This week’s parashah/portion is Lekh L’kha (Bereshit/Genesis 12:1-17:27). In
this parashah, God speaks to Abram, saying to him “Lekh L’kha … go forth
(also translated/interpreted as ‘go for yourself’ or ‘go [in] to yourself’) from
your land, the place of your birth, from your father’s house to the land that I
will show you.” Thus begins the journey of Abram and Sarai, later Abraham and
Sarah, to the land of promise, which is unknown to them and which God will show
As they begin their journey Abram performs a sacrifice at dusk, as
commanded by God, as he lay out the pieces of the animals to be
sacrificed we read, “And behold, a great, dark horror fell upon Abram
when the sun was going down. God said, ‘Know for sure that your
offspring will be strangers in a land that is not theirs and they will serve
them and be afflicted for 400 years. But I will judge that nation that they
will serve. Afterward they [Abram and Sarai's descendants] will come out with
great wealth. But you will go to your ancestors in
peace; you will be buried in a good old age (Gen. 15:10-15).”
I could not help what imagine what this journey to the self, this
journey to a strange domain that he was to be shown by God, might
entail. It is not surprising that a great dread would fall upon Abram when the
sun was setting, and one can only imagine how his dread might have multiplied
when told that his ancestors would be enslaved for 400 years, even though he
would die a good death at a ripe old age.
If Lekh L’kha can be interpreted as “go into yourself” one can read these
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passages, and the entire parashah - if not the entire narrative - as a journey
into the self of Abram. That is what I would like to imagine at this moment.
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Israel’s LGBT Tourism Conference Met with Protest
Tel Aviv, Israel, October 11th
On Sunday afternoon local Palestinian and Jewish LGBT\queer activists held a protest against promoting LGBT tourism to Israel in front of the Tel Aviv gay center. The protesters intercepted a group of travel agents and other guests attending a conference that took place inside the gay center. The conference was organized by various Israeli institutes and International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA).
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While entering, the guests went by the protesters, who were wearing T-shirts that read “QUEERS VISIT PALESTINE, NOT THE OCCUPIERS & OPPRESSORS”. Some of the protesters faces were covered with dirt, contrasting the concept of a “tourist attraction,” putting themselves on display, not as shining examples of gay Israeli privilege but as wounded dirty queers, embodying the ugly side of the occupation being masked by the gay tourism initiative.
Haneen, one of the protesters said: “These conferences are trying to create an aesthetic facade that everything is rosy, when minutes from here there is poverty, exploitation, discrimination and occupation. We are against an event that bluntly deny and hide the dirt of our realities. It is our duty as queers not to overlook the oppression of others and to engage in their struggles”.
“At a time when Israel still holds Gaza under siege, controls, segregates and divides the West Bank - there is no place for a ‘business as usual’ attitude”, added Ayala Shani.
Yosef/a Mekyton: “Portraying Tel Aviv as safe and tolerant for LGBTQ people is done also by silencing the daily violence we experience in this city and strive to oppose”.