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Who is Korah?

I am in Jerusalem again, studying at the Shalom Hartman Institute where I always find a refuge to recharge my spirit. I am grateful for this opportunity to learn in Jerusalem. I feel fortunate to live in a blessed age in which I can so easily visit the land of Israel. I recognize that my generation is unique in Jewish history. For generations, we only dreamed of such a reality. Now that hope is realized. And that alone is enough to stir my soul.

I come here as well because the view from afar is rarely an accurate portrayal. From a distance the State of Israel too readily becomes a caricature of preconceived notions. For some Israel can do no wrong. For others it is rarely, if ever, right. Israel is either idolized or demonized. It is of course neither. Israel must never be reduced to mere talking points. It is a remarkable and complicated place. Dreams never mirror reality. Prayers cannot be squared with the here and now.

Israel is a human creation. It is not fashioned by God. It should not be governed by heavenly dreams. And yet it forever stirs my heart.  Here my people’s dreams are palpable. Here as well those dreams become intoxicating.

Soon after arriving we made our way to the Western Wall...