Kahanist” thugs, you can bet the collectively-expected next 'war' will lead to much, much worse.
When the ruling party oversees the massive growth of inequality and more than 2 million live below the poverty line, and still they are thrust to victory, you can bet that life will get harder and harder.
The only way forward is to build our movement to be courageous in its vision for ending the occupation, building equality and peace, and seeking justice, and to establish, here and now, that the above is necessary for the prosperity we all seek.
This movement has to be strong enough to withstand the attacks ahead, both physical and political. We must move forward with foresight and develop a strategy, and it has to (re)start today.