Friday, 2 May 2008

I am a Zionist

The word seems to have gone out of favour. We all a little too besieged by reports of incursions into Gaza and embargoed petrol donations.

I’m a Zionist.

I believe, notwithstanding my struggles with this policy or that, that Jews need and deserve a safe homeland in eretz yisrael where we can live in peace and under our own sovereignty.

It’s an old dream.

Raymond Scheindlin in his recently published work, The Song of the Distant Dove, has translated and presented the pilgrimage poetry of Yehudah HaLevi (d. 1141).

I am finished now and forever with creeping

On palm and face in the presence of men.

I am making my way through the heart of the sea

To the place where God’s own feet find rest,

There to pour out my soul and sorrow.

His holy mountain will be my doorsill,

My fate will face the gates of heaven.

I will strew the Jordan river with saffron,

Put out my shoots on the stream of the Shiloah

There is brokenness in our relationship, Israel and I, the sorts of complexity that exists in every serious relationship, but, in the week where we celebrate Yom Haatzmaut, it is important to claim Zionism as a necessary part of our hearts our souls and our actions.

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