My Dream As We Leave Yom Ha’atzmaut

This time of year in Israel evokes intense emotions.

Last week on Rosh Chodesh I went to the Kotel.

I wanted to go to daven with the women there, to see and experience it for myself .

When I got there I couldn’t do it, the hundreds of press and police numbed my feelings, and I had no intention of being part of that.

So instead I just watched.

I saw women who just wanted to pray to God, they sang and prayed trying to ignore the fuss around them.

I saw no provocation,instead I saw the beauty of women from all streams of Judaism coming together to pray.

Those extremist elements who tried to shout them down, those women who called them “animals” stirred in me frustration.

Even at Judaism’s holiest place there are people who can scream at other Jews and deny their feelings and choices.

I have experienced in the past few years what happens if you let extremist bullies control the face of Judaism, and I for one realized on that beautifully sunny morning at the Kotel, that if we do not allow people to be free at the Kotel as Jews, then they will never be free anywhere. Of course it is complicated, it always is, but the starting point is, that everyone has rights and every Jew is legitimate.

The next day I was at a bakery in an extremist neighbourhood. I came out of the store and the flag had been broken off my car.

Again I reiterate, these people don’t get it. These disgusting behaviors of abusive cries at others because you do not agree with them; in how they pray, dress or exist and even breaking off flags, the symbol of the State of Israel will never get them anywhere.

As for me, it just make my determination to change this country even the stronger.

This morning I went to the ceremony for Yom Hazikaron at my daughters school, my youngest son’s Gan was also there.

This was what my soul had been waiting for.

The feeling of pride in our children, in our soldiers and in our country.

This is why I came to live here, this is where the future of the Jewish people is,this is why I will fight for it , to make it better.

My sons and daughter may fight in the army, but I will fight for the face, values and essence and future of our country.

I hope and pray for the day, when everyone can recognize and respect the differences between us, but at the same time embrace our mutual future , a future where we will work together to build ,not having to fight those who want its destruction from within….

“ein li eretz acheret”

Chag Sameach

About the Author
Alisa Coleman has a Speech Sciences (Hon) degree from University College London .Alisa became a leading activist to combat extremism in Bet Shemesh .