On a recent day, I received comments from two people that I respect within an hour on social media. One said (I’m paraphrasing both) that any rabbi who doesn’t call for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza is morally bankrupt. The other said that any rabbi who would call for a ceasefire, given Hamas’ stated goals of destroying Israel, is betraying the Jewish people.
I’ve been sitting with that tension, and it feels like a black hole inside my heart. How am I to know what path will most likely lead to a future filled with justice, peace and coexistence in my beloved land? How could I tell if a military response is more likely to achieve the peace that both peoples desire or if a ceasefire would be better? I can’t possibly know.
I didn’t study political science, military strategy, or international relations in rabbinical schools. Granted, there are rabbis who do have this expertise – e.g. Some rabbis have studied geopolitics or have experience in international diplomacy. But I don’t have the training, or the crystal ball, I would need in order to make these determinations wisely.
I know how pray from the heart. I know how you sit with a griever. I am a teacher.