Leor Sinai
Do Good.

A Concerned Citizen in Israel

A Concerned Citizen

If you haven’t noticed, Israeli society is on the verge of a meltdown. With everyone pointing fingers at the other, no one willing to budge, the People of Israel are nearing an impasse; the truth is, it’s money time and we need a social paradigm shift. For years now the politics that engulfs Israeli society is tearing us apart unlike ever before, and for those who know our past – we simply cannot afford to be torn apart. We need provide citizens of the state, and by extension Global Jewry and the community of nations, some semblance of normalcy, stability, frameworks for debate and redlines that are not crossed. The problem is, when looking around for the adults in the room, there simply are none – there is no qualified leadership in Israel today able to unify, able to calm the noise and flaring tempers to avoid the situation from getting any worse. Not on the right, nor the left, and so it is up to us, concerned citizens, to raise our voice across political-religious-secular-social barriers and see beyond the trees, see the forest and the big picture for if we lose sight of that – we have no one to blame but ourselves.

A Social Paradigm Shift

As people “…seem to be calcifying into ideological tribes that cannot tolerate dissent.” (Mark Charendorff, Sapir, 2023 IAC Edition), we find ourselves standing at the intersection of past, present, and future, time will tell which direction was taken. I’m thinking in 5 years from now, probably less, we will look back and put our finger on this time period, that’s right now,— and I pray celebrate—the decisions that were made in 2023; I am optimistic with a dose of realism. The thing is, we’ve been here before, we’ve seen the movie that starts with internal rivalry, ego, ignorance, and hate, and we know how it all ends, its disastrous, existential, not good at all.

Let’s start with reminding ourselves that the world we build is the world our children inherit. What does that world look like? Chaos, violence, and darkness, or the exact opposite? I vote for love, light, and compassion, you see life is unpredictable as it is, why make it any harder?

Tradition teaches us that life is made up of a series of choices we make, we in fact do have the ability to choose how we are, who we are, and why we are. And every so often, we meet life at an intersection, a space and time where tough choices need to be made, that intersection can be on Kaplan & Shaul HaMelech in Tel Aviv or some other protest, OR it could be at the intersection of introspection challenging us to think beyond emotions and immediate resolutions, and onto to long term, bigger choices requiring us to see things differently and not lose sight of the bigger picture.

Paradigm shifts happen all the time, and now needs to be one of those times.

Having navigated 2000 years of exile, confronted with the worst humanity has to offer, and despite history having the wherewithal to come out on top, and yet to find ourselves at the current state of social and political upheaval, a group identity meltdown is unacceptable. We have come too far in 75 years, and I am not interested in a return to pre-1948.

I love this country, I love our people, and I love this life. Israel, and I believe society as we know it all stand at an intersection of opportunity, BUT a choice needs to be made, a choice well put by William Shakespeare, when he asked: “to be or not to be” – let’s choose “to be”.

About the Author
Rabbi Leor Sinai is a global presenter and thought leader in the field of Education Diplomacy, he is a Legacy Heritage Foundation Fellow, and Doctoral Candidate in the field of Education Leadership. Sinai is on the boards of Kol Yisrael-United Zionists, serves as Chair of the Youth Aliyah sub-committee at the Jewish Agency for Israel, and is an organizational consultant in the fields of Israel Engagement and Leadership Development. Sinai made Aliyah with his family in 2011.
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