Persha K. Valman

Together, We Are Invincible

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Dear Kaplan Crowd,
I love that you have found your voice.
I admire your passion for the Israeli democratic vision.
I appreciate your deep commitment to the hostages and their families, you have carried them every step of the way.
I joined you in the fight for our democracy, but now I take a step back.
I agree with every fiber of my being that we need to do everything possible to demand the release of our hostages, whether through diplomacy, rescue, or military pressure.
We need a leader worthy of the people of Israel, that will lead us and unite us. The current leadership needs to take responsibility and go.
And yet, every protest we hold is also seen by our enemies worldwide, and it emboldens them. Most distressingly, it weakens our ability to negotiate for our hostages. Your very call to make a deal for the hostages at all costs is ironically adversely affecting the exact people you are fighting to help.
Blocking roads is harming the very people who need to heal. Life since Oct 7 is extremely hard, tensions are high, sadness is deep and all are traumatized. It is hurting the people, more than the leadership.

Dear Haredi Community
I love that you cherish Torah and our tradition.
I admire that your lifestyle gives children a childhood not scorched by social media.
I appreciate the importance you place on family and community.
And yet it saddens me that you have taken the beauty of Judaism, which uniquely balances the particular with the universal, and claim it to be so narrow. The Judaism that has lived throughout our 3500-year history is one that highlights both the centrality of the physical and spiritual worlds. In the beginning of time, the Torah says you shall work for six days and rest on Shabbat. The majority of great Rabbis and sages combined work and study, and that was their greatness.
Throughout Tanach we see the centrality of nationhood and living in the land of Israel. The Mishna commands all to join a defensive war without exclusions. The most devout were meant to go to the battlefield, as they would be the protection. We need your strength and focus on the battlefield alongside the rest of the nation. We are a people of responsibility for the nation and for one another. It’s your turn to step up and take it.

Dear Lovers of the Land of Israel
I love that you have dedicated your life to building the land.
I admire that you combine work with Torah values.
I appreciate that you are at the forefront of defending our people. You have sadly paid a disproportionate price for it. And yet, in 1994 when I spent Shabbat in one of your warm and welcoming yishuvim, I sat at a table where to my horror, everyone praised Baruch Goldstein, the person that murdered 29 Muslim worshippers. It wasn’t far from that to killing our own prime minister.
It seems to me that if we cannot condemn that type of killing, then we have sunk to the level of our enemies. Taking the law into your own hands, means there is no law. If there is no law, we will lose our humanity and with it risk losing our land. In the midst of a war of survival, go back to the north and south and rebuild and strengthen the land we have, instead of conquering more.
Respect the separation of powers. Judaism has always understood the importance of balancing power between the King, the Prophet and the Priest. The Maccabees’ concentration of power is a cautionary tale.

Dear Druze, Bedouin, Muslims, and Christians
I love that you bring diversity to this country
I admire your strong communities and immense hospitality
I appreciate that many of you have sacrificed their lives to defend this land and way of life
It certainly is not easy being a minority in any country, and Israel is no exception. I hope that the Jewish history of persecution in country after country has sensitized Jews to the minorities in our midst.
Oct 7th reminded all of us that our enemies targeted any age, any gender, any race, and any religion. Their barbarity and cruelty knows no bounds. Their radicalism threatens anyone who believes in the dignity of each human being.
Continue to join us in building a country that is respectful and kind to all communities. Stand with us as we defend our unique country in the Middle East that believes in equal opportunity for all.

To all Israeli Citizens. History has been hard on us and once again we feel like a people that dwells alone. The two tragic times in our long history when we lost our sovereignty and land is when we splintered and fought each other. Each sect thought that they owned the truth, the only truth, the absolute truth. If we are to win this war we all need to step down from our mountain tops and meet each other in the valleys. Step down from self righteousness into the space of humility.

Lay down the protest placards
Voluntarily enlist and contribute
Halt all divisive laws
Stop all the hateful rhetoric.
Tune out the inflammatory news
Ignore the politicians that divide us
Let’s meet in the squares to talk
Lets walk on the pavements to connect.
Let’s sing together
Lets cry together
Let’s pray together.
Let’s join hands and be unified.
Together, we are invincible

About the Author
Persha Valman led the Finance team at until their exit in 2021. She has over 25 years experience in Finance and HR across global settings. She is currently a Fractional CFO for multiple startups in Israel and the US. Persha concurrently lectures and runs courses on the Jewish wisdom around work and money, and is writing a book on the topic.
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