Laura Ben-David
Sharing Israel with the world through my lens
Featured Post

We are one Jewish people; let’s act like it

It's not as if we Jews have a shortage of enemies
Men in Jaffa. They're shouting at each other... but it's coming from a place of love. (Laura Ben-David)
Men in Jaffa. They're shouting at each other... but it's coming from a place of love. (Laura Ben-David)

There’s something troubling me that I can no longer remain silent about: the terrible and ongoing displays of sinat chinam (baseless hatred) of Jew for Jew — all over the world, and, particularly, right here in Israel.

It is not enough that we have a resurgence of anti-Semitism the likes of which we haven’t seen in decades.

We have BDS.

We have Hamas.

We have Iran.

We have countries that refuse to allow our 7-year-old chess champions to play there because they’re Israeli.

We have no shortage of enemies… and yet, we have to hate each other. HATE.

I know, it’s a strong word. And the vitriol I’ve been witnessing has been that bad. And for too, too long.

Who does the Kotel REALLY belong to? All of us…if we could learn to share. (Laura Ben-David)

Which Jew claims to know exactly what God wants?

Which Jew is so sure of himself and his own Jewish path that he not only claims to be right, but feels justified in telling others they are wrong?

Which Jew is so certain he has God in his corner that he will lambaste, embarrass, denounce and bully his fellow Jews for making different choices?

For being born a different way?

For having different priorities?

For being somewhere else on the religious spectrum? Or off of it entirely?

For being right wing? Or left wing?

For being a settler?

For being haredi? For being secular?

For being gay?

For being open-minded? Or narrow-minded…

For having had a different education?

For having different beliefs?

For being… different.

Well let me tell you something: We are ALL different.

It’s not up to you or me to determine who’s doing things the right way. Nor does it matter. AT ALL.

My actions, good or bad, are between me and God. I teach this to my children as well. And, if I may, I’d like to try and teach it to all of the adults…

We talk all the time about making peace with ANOTHER people. Friends, we need to get our own house in order before we can tackle that one.

PLEASE. We have one Israel. We are ONE Jewish people. Let us make whatever effort we can to be accepting. If you cannot find it in your heart to embrace everyone, at least be kind…. at the very least be tolerant.

If we can’t do this for ourselves, let’s do it for our children… the future of Israel — and of the Jewish people — is in our hands.

It doesn’t need to be Kumbaya… just a little tolerance and acceptance. Boys in Bat Ayin. (Laura Ben-David)
About the Author
Laura Ben-David is a photographer, public speaker and Israel advocate. Inspired by her Aliyah experience, Laura began writing and never stopped. She is the author of the book, MOVING UP: An Aliyah Journal, a memoir of her move to Israel. She has spoken all over the world about Israel, Aliyah and other topics, often with beautiful photographic presentations. Formerly the head of social media at Nefesh B'Nefesh, Laura is the director of marketing at Shavei Israel as well as a marketing consultant.