Sharon Altshul

We are here to stay

What a week. Just when you think you have  it heard it all, along comes another surprise. After waiting, worrying and thinking of the three kidnapped Israeli teens, Eyal, Gilad and Naftali, what could happen next?

The Presbyterian Church USA at their General Assembly in Detroit voted to support the BDS Movement and divest its holdings from Caterpillar, Motorola, and Hewlitt-Packard.

 “The Palestinian Talmud” a blog by the Jewish Voice for Peace Rabbinical Council, wrote to the Presbyterian Church leaders,

As rabbis, we are sensitive to the feelings of those Jews who oppose divestment. But we cannot ignore the daily suffering of Palestinians and the shockingly routine loss of Palestinian life living under Occupation. Withdrawing financial support for tools of war is a compelling moral imperative.

If liberal Rabbis in America have a “Palestinian Talmud” and encourage BDS , then I am no longer as shocked by the following email that I received.


It was your choice to give up your home in the US and move to a tinderbox, thus participating in the problem and escalating it…. We do not live in Biblical times, though you want to recreate them, to the detriment to the whole world. American Jews raised in shuls that push Birthright are most to blame for this….The whole world is not against Jews. The world is looking for peace and privileged American Jews are hindering it when moving to Israel, and thereby perpetuating the lie that we are better than everyone else.

At first I was speechless, then saddened, then depressed.

Yes, it was my choice, I gave up my big home and dream designer kitchen. OK, I still mourn that kitchen with the big island, two huge ovens  and three sinks. But my life style of no longer having a car, instead of owning two is NOT the problem in the Middle East.

I am glad to hear that the whole world is not against the Jews.

However, I am amazed to learn the whole world is looking for peace and that I am hindering it by moving to Jerusalem, Israel.

What about Syria and Iran and Iraq?

Please tell me how American Jews moving to Israel are at fault for those daily atrocities leaving countless dead? The published photos from those areas are too painful to view.

One of the first things in Ulpan was having to learn many new Hebrew words for different types of corruption. No one said we are better. No one says Israel is perfect.

However, this girl can wear her shirt that says “Palestine” and

image Arab girl, photo Palestinian girl, picture Arab girl
Muslim girl outside Walls of Old City Photo credit: Sharon Altshul

flash her smile and two fingers at me freely on the street in Israel.

And that is a whole lot better than most other places all around us.

We do not want to recreate Biblical times, we just want to be able to live safely

On Shabbat our whole congregation stood for special prayers for our missing boys, Eyal, Gilad and Naftali.  A special kiddush followed sponsored by friends who after years had finally bought their dream home in Jerusalem.

Perhaps those Jews in the US who do not believe in G-d and his promises to the Jewish people should not try to help us so much. Those who bless Israel will be blessed.

Meanwhile, Hamas terrorists have not shown even one photo of Eyal, Gilad and Naftali.

So another week slowly begins, but we are here to stay.

About the Author
Tired of only seeing negatives images of Jerusalem in the media, I started taking pictures of what is really happening, to show the world the real Jerusalem streets..
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