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New Way to Bring Peace Between Arabs and IsraelisThe conflict between the Arabs and Israelis and has been raging for a very long time. Many people have tried to bridge the gap between the two groups without success. An unusual job advertisement for an ordained rabbi to head the education for the Municipality of Taibeh, an Arab town located in the Galilee region of Israel, may be a small step on the road to reconciliation.

What is the Role of the Rabbi?

They are Jewish religious leaders who have comparable positions to priests in the Catholic Church. Candidates receive a rigorous education at a recognized Judaic theological institute before they are ordained. After ordination, they oversee important events at temples including weddings, funerals and Bar Mitzvahs. They also provide their community with spiritual guidance and inspiration. The dislike of Jews and their beliefs through-out the Arab world makes it easy to understand why it is an international news story when an Arab town places an ad for an ordained rabbi to be its municipal head of education.

Arab-Israeli Wars

In order to have some context on the troubled history between the Arabs and Israelis, one needs to look no further than the 4 wars fought between Arab nations and Israel in the 20th century. The first was the 1948 War of Independence, which lasted almost 10 months. One of the end results of the war was the exodus of approximately 700,000 Palestinian Arabs from the region which became modern day Israel. The Sinai War of 1956, also called the Suez Crisis, was triggered by a struggle for control of the Suez Canal and the important access it provides to Middle East oil. The Six Day War took place in 1967 and lasted from June 5th to June 10th. It was a brief conflict that involved Israel launching surprise strikes on Egypt in retaliation to the buildup of Egyptian forces on its border. The Yom Kippur War occurred in October of 1973 and lasted for 19 days. It also involved control of the Suez Canal. Israel was victorious in each of these conflicts, which have contributed to the tension in the region that exist today.

While trying to hire a Jewish religious leader to be the municipal head of education in an Arab town may seem like an odd fit, it might also be a truly revolutionary and forward thinking idea. An ordained rabbi is uniquely qualified to advocate for peace and understanding at a grass roots level. Instead of presidents, prime ministers, dictators and kings trying to negotiate a truce between the Arabs and Israelis, perhaps an approach that begins in a small Arab town has a greater chance for progress.

Category: Ceremonies

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