Tomorrow morning, or next week, or a year from now, we will all get up in the morning and we’ll all still be here, sharing this space.
We will still have to look into each other’s eyes as we go about our day.
We will still have to take the same buses, the same trains.
We will still stop in the same playgrounds with our children.
We will still raise our children in the same society.
And we will stand in the same streets as we watch them take their own steps in this beloved country’s journey.
And so, in the name of this tomorrow, these children, this journey: Let us maintain and build today what we will need to make this shared tomorrow work. Even as we disagree and fight and clash and overflow with anger (and oh, I know it’s hard, I’m angry too, we all are, even if our anger’s targets are diametrically opposed), let us preserve the tools that we will need in that tomorrow, when anger will cool and the crisis will be over but the need to work together will remain.
Let us use language that includes and bridges. Let us say “I see your pain,” let us say “tell me what bothers you,” let us say “what can we agree about,” and then…let us listen, too.
Let us seek compromise and consensus where we can, even while some things remain unnegotiable. Yes, we must stand for our principles. But let us remember that agreement and compromise are the blood that flows through democracy’s veins and that the habits of seeking them will be crucial when we go back to negotiating the daily management of our state instead of its core principles. Let us not abandon them now to rot and rust.
Let us uphold the institutions and people who protect us now and will have to go on doing so. Let us applaud the police, whose men and women shoulder unbelievable burdens right now, as they struggle day and night to maintain safety and order in the streets and among their fellow citizens while protecting us all from terror and crime. Let us strengthen and cherish the army, whose vigilance guarantees our safety. Let us cheer for the public servants, who go to work each day to make our country function, so that even as we fight over our future, we can also live our daily lives.
And let us, perhaps first and foremost, remember that we share a journey, even if it’s really hard. And it is: in this moment, we all look at the same reality, and see wildly different things.
Some look at last night’s protest and see anarchy. Others see a wonderous awakening.
Some see dangerous and nefarious hidden motives. Others see a nation fighting for its life.
Some see an end. Others see a beginning.
Personally, when I look at all the friends who protested last night even though they didn’t protest until now, good and smart people who felt uncomfortable with the more extreme messages but now can no longer be still, I feel respect…and hope.
But whether or not we see reality through the same lens in this moment, whether or not you see disaster where I see inspiration, whether or not you are angry when I’m hopeful and vice versa, you are my people.
And you will be my people tomorrow, and next week, and next year.
And when I say, next week, that “in every generation, they stand against us to destroy us,” you will all be included in my “us,” and none of you will be my “they”.
So let us maintain and build now what we will need in our shared tomorrow.
Let us hold onto the past we share and the values we still have in common, to a language that connects and the institutions that defend and our shared debt of gratitude to everyone who makes this country stand.
Let us hold on tight, so that once we pass through this gai tzalmavet of turbulence and crisis, we will be able to rebuild our faith in one another.
Let us hold on, for the Israel that we will always share.