Eyes on the East

Rabbi Misha Shulman
5 min readNov 10, 2023
“With love as deep as the colors of Jerusalem” A Mizrach by Eileen Shulman

A Mizrach is traditional Jewish art piece that is placed on the eastern wall of the house. It includes the Hebrew word, Mizrach, meaning east, meaning the Land of Israel, meaning the site of holiness, meaning the place of truth, meaning the way forward. Staring at the one my mother painted in her home in Jerusalem and now lives on my wall, I found some focus this week.

The Shloshim has passed, the thirty-day mark since the horrors began. We’ve been in a cloud of emotions and confusion that has rocked our understanding and shifted our perspectives. And then, on Wednesday evening, as I listened to Sally Abed and Alon-Lee Green of Standing Together speak in the Upper West Side, the haze seemed to scatter. “Stand up,” I heard them echo Lekha Dodi, “step out of the chaos.”

Many of us have been caught in confusion and pain that has left us frozen. We were so shaken that we questioned basic values that guide us. Unsure what to call for, we succumbed to the fury around us. I found myself envious of those who could clearly take a stand, no matter on which side, simply because they could put their emotions into action. For the first time in my life, I couldn’t find a single protest I felt comfortable going to. Free Palestine meant more than those words. Stand with Israel meant more than just that. Cease Fire came with “Genocide,” often with “River to the Sea,” sometimes with “By Any Means.” Release…

--

--

Rabbi Misha Shulman

Jerusalem born, Misha has been working at the cusp of religion, art and activism since 1999. Rabbi @ The New Shul and Director of School for Creative Judaism.