A Peaceful Protest in Jerusalem

I apologize to my readers. I don’t have anything interesting to say. You see:

Tonight I attended an apolitical pro-peace rally in Jerusalem, and nothing happened. Speeches were made about all humans being created in God’s image, about the Torah’s prohibition on murder and its admonition to love our fellows as ourselves. People railed against incitement to violence and prayed for peace.

And nothing happened.

There was a small counter-protest of 30 people on the other side of the street. They sang and yelled, but did not get violent. Our group was about 200 people – mostly Jews. The organizers said there were Palestinians who had wanted to come, but were afraid to be out and about in the center of town tonight, and they read a statement by a Palestinian who couldn’t make it.

I was a little hesitant about going – not because of what happened at the last event I attended, but because I found out that three more Israelis had been stabbed by Palestinians in Jerusalem on Saturday.

But I went anyway.

Seeing 200 people gathered to hope and pray for peace was extremely powerful. It sent a message, that we are here, and we will not allow our city to be overcome by violence. And it reminded those of us who strive for peace, that were are not alone. The rally did not call out in favor or against specific political policies or specific politicians.

And something happened: People overcame political differences in order to unite against violence.

It was beautiful.

And I figured, if I share my experiences of bad nights, I’d like to share my experiences of good nights as well, nights when the stars are shining, and you thank God that everything was boring, because that means that you’re safe and able to eat the big tub of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream that’s waiting in your freezer. (Cookie dough. Do you even have to ask?)

Wishing you all lots of peace, and good nights, and delicious ice cream.

About the Author
Shayna Abramson, a part-Brazilian native Manhattanite, studied History and Jewish Studies at Johns Hopkins University before moving to Jerusalem. She has also spent some time studying Torah at the Drisha Institute in Manhattan, and has a passion for soccer and poetry. She is currently pursuing an M.A. in Political Science from Hebrew University, and is a rabbinic fellow at Beit Midrash Har'el.