What It Feels Like to Be a Parent of a New Israeli Soldier

Published on Haaretz

I am sometimes fiercely critical of what our soldiers are asked to do, and still wish we could do without armies. But I have no ambivalence about our need for one.

My wife and daughter and I sat on our white plastic seats in the midday sun, along with hundreds of other parents and siblings, and watched our son march, and stand at attention, and stand at ease, and present arms, and march and stand at attention and stand at ease again.

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Women of the Wall victory can teach us a few things

Published on +972 Magazine

By Batya Kallus

If we succeeded at pushing the government to find a solution on a matter as sensitive as the Western Wall, then we can also push Israel’s leadership – from a perspective of self interest – to make other, equally positive decisions.

Last Sunday, following a 27-year struggle by Women of the Wall, the Israeli government approved a plan to create a new pluralistic, egalitarian and feminist plaza alongside the ultra-Orthodox prayer plaza at the Western Wall in Jerusalem. This is first and foremost a victory for Jewish feminists. But imagine – a group of Jewish religious women engaged in grassroots feminist activism, who really only wanted to pray together on Rosh Chodesh according to their custom and never imagined themselves as heroines, have upset the balance of power in the battle of religion and state, and catalyzed transformative social and political change.

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