As I pray for a ceasefire to this conflict, looking back on how it flared up, I am haunted by the facts.

I am haunted by the reality of Israel’s vulnerability, haunted by the prospect of a world without a Jewish State.

I am haunted by the fact that Hamas continually launches missiles into Israel, targeting my people, my friends.

I am haunted by the fact that Hamas’ leadership tactically dwells among civilians, using their children’s flesh as shields.

I am a teacher, pained by the news that three Israeli children were brutally murdered, shot to death because of hatred.

I am a rabbi, shocked by the June 10th story by J.J. Goldberg contending that Prime Minister Netanyahu knew these children were murdered within hours of their death.

I am a parent, confused by the report of the Prime Minister’s subsequent gag order on reporting their deaths, a tactical play for a global campaign, at the expense of parents’ and people’s false hope.

I am a lover of Israel, befuddled by the mere possibility that this report, this story, may indeed be a fact.

I am not an unbiased, objective collector of facts.

I am a shareholder in the Jewish future.

The fact is: my gut aches as I pray for the safety of my people who are surrounded by enemies.  Yet the fact is also: my conscience cries as I contemplate the unconscionable suffering in Gaza.

Last night I lay in bed, wide awake all night, the facts of this war colliding almost violently in my mind. This morning I lifted my body out of bed, the facts having tumbled and polished each other into questions:

  • How can we understand what is real or what is fabrication, without open, objective reporting?
  • How can we know which plays, which tactics, warrant fervent advocacy, without trusting the very players who lead?
  • Who is “being played” here?
  • Who here is “playing along”?

I am a Jew, a teacher, a rabbi, a parent, a lover of Israel, desperately trying to pray and live with an honest, truthful semblance of the facts.