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Jeffrey Levine
CFO | Seeking a just world I Author

Over this I cry

Today, I am really sad. I have lost hope. I see my country divided;  ordinary, rational people are consumed. I see lies, coercion, and an attack on Israel and God. I see people shooting themselves and the country in the foot. OK, I get it. We do not like the prime minister. But at what cost to our beloved country.

I was asked which side I supported. Rav Kook was asked which party or candidate he would vote for? He replied for both. Both are virtuous,

Both mean well. Unfortunately, both are pushing our country into the mud.

Just because I want a greater Israel, I am labelled extreme. Each village, town, and settlement was built with blood and effort. Same today.

I want peace and some form of communication with the other. My Arab neighbors. They share the local parks, walkways, and shops. I cannot speak their language.  Learning Arabic in schools should be compulsory. Maybe I am a leftist.

I am also an anarchist, calling for system change from our economic prison of high taxes, municipal electricity costs, and extremely high property prices. I feel sorry to the youngsters who face a 3m NIS property price.

Am I a pro-democracy? Yes, is it perfect? Probably not, but the best alternative to the others.

What about capitalism and the power of the entitled. If you are rich and served in the army, your vote is worth more than mine.

We live in a broken world.  I write about that in my forum Upgradingesg.com.

What we are seeing is a battle for the soul of Israel.  We are having growing pains as to the direction of the country.

We have the black hats who want to preserve their innocence. We have the others who are scared of their growing influence.

I live in both camps, which is reflected in my diverse range of children, from Haredi to trans. Some with tattoos. Some still need smartphones. Despite externals are all good citizens. Good people. People living and contributing to society,

I would love for my children to join me in singing Hallel on Yom Haazmaut in Jerusalem.  But, alas, this is not to be.

We mainly do not discuss our differences or opinions; we push this under the table. I take my frustration to the pen, blogs in various passions and things that need fixing (also within me). I used to write about Achdut. This ship seems to have sailed. Currently, I write on Mindfulness- body and soul,  pro-Israel (anti-Israel),  and remembering the Holocaust and the terrible record of mankind. Today, I write about upgrading the world. Upgrading ESG – Sharing ideas and innovation to make the world more sustainable. For future generations.

But as I sit here watching the gentle sunrise on my balcony in Jerusalem, feeling a gentle breeze of cool air, I know it will get hot later. I write these words flowing from my heart, thinking what will be. Thinking what will be.

I am thinking about the soul of Jerusalem. How can we inspire everybody, ourselves and myself, to understand that there must be a better way?

At this point, I am tired of thinking.  I want to close my eyes to what is happening.

We need dialogue,  a discussion of ideas and where we are headed.

We have our opinions. Fact or speculation? Here are my two cents.

For Israel to be strong, vibrant, and a light to the nations, we must bring our unique history and calling into the story. And that is Judaism and God.

Israel, without Judaism, will not survive. Judaism, without Israel, will not survive.

And the world will not survive.  Without recognition of God, we will not survive. Not survive senseless hatred and wars. Not survive global poverty. Half the world lives in poverty,  and we demonstrate democracy.

Survive is a harsh word. On Tisha Bav, we read harsh words. God has abandoned us. All hope is gone.

I need some fresh air. It is now sunrise in Jerusalem. I take Daisy for a walk.

The walk is 5 minutes. We pass the Allenby transit camp, a reminder of ethnic cleansing and absorption; we pass the park, where in the evening I hesitate to go as I feel intimidated because of the many Arab neighbours, and then pass the sculpture of the Yemenite family coming to Israel on foot.

 

We arrive at my favorite spot in the world, overlooking a small hill where the Temple once stood.  It really is so tiny. I am alone. Jerusalem is alone. God is alone.

No one is here. This is the most peaceful spot in the world.  I view the most controversial, talked about, the most influential, and coveted spot globally.

And that is why Israel is under the microscope. Instead of being a light to the nations, we are an embarrassment.

Where is God in this conversation? We are the people of God.

At this stage, I want to cry. Cry Shma Yisrael.  We do not hear God, and God does not want to listen to us.

Well, Daisy has gone walkabouts. I better go find her. I am searching.  I am searching for the soul of Jerusalem.  Will we find her?

I found her sitting with that little Hill in the background.  The smartphone camera cannot capture the scene adequately.  Jerusalem, the Temple Mount, visible to the natural eye, can not be visualized by the camera.  We need special eyes. Eyes to see. Ears to listen. Hearts of understanding and compassion.

I am alone.  The sun is rising.  Soon the moment will be gone.

I know that now it is quiet, but come this evening that Hill will be singing:

Am Yisrael Chai. Od Avinu Chai.

Photo Credits –  All photos taken me

Further Readings

I came across a powerful article that reframes our relationship with the Temple. https://blogs.timesofisrael.com/a-temple-in-our-time/

In my blog on Jerusalem Day, I quoted Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach.

“The idea of the Temple in Jerusalem was a House of Love and Prayer for all the nations, all the people in the world, and peace and justice for all.”

https://blogs.timesofisrael.com/jerusalem-national-pride-day

About the Author
Jeffrey is a CFO | Seeking a just world I Author -living in Jerusalem. He is a young grandfather who has five kids and seven grandchildren. Jeffrey is promoting a vision for a better and fairer world through https://upgradingesg.com and is the author of Upgrading ESG - How Business can thrive in the age of Sustainability
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