How can we be the answer to this question?
Will there really be a Morning”?
Is there such a thing as “Day”?
Could I see it from the mountains
If I were as tall as they?
Oh, some Scholar! Oh, some Sailor!
Oh, some Wise man from the Skies!
Please to tell a little Pilgrim
Where the place called Morning lies!
These words from the poet Emily Dickinson have added significance when seen through the eyes of Palestinian children. For children yanked out of their beds at 3 AM, blindfolded, thrown into the back of a jeep, and held under military detention, we can imagine how they would say, “Will there really be a Morning?”
For children in Gaza who languish in the darkness, trying to do their homework by candlelight, can we hear them say, “Is there such a thing as day?” For children in Hebron, harassed and spat upon by angry Israeli settlers, we can understand how much they rely upon the courage of international volunteers who escort them to their schools.
For children who hide under their bedcovers fearing the sound of missiles, having seen the devastation caused by warfare, each day can be like a “long day’s journey into night”.
As American citizens we need to hear the cries of these children. How can we be in solidarity with them? How can we be the answer to their questions? How can we be the “scholars,” the “sailors,” the “wise men and women” who could bring a better future for these children?
In our October 2019 Tree of Life Series, we’ll have the opportunity to hear directly from young Palestinians — a 14 year-old from Gaza who, despite the harsh realities of living in an open air prison where water is in dangerously short supply, sees hope in the goodness of the international community, and from that hope she dreams of growing up to become the first cowgirl in Gaza.
A young law student from Palestine Ahilya University and students from Bethlehem University, who received the honor of being “Ambassadors” of their school, will represent the high priority Palestinian families place on education, even though the occupation and colonization of their land makes employment very difficult.
They will speak to the many challenges faced by Palestinians living under occupation – the hardships experienced by those who continue to live in the Old City of Hebron among cruel settlers, the impact on families from the West Bank and Gaza struggling to access healthcare for their children in Jerusalem, where they are not allowed to travel without special permits, and the yearning for the types of civil rights like those enshrined in our own “Bill of Rights” that we too often take for granted here.
A young couple who rely upon music as a way to sustain and nurture the Palestinian spirit will bring with them their 3 year-old son. How can we be the answer to a better future for their child?
In this series we will also hear from those who exemplify what it means to be in solidarity with these young Palestinians.
Rachel Corrie was intentionally run over by a bulldozer and killed as she tried to stop the demolition of a Palestinian home in Gaza. We are most honored that her parents will be with us as we think together about how we can reassure children everywhere that yes, indeed, there really will be a Morning.
We will hear from American Jewish scholars who believe that Israel in its current form is a violation of the wisdom of Rabbi Hillel the Elder, who so beautifully said that to save one human life is the same as saving the whole human family.
We will hear from those who have distinguished themselves as champions of human rights who will speak to how the fulcrum of change is here in the United States and how, with some promising legislation, we can help provide an answer to that question, posed by the poet, “Will there really be a Morning?”
The Morning Star is the last light in the darkness before the rising of the sun, and so it provides the promise of a New Day. The question for us is – are we willing to be that Morning Star for the children of Palestine?
How can we provide them with the solidarity they so much need? How can we bring hope and the promise of dawn to those who struggle in the darkness, saying, “Please to tell a little pilgrim where the place called Morning lies!”
Come and learn how you can be a part of the answer to that question!
David W. Good
Founder, Tree of Life Educational Fund