The dawn will come
Sim Lev Blog
by levtaylor
6d ago
My soul looks to God as a nightguard watches for the morning. – Psalm 130:6 I used to think the night guard was watching for the dawn with eagerness, excitement, and trepidation. I just did a night shift watching out for army vans and settlers in the village of Umm al-Khair. Now I know that ..read more
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Water is a more precious resource than I realised
Sim Lev Blog
by levtaylor
1w ago
Needing to use the toilet when you’re out and about is always embarrassing. After days going between different spots without returning to the hostel, it is inevitable. But that embarrassment is multiplied tenfold in the home of a West Bank Palestinian. There, water is too scarce a resource to be wasted. The cistern is never ..read more
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We are contesting what being Jewish means
Sim Lev Blog
by levtaylor
1w ago
“Nothing that happens here is transcendental. It is just about who gets to live in and farm these hills.” In the Jordan Valley, there is a vague tedium for we who do protective presence. We are not farmers, and I suspect I would be fairly useless at the tough manual labour these men and women ..read more
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We need you here
Sim Lev Blog
by levtaylor
1w ago
Last night, Eid Alhad’lin spoke on Zoom to Rabbis for Human Rights from Masafer Yatta, and explained what was happening to his village. The settlers have cut off water and electricity, demolished homes, and shot people. I met them last week. Their leader gave a talk to European diplomats in Arabic, then a younger man ..read more
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How many machine guns do you need in a synagogue?
Sim Lev Blog
by levtaylor
2w ago
A person shall not go out with a sword, nor a bow, nor a shield, nor a dagger, nor a spear. If one does, they are liable for sin. Rabbi Eliezer says: they are decorations for him. And the sages say: they are simply disgraceful, as the Torah says: “they shall beat their swords into ..read more
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Who are my people?
Sim Lev Blog
by levtaylor
2w ago
At a time when the community is suffering, one may not say: “I will go home, and eat, and drink, and be at peace in my soul.” – Talmud Taanit 11a I began studying this sugya in the immediate aftermath of October 7th and the subsequent war on Gaza. It was evident that people were ..read more
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Because of my Jewish friends
Sim Lev Blog
by levtaylor
3w ago
“And who occupied us first, before Israel?” I am getting grilled on my understanding of Jerusalem’s history. “Wait, how far back are we going?” “Just before Israel, who was here?” “The British.” “Exactly. The British.” The fact that I am a rabbi in kippah and tzitzit in this Palestinian man’s home is largely unremarkable. But ..read more
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The whole world wants us to be free!
Sim Lev Blog
by levtaylor
3w ago
Before coming here, a friend sent me a podcast about how resilience is not so much an intrinsic quality as it is the culture of support you have around you. Who can stay strong when nobody is holding them up? The podcast was talking about the experiences of people living through illness and disability. How ..read more
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Bring them home now
Sim Lev Blog
by levtaylor
3w ago
In the morning, at Shabbat services, a young woman got up at the end to announce that last week was the birthday of a girl she had taught as a youth leader. Her friends all met up in Jerusalem to celebrate it. She wasn’t there. Her name is Naama Levy. She was taken hostage on ..read more
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They are destroying the world on top of our heads
Sim Lev Blog
by levtaylor
3w ago
We are looking at a video of a little girl, learning to dance, waving to her daddy. He has not seen her since October. Gone is the joy of our hearts; our dancing has turned into mourning. Yesterday, I spent the day with paperless workers from Gaza in the West Bank. After October 7th, all ..read more
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