Partners for Peace, Day One 

November 1, 2016 — Jerusalem and Tiberias

At our opening dinner of the JFNA Partners for Peace mission on Monday night, Rabbi Leonard Gordon said, “On this trip we will be listening to the voices at the center. We already know plenty about the voices at the extremes. We hear too much from them.” We are learning about sites holy to Jews, Christians and Muslims through touring and text study, and we are engaging in the challenging work of listening to narratives of those who tell a story different from our own. We commit to genuine dialogue in which we seek to listen and learn.


On this mission to Israel, thirty of us, rabbis and Christian clergy together, will listen to Jewish and Palestinian people who are working together, who maintain conversations, and who still believe in the ability to change things for the better. The mission statement of Partners for Peace includes the following aspiration: “Our partnership is born of our desire, as neighbors and faith leaders, to model positive and productive ways to approach the complex Israeli-Palestinian conflict by fostering hope and reconciliation.”

As Tal Becker taught this morning at Shalom Hartman Institute, “We do not seek a complete Peace with a capital P, but rather movement toward the aspirations of peace.

Jewish optimism is not about seeing the glass half full. It’s about seeing the glass half empty but believing that we can keep adding water to the glass. For 2000 years we could not add even one drop of water. Today we have Israel. Today we can.


(And on another, lighter note, I cannot resist sharing this picture of the Madonna of Tzippori. All of those who studied “Rav Hisda’s Daughter” by Maggie Anton with me over the summer will recognize this beautiful mosaic as the one that was created of Hisdadukh!)

With blessings from Eretz Yisrael,

Rabbi Paula Mack Drill

One response to “Partners for Peace, Day One ”

  1. eileen roger says :

    May your strength be multiplied and may your mission bear sweet fruit.

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