Baseless Hatered and Brotherly Love | Tisha B'Av 2023/5783
בינה בפייסבוק בינה באינסטגרם צרו קשר עם בינה במייל

Baseless Hatered and Brotherly Love | Tisha B’Av 2023/5783

Baseless Hatered and Brotherly Love

As we approach Tisha B’Av, Israel is in a period of turmoil and BINA is part of the chorus of voices talking – shouting when we need to – about social responsibility, pluralism and the future we yearn to build. What do the traditions of Tisha B’Av offer us in this moment?  Marcie Yoselevsky, the newest member of BINA’s External Relations team shares her thoughts.

Tisha B’Av 2023/5783

Baseless hatred and brotherly love. The character of our communal identity. The notion of mourning for and yearning to rebuild something we never knew. Among the themes present in Tisha B’Av, I am finding these ideas resonate especially powerfully this year. How do you recreate something you never knew? How do you feel intimacy with something you never experienced? How do you imagine something vividly enough to inspire yourself and others to strive for it?

Israel is in a period of turmoil and BINA is part of the chorus of voices talking – shouting when we need to – about social responsibility, pluralism and the future we yearn to build.

I was 13 years old when Prime Minister Rabin was assassinated. I had watched Rabin and Arafat shake hands. I had seen my teachers come alive with disbelief and excitement when they spoke about the peace process. It was complicated, violence flared, there was debate and there was fear – but what I remember most is the sensation of excitement and potential. Peace felt possible. Not promised, but possible.  

Rabin was assassinated at that moment  – the moment we felt closer to peace than at any other time in recent history. If he was gone, taken by someone opposed to the peace process, where did that leave us? Maybe now that we had come close enough to taste peace, we would have an unbeatable determination to achieve it. Or maybe we had missed our opportunity, the brief moment of possibility in a story where peace was overwhelmingly improbable. 

I think often about how my generation swings between these two ways of thinking. I think about how to tip the balance toward hope – toward believing that if we could get that close once, we can do it again. We had a glimpse of that future and we can remember how good it felt, but how do we engage the generations behind us? How do we engage the ones who haven’t tasted the potential for peace?

 

Tisha B’Av challenges us to connect with the deep pain of loss – for a temple we never knew and for generations who suffered many years before our time. It challenges us to yearn for the building of something new, something we never ourselves experienced outside our imagination.

How does the tradition of Tisha B’Av teach us to approach these challenges? By coming together. By learning together. By acting (fasting) together. This is what we have to do now if we want to build the future we dream of. We have to gather and we have to look for every opportunity to learn and take action. 

While I was growing up in the United States, experiencing the excitement of Rabin’s reach toward peace and the crushing blow of his assassination, a group of Israelis were experiencing the same here,  absorbing at the same time the diverse and divergent responses across Israeli society. They began gathering themselves, the pain of their loss and their determined, optimistic, hopes for this country. They began BINA. When I think about the work we have the chance to do here at BINA, I feel a familiar sense of excitement and potential, along with an urgency and determination that this is the time.

 

Marcie Yoselevsky is the newest member of BINA’s External Relations team. Marcie moved to Israel three years ago. She has found and made her home in Tel Aviv. Marcie grew up in New London, Connecticut and lived for many years in New York City, working in the Jewish and modern dance communities.

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