Can You Let Your Heart Open Even More?

November 2, 2023

I’m writing today not as an expert, but as a human committed to building a beloved community of other humans. 

On October 7, I was gutted by the coordinated terrorist attacks that claimed so many Israeli lives. To say the context in which Israelis and Palestenians live is complicated is a gross understatement. It’s a context that is important to understand. And, no matter the context, there is no justification or rationalization for Hamas’s brutality. What happened is an atrocity. 

1,400 lives lost, more were taken hostage; the individual and collective trauma is unmeasurable. And I haven’t had the time to process and grieve because of what happened next. 

I have felt completely overwhelmed by what’s been happening in Gaza. Heartbroken. Terrified. And horrified. 

What’s happened to the Palestinian people for 80 years has also been an atrocity. What’s happened in Gaza in the last couple of weeks is attempted genocide.  

I write this as a Jew, as the granddaughter of Russian/Polish Jewish refugees. I write this as someone who is deeply unsettled by the upsurge in antisemitism. 

And I write this as a mother, thinking about the mothers in Gaza who don’t have clean water for their children, who are mourning their children, who have been forced from their homes, who are terrified by the escalating war. 70% of those who have been killed in Gaza by the Israeli airstrikes are women and children. 

I write this to say that I’m horrified by the actions that the Israeli government is taking. There is not a single action that will solve things, but as an immediate start, there must be a humanitarian cease-fire

Every person involved in this conflict bears the wounds of generational trauma. The weight of the grief of every person left behind is equal in its pain. There’s so much more for us to do individually and collectively to heal the traumas of the past, to repair the damage being done today, and to create a future for our grandchildren. 

Oftentimes when there is so much to do, we feel overwhelmed, withdraw, and run the risk of doing nothing. But change requires action. We can all bear witness. We can all feel our feelings. We can all speak out against every act of antisemitism and islamophobia. We can all call for an immediate and unconditional release of all civilians who are being held captive. We can all demand a humanitarian cease-fire. And we must all notice when our heart opens or closes to people who are different from us. We can all commit to keep opening. 

I’m including a non-exhaustive list of additional resources below if you are looking to learn more, or are moved to contribute financially. 

Resources:

I’ve been making donations to these organizations:

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