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  • Writer's pictureJodi Samuels

The Blessing of Two Eyes

I have been inundated with calls and messages from friends, colleagues and Facebook friends asking me questions about Israel. How do I begin to explain the situation? How can I explain to my non-Jewish friends the significance of the hate the week of Tish B’av, when we mourn the destruction of the Temple a direct consequence of baseless hatred? How do I explain that we have the same hate and divide that sent us into exile 2000 years ago?

We live in a world where people don’t know how to stop, listen, and hear the “other side.” Each side is so invested in their truth and their own perspective and it's simply unimaginable to them that there could be any value to the opposing outlook.

We were given two eyes, one on the left and one on the right. Two eyes that give us a wider field of vision. They help us perceive depth and enhance the ability of assessing the distinct position of an object. Our two eyes give us perspective.

Historically, we were a scattered but distinct nation that never assimilated into the surrounding nations. We retained our national, religious and cultural identity. Even today we are few in number surrounded by enemies who wish to exterminate us but we continue to defy the laws of history. We have outlived all the world's great empires. Our “Start Up Nation” makes immense contributions to the world in science, biotechnology, agriculture, food technology, security, culture and so much more. We cannot let our hatred and the inability to see the other side ruin us.

In Israel, all perspectives have validity and both are passionately held by millions of people. However, if each side is focused only on attaining all their objectives, we will all lose. I dream and hope that we can understand that we are not just opposites but complimentary opposites. I dream that our young and determined democracy learns to see with both her eyes.


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