Come and See, Go and tell: Quick thoughts on Bethlehem

I traveled to the West Bank on Friday, as part of a J Street educational visit to Bethlehem. While there, I took a huge amount of photos and notes of what I saw and heard; took in many memories of the people we met with. They will require at least a few posts to unpack.

In the meantime, I wanted to share the words of one of the people we met with who is working to advance coexistence, peace and understanding between populations:

Come and See, Go and Tell

This is what he told us. As best I can tell, it is a variation of a passage from the Christian Bible. And yet, it has a certain Hebrew Bible ring to it – a charge similar to Tzedek, Tzedek, Tirdof; Tze Ulmad; or Na’aseh v’Nishma. While the man who shared this imperative with us was not Jewish, it didn’t limit his ability to share Jewish wisdom. This is significant, as he had every reason to have a tenuous relationship with Jews and Israel – his land just outside of Bethlehem is surrounded by Israeli Jewish settlements, whose settlers have often provoked and antagonized him.

This ability to overcome such interpersonal challenges and move towards understanding and wisdom is surely a quality that will be necessary if we are to finally achieve peace.

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