Andrea Cooper

Life is Sacred

Hashem you teach us that life is sacred,
But why, how do you enable such cruelty and bloodshed in the world?
Why do we face the dilemma to kill or be killed?
To take sacred life.

There has always been those who seek power above all else.
They seek control by any means for their own gain.
Ideology for many provides a way of life.
Yet at times this becomes a justification to kill those who think differently.
To force a way of life or belief on others.

What is peace?

Can people of different heritages live side by side?
Be respectful and willing to acknowledge others who are different.
To live safely in our own homes while choosing to share ‘country’.

What is ‘country’?

In Australia this refers to the lands of our first peoples.
To the places they spiritually identify with and ultimately come from.
As Jews we have dreamt of our ‘country’ for over two thousand years.

Our ‘country’ is our spiritual home, the land where our roots run deep.
Irrelevant if we are religious or secular, political or cultural.
Our belief in our ‘country’, the area now known as Israel, has been our survival.

But other peoples have also lived in our ‘country’ for hundreds of years.
How can we respect them if they don’t acknowledge and respect us?
How can we live side by side if people are taught to fear and hate?

Instead of harmony and sharing we have resentment.
Bitterness that begets killing.
What could be done differently? Where is the humanity?

We are vilified and hated by many around the world,
Just for who we are!
As Jews we have never forcibly imposed our beliefs on others.
Yet over the centuries we have been libeled, slandered, pilloried and abused.
We have never coerced by sword or gun.

Today many of us are fortunate to live in our ‘country’.
Yet instead of the harmony, sharing and living side by side that the majority seek
Our historical and spiritual connection is denied by many

How does one respond to brutal cold blooded murder?

However uncomfortable it is we are forced to reply.
Have no doubt this is a battle for our survival and to eradicate evil.

Sadly many innocents are dying, families and livelihoods left in shambles.
The lives of ALL who are held hostage are overlooked
This is because some prefer to force their ideology and control
They don’t truly care for the welfare of their own population
Instead have set them up as fodder for propaganda

The reality is intent to totally eradicate their Jewish neighbors
AND anyone else who opposes them and their theocracy.

International denial is based on deep rooted prejudices
People thoughtlessly without question lazily consuming falsehoods.
Contradictions abound, Jews around the world no longer feeling safe
Ultimate irony “Go back to where you came from!!!”

This is recurring and systematic renunciation of a faith.
What do they fear from us?
From generation to generation we have been forced to fight for survival.
Then when we endure we are blamed for everyone else’s resulting troubles.

No peoples are perfect, but respect goes a long way
No one is really better than the other
A desire to peacefully work together and co-exist
This is the better way to live!!

Life is Sacred.

About the Author
Andrea Cooper is passionate about inclusion and draws on her life experiences, including as an Australian Jewish woman, to make a contribution. She has worked within Inclusive Communications including to reach multicultural audiences. Andrea is also a health consumer leader, representing the public perspective to inform the Australian health system. Andrea is currently on the Federal Board of NCJWA and a member of JOFA Australia
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