Reflections from Jerusalem

Yesterday afternoon, some Hartman Rabbinic Leadership Initiative colleagues and I decided to take full advantage of being in Jerusalem. We went to the Cardo in the Old City (the main street of Jerusalem nearly 1,500 years ago) to visit with a sofer (scribe) who has had the honor of writing eight Sifrei Torah (Torah scrolls). As we came upon the row of Roman pillars in the Cardo where only three pillars stood complete, others broken at different points, my oldest son Eli (6 years old) asked: “Who cut these down?” Jerusalem is a city of interrupted traumas, whole in its brokenness.

Under the Iron Dome: Experiencing the Conflict in Israel First-Hand

I did not expect to become a target of missile fire this summer — that was never on my intended agenda of tanning, shopping and padding the resume. Yet, during the middle of my Jerusalem summer program’s potluck dinner, our shrieks of delight at the watermelon and feta salad succumbed to deadening silence as a siren suddenly blared over the loudspeaker.