Monday, September 27, 2010

Peace Tabernacle

Thousands, tens of thousands of tabernacles (Sukkot) are erected this week, to mark an ancient holiday.

The Religious Culture Department at the Ministry of Education of the State of Israel made sure to post this week quotes from different Jewish thinkers about the meaning and significance of this holiday. Among others were published the words of Hermann Cohen, a Jewish philosopher of the 19th century:

"There can be no hatred where peace has spread its tabernacle in a person's heart. That is why the prayer for this holiday uses the term "A Peace tabernacle". Sukkot is the holiday of peace, the holiday when we erect a tabernacle to mark our wanderings in the desert of mundane life. Peace makes life into a holiday."

The Ministry which published these words is not far from Sheikh Jarrah. This is where Israeli peace activists set up a Sukka, jointly with the Palestinians who have been expelled from their homes. But the municipal building inspectors did not read the words of the philosopher and came to destroy it, three times they destroyed it so that the message would be loud and clear: "Enough with this Peace Tabernacle - enough with peace, enough!"

The events around the Sheikh Jarah tabernacle can be seen at: