The Torah forbids the cutting down of fruitful trees, even during a time of war. The basis for this law appears in the book of Deuteronomy, with the verse adding rhetorically, “Is the tree of the field a man that you should make war upon it?”
Recently, many were dismayed to discover (as reported in the
Forward and +972) that
the iconic photo of two young boys, seemingly an Israeli-Jewish child and a Palestinian-Muslim child, was a
posed photo taken for the Canadian magazine Maclean’s.
Yes, that photo was staged, but there's no need to indulge in the despairing laments echoing around the internet: there are plenty of real pictures, of real people - Palestinian and Israeli (and two Jewish-Americans, in day five's picture - APN's own Lara Friedman, and in day seven's picture, APN Founder Mark Rosenblum), Jewish, Christian, and Muslim - working for a brighter future. In the spirit of Chanukah, we shared a picture a day on Facebook and twitter for each of the eight days of Chanukah - - of real, genuine partners for peace.
Well, the internet exploded: hundreds of shares, thousands of likes. It seems that there is a hunger for hope.
your help, we can provide that hope.
This is the work we do
These people are real, these pictures are real
Share them and join us in building a peaceful future.
Thank you for joining us in Boston for The What Would Leibel Do (WWLD)? Awards Dinner
honoring Sidney Topol with The Leonard Fein Justice Award and Rabbi Toba Spitzer with The
Elizabeth Wyner Mark Peace Award
on Sunday, January 11, 2015.
We appreciate your presence!
To pay via credit card or to make a credit card donation please click here.
For tickets only, please pay via the donate page or send a
check in the amount of made payable to Americans for Peace Now to:
AMERICANS FOR PEACE NOW
2100 M Street, NW, Suite 619
Washington, DC 20037
If you purchased a tribute ad, please pay via the donate page, send a check to the APN office, or contact us at 202-408-9898 or APNBoston@peacenow.org
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...Keep the status quo
By tradition, the binding of Isaac – the Akedah – which occurs in this week’s Torah portion, is held to have taken place on the site known today as the Temple Mount. During the last few days, as tensions in Jerusalem reached new heights over the Temple Mount, I have been reading the portion and thinking about the meaning the Temple Mount has for Jews – and about how sad it is that, rather than respecting it as a place of peace, sacred to both Muslims and Jews, extremists on both sides choose this site to fan the flames of holy war.
Sun Sentinel (Florida) - October 21, 2014
Rabbi Bruce Warshal op-ed: I still contribute to Americans for Peace Now (APN)
San Diego Jewish World - October 22, 2014
APN press release (in its entirety): APN condemns Jerusalem terrorist attack
Jerusalem Post - October 13, 2014
Peace Now's Anat Ben-Nun: Don't blame Peace Now for destructive Israeli government policies in East Jerusalem!
Jerusalem Post (blog) - October 5, 2014
Blogger and Evangelical broadcaster Earl Cox criticizes Peace Now's policies
LA Jewish Journal (Rosner's blog) - October 6, 2014
Shmuel Rosner criticizes both Netanyahu and Peace Now for conduct re Givat Hamatos incident
JP Updates (blog) - October 6, 2014
Blogger Shai Franklin criticizes Netanyahu for lashing out at Peace Now
The Jewish Chronicle (UK) - October 7, 2014
Conflict with Netanyahu "catapults Peace Now to center stage"
Shemini Atzeret -"the Eighth [day] of Assembly"- is celebrated beginning Wednesday night, October 8th. Outside of Israel, a second day is celebrated which is referred to as Simchat Torah ("the Rejoicing of the Torah"). In Israel, the holidays of Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah are combined into one and either name can be used to refer to the holiday.
Shemini Atzeret immediately follows the holiday of Sukkot. The special celebrations for this holiday are the
beginning of the prayers for rain, and the celebration of the completion of the yearly reading of the Torah Scroll,
and returning it back to its beginning to start again during Simchat Torah.
Some commentaries focus on the meaning of the name "Atzeret," meaning "to gather" or "store up." He suggests that the sentiments that we have expressed throughout the entire fall holiday season - repentance, reconciliation, renewal - should be gathered up and stored within us for the following year. We hope that as we turn back to the beginning once again, we will store up all the hopes, all the strength that we have, and turn it into our work for the coming year. This year, may we have gathered enough strength to work for peace - and achieve it.
Beginning Wednesday night, October 8th, the Jewish holiday of Sukkot begins. During the week-long holiday, Jews build a special kind of home to dwell in for the week, called a sukkah. The sukkah is a deliberately temporary house, which can have no more than one permanent wall, and whose roof must be open to the sky, covered only partially by natural materials such as branches. Over the course of the week, the Sukkah is supposed to be one’s home: to eat meals in, to celebrate, and even to sleep in.
Our Israeli sister organization, Peace Now, broke the news that on the eve of Rosh Hashana, when the Netanyahu government hoped that nobody was paying attention it went ahead with final approval of a plan for construction of a new settlement in East Jerusalem –2,610 housing units in Givat Hamatos.
Beginning this Friday evening and continuing through Saturday night, the holiday of Yom
Kippur, the Day of Atonement, will be observed by Jews throughout the world. This year, on Rosh
Hashana, ethicist Michael Walzer reminded us
that throughout the season leading up to Yom Kippur, Jews engage in the accounting of one's soul
-cheshbon nefesh: we examine our behavior, taking an honest measure of ourselves in the year that
has passed. This self-reflection reaches its pinnacle on Yom Kippur.
On the second day of Rosh Hashana, we read the Torah portion in which Abraham brings his son Isaac up to Mount Moriah to sacrifice him. This story is part of cycle of readings that begins on the first day of Rosh Hashana with the story of Hagar and Ishmael being cast out into the desert. Many commentaries note that the two readings are connected - that the (near-) sacrifice of Isaac is a measure for measure punishment of Sarah and Abraham for their treatment of Hagar and Ishmael - a "see how you feel" moment, as it were.
Tonight, as we hear the ram's horn, we are called to review our individual and communal experience in the year that passed.
As we look back, this past year has been a particularly dark one.
Secretary Kerry’s peace initiative crumbled. Against the background of a diplomatic lull violence erupted after the kidnapping and murder of four teens, three Israelis and a Palestinian, and the violence triggered a war, from which both Israel and Gaza emerged devastated and desperate.
So it is with relief that we can turn our faces forward, and place our hope in a fresh beginning. In this spirit we remind ourselves that while darkness encompasses and blinds you, it takes only a tiny candle to banish the dark and see.
We hope, at this time of new beginnings, you will choose to light a candle, and to recommit yourself to the cause of peace and to the work of APN and Shalom Achshav.