Today I’m joining an interfaith fast against violence and in support of peace in Israel & Gaza. It happens to be a traditional fast day for both the Jewish and Muslim faiths - part of the holy month of Ramadan for the latter and a somewhat obscure fast commemorating the destruction of the 2nd Temple for the former - and, honestly, I feel so powerless and confused in the face of the spiraling conflict that this act of kinesthetic empathy and spiritual support seems like the most productive way I can engage.
“If you poison us, do we not die? and if you wrong us, shall we not revenge?
If we are like you in the rest, we will resemble you in that.
If a Jew wrong a Christian, what is his humility? Revenge.
If a Christian wrong a Jew, what should his sufferance be by Christian example?
Why, revenge. The villany you teach me, I will execute,
and it shall go hard but I will better the instruction.
W. Shakespeare (Shylock in Merchant of Venice, Act 3/Scene 1)
I just returned from an inspiring week working with entrepreneurs & thought leaders in the Middle East - and returned to find Israel and the Palestinians again locked in a powerful cycle of destructive & justified vengeance a la Shylock’s . It’s easy to get cynical & very, very angry but I still pray for peace. Peace isn’t made between friends, it’s made between enemies…we’ve got to find a way to get out of the trenches and back to the table (credit to Yosi for articulating this).