Friday, March 14, 2003

I'VE BEEN READING..... Editorial Reviews: If a Place Can Make You Cry: Dispatches from an Anxious State
Could it be that there is something so subtle, so magical, so intoxicating-and so dangerous-about this land that it leads parents to willingly sacrifice their children?

In 1998 Rabbi Gordis accepted a one-year sabbatical in Jerusalem, moving his wife and three children from Los Angeles. When they arrived, there was great hope in Israel that a lasting peace was finally being achieved. Things quickly deteriorated, however, and they found themselves (and their children) living in the middle of escalating violence. Amazingly, they decided to stay - they realized that they had never felt such a sense of "home" anywhere. And, despite the danger, they were captivated by the experience of living in the Jewish homeland. Gordis is a moderate - uncomfortable with the Zionist views his children are learning at school, and volunteering in Palestinian refugee camps. His voice is clear and honest, and presents a fresh point of view. I came away with a much clearer understanding of how complex the situation in Israel really is. We hear so many voices dictating "what the Israelis must do" or "what Arafat must do" to achieve peace. Seeing life through Gordis's eyes, it will never seem quite so cut and dry again. This book is a very readable way to dig for a deeper understanding of the current situation without being subjected to the rigid rhetoric that's so often present from both sides of the conflict.

My daughter Julia gave me this book for Christmas. She did the research on and decided this was something I would be interested in. She was right. I was captivated.

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