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I am working to bring hearts closer together

Even as I try to stitch the rift, I worry that violence may be the only way to get our message across
A car is seen on fire during a protest following the death of 19-year-old Solomon Tekah who was shot and killed in Kiryat Haim by an off-duty police officer, in Tel Aviv, July 2, 2019. (Flash90)
A car is seen on fire during a protest following the death of 19-year-old Solomon Tekah who was shot and killed in Kiryat Haim by an off-duty police officer, in Tel Aviv, July 2, 2019. (Flash90)

It pains me to see this unrest, these demonstrations. They are a cry for justice, a call for people to be seen. “Do not stare at me because I am dark” (Songs of Songs 1:6)

It is the cry of an entire community to be part of the whole, and to receive our equal share. It’s particularly shocking to see the societal discrimination when discussing this subject. People clucking their tongues and demanding that we stop whining

“You’ve caused us enough trouble, make a decision and shut up.”

People are treating this like it’s a sibling squabble, a matter between the Ethiopian-Israeli community and the police, it’s about something significantly deeper and more profound.

Click for more Ethiopian-Israeli Voices.

All of this violence is meant to remove the festering sore that everyone is trying to cover with a bandaid. I sit torn because while I really want everything to be smoothed over — I believe that violence may be the only way to get our message across.

I mainly pray and look to add positivity to my community, I am working to bring hearts closer together and stitch the rift that exists. I hope that these demonstrations end safely and that no one on either side gets hurt. I pray that the pain will heal and the fissures will seal. That we will be privileged to see good deeds come out of these cases and there will be unity between us. That we will not snub or disparage one another.

“May the One Who Makes Peace Above Make Peace upon Us. Amen” (Closing of Kaddish)

This post was contributed with the assistance of Nishmat – The Jeanie Schottenstein Center for Advanced Torah Study for Women.

Find perspectives on this issue at The Times of Israel topic page for Ethiopian-Israeli Voices.

About the Author
Galit Dajan, 23, is a student in Nishmat’s Maayan (N.E.W.) College Program. She is entering her final year of a B.A. program in Special Education and Jewish Philosophy at Herzog College and lives in Yavne with her family.
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