It feels like our world has convulsed since we learned on Saturday of the heinous murder and hostage taking of innocent civilians by Hamas terrorists and the subsequent killing and devastation of Gaza’s civilian population by the full force of Israel’s advanced weaponry.
As a Sisterhood of Jewish and Muslim women, we hold multiple truths at any given moment. It is possible for us to acknowledge that murdering civilians is a war crime and firing missiles at civilians is also a war crime. It is possible for us to pray for the safe release of the 150 Israeli captives and pray for the safety of the besieged people of Gaza. It is possible for us to recognize that Palestinians are not Hamas and Israeli citizens are not their government. It is possible for us to grieve for our own dead and grieve for all those lost in this horrible cycle of violence. And be reminded that violence will always be met with more violence.
At this time, we have to choose compassion, which literally means suffering together and wishing to alleviate suffering. We must have compassion for all those who lost their family members, those who are in captivity and those seeking shelter from heavy artillery. Equally important is the feeling of compassion for each other and for our own tears, shock, pain, and fears. We truly are all suffering together at this moment. This is what it means to be human. This is what it means to possess moral clarity.
The other night the Executive Committee of the Sisterhood held an emergency meeting. Although the purpose was to conduct urgent business, we all found what a relief and comfort it was to spend time together, cry together, and reaffirm our friendship and deep connection. We wish that for everyone in the Sisterhood….
So, we are busy planning a series of guided discussions that will be open to all members. These will be safe spaces, where we can share, listen, and see each other. We hope you will join these sessions, connect with your sisters, and recognize the pain that is in each of us. We believe that the connections and relationships we have formed over time and dedication to justice and peace will be our guide in all our communication and actions we take now and in the future.
In Peace and Sisterhood,
Tahija Vikalo Roberta Elliott
Executive Director Board President