I am against all war. I am against all genocide.
I pray for and demand immediate and sustained ceasefire and for all killing and terrorizing to stop. I pray for and demand all hostages be returned. I pray for and demand safety of all peoples and the land.
I support the freedom of the Palestinian people and their right to a Palestinian state, free of terror.
I hear and honor the deep grief of the Israeli, Jewish and Palestinian communities. Your grief is your humanity and I join you in this deep sorrow as it is also mine. My heart is broken with you. My liberation is bound up in yours and I know that none of us are free until everyone is free.
I am Jewish and have lived in Israel. A DNA report years ago told me my ancestry was 99.7% Ashkenazi Jew. I come from a tribe.
I grew up in a family system who taught and showed me I would be safest in the world if I could believe that everything was ok, if I could stay distant from the pain of intergenerational trauma, of oppression, and of life. We gained comfort and belonging from our relationship with Judaism. Youth group, camp and synagogue were deeply important to me. I spent a semester studying abroad in Israel. When my grandmother died in 2014, and then my mother in 2021, along with a deep grief of death, I felt such gratitude to have been born into an intact culture who taught me how to mourn and remember my dead. When my 2 nieces were Bat Mitzvahed (Talyah several years ago, Kol just this past fall) I felts so proud of them. I love them both so much and I really learned from them how a Bat Mitzvah is a rite of passage, a beautiful sharing and passing on of cultural wisdom and traditions.
I have a deep compassion for how I was raised and a clarity that my parents and my people only wanted to protect me from pain. There is a resiliency in how you survive a genocide. I have spent years in therapy building capacity to recognize and understand the impulses that live in my body and that fire in my nervous system. This has meant years of building capacity to simply be a compassionate witness with what has been intolerable for me. This has been a dedication to my own healing and to healing in my body the ancestral wounding I have inherited. I have learned to recognize and feel in my body the impact of coming from a people who have experienced genocide. Just 3 generations back. Not that long ago.
So when Israel was attacked by terrorists, I felt horror and also felt the adaptive pathway I have learned to not feel. And then the retaliation. The bombing. The death of so many thousands of people. Parents. Children. Hospitals. Homes. The Land. 2 roads and a day to gather your things and get out. Genocide. I was horrified. And numb. I couldn’t touch it on my own. I needed other people to feel it with me to be able to touch it. And I still do. Because we are not supposed to grieve alone and community trauma requires community healing. And because the actions and behaviors of this genocide remind my cells and the living ancestral wisdom of my body of the historical wounds I have inherited from my Jewish ancestors. This reminds my nervous system of death, of being hunted, of being exterminated.
And as I was feeling all of this I began to see the grief, and wailing and the reliving of trauma responses of so many Jewish beloveds. Beloveds who supported the Israeli military response, which I do not. Nervous systems crying out for safety and belonging. Which we ALL deserve and we all need.
I feel such deep compassion for this. But also a fear and a loneliness that I have never known before. To be watching so many beloveds grieve and to not have a shared experience of horror about the war in Gaza. I was worried about fracturing my relationship with my family. I have never experienced anything like this. To be a human needing belonging, to be a human who is a against all war, against colonization, again zionism, against racism, against all oppression, all violence, all degradation of the land, to be crying out for peace and to not have a shared experience of this.
I’m so grateful for the protest movement, the organizing of Jewish voices for peace and of all those who pray never again for anyone of us. I am grateful for the Rabbis and other Jewish community leaders who are bravely speaking up for Palestinian freedom. I am so grateful for the Jewish and Palestinian folx who are leading a movement of peace and demanding justice. Seeing the takeover of grand central station and all the actions around the world against the war have helped me move out of numbness into aliveness, where I can feel my grief and my boundary more clearly. This is the great turning.
I reject all war. War will never be a solution and must not be a choice. I reject all racism, all colonization and all intersecting systems of domination. I reject all military action. I reject all prisons and all police forces. I raise up the voices of the Palestinian people who are traumatized and grieving and demanding their own freedom and I join their cry with my own. Liberation is our birthright. Safety is the intervention. Stop the war.