Yehiel Grenimann
Masorti rabbi, author, human rights activist

Where are we going now? A Dilemma.

This is my first venture into blogging on this site but I hope not my last. I am worried, as are many of my colleagues and friends here in Jerusalem and elsewhere in Israel about the direction of the country since 7th October. We were anxious before and out protesting what we saw as a political development that was in our eyes an attempt to push  us into an authoritarian regime without the  checks and balances so necessary for a functioning democracy.

But now we are at war.

The same people who were undermining our governmental norms remain in place at the helm. We are caught in a terrible dilemma, faced as we are with the traumatic  consequences of that massacre, the taking of hostages, and the subsequent war on the one hand, but with the continuing anxiety about the lack of trustworthiness of our national leaders on the other.  On the one hand we want a secure Israel in which it is possible to live in peace with our citizenry and our immediate neighbours but on the other the abuses and political machinations of the government  continue unabated. Is it possible to fight the war, pressure for the release of the hostages and at the same time protect our democracy?

I will relate to this question in subsequent postings.

And meanwhile, as I have been doing over the last many, many weeks, I will continue to pray for our soldiers, for the return of the hostages, for the lives of the innocents on both sides, for our ability to maintain human decency and not lose our sense of sanity in the midst of the bombardment from all sides with propaganda, self-righteousness and hate.

I continue to hold by the basic values with which I was educated in my very Jewish home in Melbourne Australia: love of my people, a belief in the eventual victory of humanity over inhumanity despite the Holocaust, and the simple expectation that each of us should strive to be  a “mensch”.

Rabbi Yehiel Grenimann


About the Author
Now retired, I am a member of the executive boards of Rabbis For Human Rights and Tag Meir and an active congregant of Kehillat Yedidya in Jerusalem. In recent years I have authored two novels: Far Away From Where? and The Partisan's Coat (Mazo Publishers), both of which deal with the issues I would like to address in a blog. Before retiring I worked for 12 years for RHR in the OPT, was the congregational rabbi of three Masorti kehilot (Shira Hadasha, Arad, Eshel Avraham Beersheba and Havurat Tel Aviv), the coordinator of Masorti conversion education I also taught at the Masuah Holocaust memorial centre, served as director of the Ot VeEd institute for Holocaust education and as a high school teacher in Jewish history and civics for ten years.
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